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Project ‘Humsafar’ successfully leaves 300 truckers well aware of HIV/AIDS

19 May 2009

SABMiller India, India's leading brewing company, in association with Humana People to People India, and Rajasthan State Aids Control Society (RSACS), recently created awareness and interest amongst truckers on HIV/AIDS through a campaign titled ‘Humsafar', in Neemrana, Rajasthan. The objective of the campaign was to make the truckers aware of HIV/AIDS and inculcate the habit of safe sex, amongst them. Catering to over 300 truckers, Humsafar was warmly and wholeheartedly supported by SABMiller India's supply chain and the people of Neemrana.

This exclusive programme consisted of infotainment activities such as one on one sessions, group discussions, counseling, referrals to ICTC centres sports events, street plays, a film show, distribution of free IEC material, condom demonstrations and free distributions, talk shows etc. These efforts resulted in breaking the ice and making the truckers aware about the disease. 

As a result of the successful campaign, NACO and RSACS, acknowledged SABMiller India's undeterred commitment and contribution to the field of HIV/AIDS, by presenting a condom vending machine at Rochees brewery in Neemrana.

Mr. Sundeep Kumar, Director Corporate Affairs, SABMiller India, supporting the programme, said, "We as a responsible corporation always have, and always shall be dedicated towards spreading HIV/AIDS awareness among masses. At this campaign we did not just educate the truckers about safety measures for HIV/AIDS but requested them to take the education to places they go for the betterment of the society. Together we can stop the spread of this epidemic"

As a key component of SABMiller's Sustainable Development framework, HIV/AIDS awareness has been one of the key global priorities for the company. In 2007, SABMiller India launched its HIV/AIDS initiative in association with ILO, and began with an internal awareness programme for its employees. The focus of this initiative was to dispel myths created by a fear psychosis, by creating awareness through dissemination of correct information and having empathy towards people who live with HIV/AIDS. 

As the second phase of this successful campaign, the company plans to take the initiative further innovatively, by tapping ‘dhabas' (highway restaurants) near their breweries, organizing rallies etc.  The programme also plans to cross state boundaries and reach high prevalent areas like Pondicherry and Bangalore.

There are plans to extend its HIV/AIDS programme to member farmers enrolled under its Barley Development Programme of SABMiller India (Saanjhi Unnati) in Rajasthan. Talks are also underway to work jointly with various State AIDS Control Societies and Excise Departments to roll out similar initiatives at liquor retail outlets. On the list are initiatives such as disbursements of free condoms et al.

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