Mumbai, India (PressExposure) September 30, 2011 -- Mumbai District AIDS Control Society's (MDACS) International Youth Day campaign - Make a Friend for Life, witnessed an overwhelming response for their initiative for normalizing condoms, as per the NACO guidelines. The campaign concluded with a grand finale in the form of one of the biggest youth festival of the city, with students from more than 150 colleges coming together for a social cause. Mumbai's one of the biggest Youth Festival also witnessed the youth icons of today, Prateik Babbar and Kalki Koechin, star cast of My Friend Pinto who supported MDACS in their cause to spread awareness among the youth to keep themselves safe.
Hon. Member of Parliament, Shri. Sanjay Patil graced the occasion to felicitate the winners and commend the efforts of the participants. He said "It gives me great pleasure to be here and award these youngsters for their efforts. It is really great to see them put in such great efforts to bring about awareness on such a sensitive issue."
"Our on-ground community activities which were undertaken through Ganpati mandals with the support of college RRCs and NGOs received a great response. Almost 30, 000 to 35, 000 participants took part in the different activities like stencil making, card game, graffiti walls and others. With community activities at Ganpati Mandals, we were successful in reaching out to more than two lakh mumbaikars", said Dr. S.S. Kudalkar
The Youth Festival was a culmination of the on-ground community and college activities. The Grand finale saw an awards distribution ceremony where the best college award was awarded to S. I. E. S. College of Arts, Science & Commerce, best ganpati mandal to Purashkrut Mitra Mandal for extending their support for HIV awareness drives, best Red Ribbon Club for the year 2010 - 11 was divided into three parts. Central Mumbai - Acharya Marathe College, Chembur won the award while Thakur college of science and commerce, Kandivalli won the award from the Western Suburb and Ambedkar college of commerce, Wadala won it for Mumbai city.
Other colleges that have given exceptional responses were Nirmala Vaze, Kandivali; Sathey College, Vile Parle; V.G. Vaze College of Arts, Com. & Sci., Mulund and S. I. E. S. College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Sion amongst many others. MDACS has about 170 RRCs associated with them across colleges in Mumbai. The volunteers that participated made case files in the form of a scrap book, of which the best attractive scrap books were on display on the day of the finale.
"We are very happy to see more than 2000 youths that came today to support our cause and participate in this youth festival. We also organized a Quiz contest which intrigued the youth and educated them at the same time", said Vinitha Venkatraman, Joint.Director - IEC (Communication), Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS).
Kalki Koechlin opined that, "It is a great initiative to be associated with. I believe that it is very important for today's youth to be responsible and spread the awareness on HIV. Also donating blood is a very close to god cause according to me." Prateik on the other said, "When I was told about the campaign I was very impressed by the numbers but what interested me more was the concept of making a friend for life. I wish MDACS all my best wishes and that this campaign receives more response not just from the youth but from men and women at large." Prateik and Kalki also took an oath with the youth, and extended their support by becoming RRC members.
MDACS also targeted to approach the youth and encourage them to donate blood during the finale. The blood donation mobile van was available at the venue for the youth to donate blood. The youth fest saw a lot of individual and group activities too out of which most were competitive.
"The campaign has seen a great response but with this is just the beginning. We surely want to take this to the next level and have already begun to ideate. This campaign will run around the year under different activities and initiatives. The sms community campaign, game and facebook activity of the campaign will be continued post the finale and create a unit on its own" shared Vinitha Venkatraman.