Volume 2 Issue 22 - November 15, 2004

Youth Parliament debates strategies to tackle AIDS

DNIS News Network - A Youth Parliament in Delhi reveals commitment to tackle the spread of AIDS in India.

The nation's youth is gearing up with new methods and strategies to tackle the spread of AIDS. This was evident when Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi hosted a Parliament of different kind. A two-day National Student and Youth Parliament special session at the stadium saw the participation of 3,000 students and youth leaders from 500 districts across the country.

The students debated various issues connected with AIDS and presented to the Government their recommendations on the draft bill on HIV/AIDS. Representatives of student unions, universities and organisations including Nehru Yuvak Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), National Service Scheme (NSS) and rural youth participated in the event.

The event was organised by the Parliamentary Forum on HIV/AIDS (PFA) with support from India's National Aids Control Organisation (NACO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Human Resource Development and Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UN-AIDS). Civil society organisations including the Lawyer's Collective, Population Foundation of India and Mamta were also involved in the youth convention.

"With 51 per cent of new cases of HIV infection being reported in the age group of 15-24 years, the government has decided to mobilise the target group and make them partners in fighting against AIDS. The two-day session is a step in that direction," said Dr S.Y. Qureshi, Project Director, NACO.

Lauding and supporting the national effort to strengthen the leadership of young people, Peter Piot, Executive Director, PFA said, "India's 200 million young people must be protected. The young generation today does not know a world without AIDS. There is no solution to the epidemic without their active involvement...."

Speaking on the involvement of young people in making critical legislation-related changes, PFA convenor Oscar Fernandes said, "The event is organised to enable students and youth representatives to have a national debate on legislation on AIDS."

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