Prevention is better than cure, believes Tata Steel.
To spread awareness about AIDS, tuberculosis, leprosy, filaria and other communicable diseases, the steel major’s Jharia division general manager Sanjay Singh flagged off an information, education and communication (IEC) van from Jamadoba, 15km from Dhanbad, on Wednesday to mark Gandhi Jayanti.
The campaign will apprise people how to minimise risk of catching such diseases and how to get them cured.
Others who took part in the event included Tata Steel (Jharia division) Jamadoba group chief Manish Mishra; head (administration) Balmiki Kumar; head of Jharia unit of Tata Steel Rural Development Society Keshav Ranjan; and regional secretary of Rashtriya Colliery Mazdoor Sangh Santosh Mahto.
“The awareness drive is part of the flagship programme of the joint venture between Tata Steel Rural Development Society (Jharia division) and Lepra India,” Ranjan said.
He added the van had been given by Lepra India for 60 days, starting Wednesday.
Paying floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, Singh said awareness was the key to prevent diseases.
Singh also flagged off a rally that saw 225 students from the nearby Royal School taking part.
Students walked through adjoining villages to finally reach Tata Central Hospital, Jamadoba, where chief medical officer of Tata Central Hospital B.B. Sahni welcomed them and distributed sweets.
“The purpose of launching the IEC van to cover 39 lease-hold villages and 28 leprosy-affected colonies across Dhanbad, is to improve health of the masses through awareness. We also aim to change attitudes of people towards patients of communicable diseases and uproot social stigma,” said Singh.
Addressing children while flagging off the rally, Singh asked them to incorporate Mahatma Gandhi’s values in their lives.
According to Ranjan, as many as 60 programmes had been designed to prevent disabilities due to leprosy and lymphatic filariasis in each village of Tata Steel’s lease-hold area, Jharia division.
“Video and audio media apart, pamphlet distribution, group talk, film shows and street plays will be our other awareness tools,” Ranjan said, adding the van was carrying a video projector.