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Int'l AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day Observed

Candlelighting in Rajshahi for Wishing Long Lives for the AIDS infected People

Rajshahi, May 17: AIDS epidemic started haunting the countries in the world. The number of HIV/AIDS infected people exceeded 4 crore in the world. Solely in the last year above 40 lakh people died of AIDS across the world.

It was disclosed in the opening session of the daylong program titled as We Are Always With You held in observance of the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day in Rajshahi today.

Commemorating those who died of HIV/AIDS and wishing long lives for those infected, CCD Bangladesh has adopted daylong program of AIDS awareness campaign in observance of the international day this year.

A spectacular candlelight rally was held in Zero Point Area of Rajshahi City today to commemorate those who died in HIV/AIDS and wishing long lives for those infected. Similar types of program, wishing long lives for the HIV/AIDS infected and in honor of the deceased was performed today in Sunday, in more than 100 countries around the world. Expressing solidarity with this international program, CCD Bangladesh and its wings Bangladesh Advanced Students Alliance (BASA), Rajshahi Youth Citizens Council, Youth Voice and Women’s Empowerment Network (WEN) organized this program.

The candlelight memorial rally started in this afternoon from the Central Library of the city. Various sorts of colorful festoon, poster, red ribbon and banners displaying HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness-related messages adorned the rally. Some hundreds of students, teachers, development workers and representative of civil societies took part in the rally. The rally processed through various significant streets of the Rajshahi Metropolitan City and ended at the Bhuban Mohan Park ground. An evening candle lighting program with a long human chain was held here. The participants stood silently in a row holding torched candles in their hands and wished long lives of the HIV/AIDS infected people worldwide and showed reverence to the deceased.

On the occasion, especial cultural programs held in Bhuban Mohon Prark in the city after evening. The members of Youth Voice have performed folk songs and gomvira in the function. A large number of general people take part in the cultural function and they enjoy the cultural show with much cheerfulness.        

Int'l AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day observed at National Level

Dhaka, 17 May 2009: International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day 2009 was observed yesterday with the slogan 'Together we are the solution'.

On the occasion, National AIDS/STD Programme (NASP) organised a programme at the Biam auditorium in the city remembering people who died of AIDS in Bangladesh.

Speaking as the chief guest, Dr Hosne Ara Tahmin, additional director general of Directorate General of Health Services, said prevention is always better than cure and for that mass awareness is a must.

Children of the persons who died of AIDS are suffering immensely. The government will make an attempt to provide them with support so that they can continue their education, she said.

Dr Md Ishaque Khan, line director of NASP, said the social stigma about AIDS should be eliminated and AIDS-infected people should not be discriminated.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, AIDS has claimed more than 28 million lives around the world while about 42 millions are now living with HIV and AIDS worldwide.

In Bangladesh so far 165 people died of AIDS while 58 died in the last one year.

The Candlelight Memorial Day was first observed in 1983 in the USA. It is now being observed across the globe every year on the third Sunday of May. Lighting candles has become a way for the communities to take action by mourning publicly and by strengthening local and national commitments to fight the pandemic.

Bandhu Social Welfare Society presented a cultural function titled 'Essence of Soul' on the occasion while Ashar Alo Society held a documentary show on AIDS.

The programme was participated by family members who lost their near and dear ones at the hands of AIDS and different government and non-government organisations working with HIV awareness programmes. [Source: The Daily Star, 18 June 2009, Dhaka]

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Last update: 10 January, 2010

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