Securing a safer future
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has in its “2012 Report” rated Nagaland as the lowest among all the States in the country when it comes to crimes against women at 10% compared to other States. Our ten % is based on statistics that have been collected and collated. And yet it would be safe to presume that this figure could be higher with many cases going unreported. These include domestic violence, polygamy etc. In the case of rapes, the victims are more often than not young and even innocent minor girls.Crimes against women in Nagaland may be comparatively lower to other states in the country but when it comes to statistics in HIV/AIDS the state is on the vulnerable list. This was officially announced raising alarming and a cause for concern.
Nagaland State AIDS Control Society (NSACS) project director, Dr Nandira L. Changkija, has disclosed that 60-65% of the current HIV prevalent rate falls in the age group 15-45 years. She described this as “the most productive age group.”
As such, the fifth edition of Nagaland AIDS Control Society (NACS) has decided on a prolonged but relentless Multi Media Campaign (MMC) to promote awareness, education and support on the issue of HIV/AIDS cases across the N-E States from October 2013 till February 2014.
As a precursor, the Nagaland State’s MMC was launched at the Rattle & Hum Lounge in Kohima on Monday September 16. MLA and Advisor, Music Task Force Nagaland, Khriehu Liezietsu announced that the NSACS Music for Zero/NSACS Zero will kick start at Mon on Oct 1 and culminate at Dimapur on October 28. The aim is to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS among the youth of the State through the medium of music.
Previous MMCs organized by NSACS were successful due to the collective efforts from all sections of society. Hopefully, the forthcoming campaign will be taken forward with verve and renewed vigour and achieve its objective for greater perspective on the issue of HIV/AIDS.
The MMC will include sports to reach out to the youth especially in the remote areas. Various motivational and inspiring gifts are also on the agenda. NSACs Music for Zero, or NSACs Zero has been initiated by NACO Red Ribbon Superstar Campaign while MTF Nagaland and LFA (Legislators Forum on AIDS) will be the chief patrons.
Focusing on the youth is fine and necessary too. And yet, what about those who may be older and in their late 30s and mid-forties? Or even older? Perhaps they may just adapt to the inclusion of jazz, pop, blues, country folk and Western etc which sets this campaign different from previous ones that had focused on rock music only.
Evaluation by SRRI under Delhi-based International Medical Bureau report says that of all the States covered HIV testing respondents was highest in Nagaland (18%) followed by Mizoram (16%) and Manipur (13%). The evaluation also says that significant difference can be observed in HIV respondents who were exposed to the Red Ribbon Campaign and those who were not.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, the scourge of the world from the mid-1980s, never existed before in human history although the various forms of venereal diseases were. Some term it a ‘punishment’ from God but be that as it may, it has taken its toll quietly and on the sly without the use of guns and bullets but with no fewer casualties some of whom may show symptoms of suffering even after years due to the dormant AIDS virus.
While casualties of war, violence and even natural calamities/disasters etc can be generally estimated, the exact figure for AIDS victims will never be known due to various reasons. One is fear of social stigma, or sheer ignorance particularly among the illiterate, or the devil may care attitude, to cite a few. Perhaps music will soothe their ears for awareness also.
Above all, the best is prevention and not the remedy. And citizens can only be safer if they have the knowledge about the nature of the disease. They can then build in their own checks and balances to prevent themselves from contracting the disease or infecting another life.