01 December 2010
By Ananya Bhardwaj
New Delhi, India
Red Alert With Unhcr Help, Don Bosco Ashalayam Ropes in Scores of Refugees From Its Centres For Rally to Mark World AIDS Day
Most of the 500–odd participants of the rally – which started from Budela village in Vikaspuri – were refugees from Burma, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran, Iraq and Palestine who now call Delhi home. "The refugees came from different centres and youth clubs run by the Don Bosco Ashalayam in Lajpat Nagar, Wazirabad, Malviya Nagar and Vikaspuri," said Ashir, a vo unteer.
The rally started with Yuva Beats, a band formed by young Afghan refugees, playing popular Hindi numbers. "We are doing our bit for the campaign with our performance. This is to attract more people to join a social cause," sai Khalid, a member of the band.
"I do not know why people are shy of talking about the use of condoms. We are shouting out loud for them to hear," said Hamid, another Afghan refugee. "We are refugees, we have lived through hard times, we know what loss of life means. Even being outsiders we want to be an integral part of this society, we want to help in whatever way we can to create aware ness," said Asmar, a student at Don Bosco Ashalayam.
To mark AIDS awareness week, Don Bosco Ashalayam has also organised sessions, movie screenings, quiz competitions and a red ribbon programme.
"Don Bosco, in association with UNHCR, has set up English language centres, counselling, computer classes and various income generation activities for refugees," said Selin.
The reporter is a student of Express Institute of Media Studies