Assam’s well-known writer, woman activist and actress Dr Akashitora Saikia said stigma and discrimination related to HIV/AIDS is more dangerous than the virus itself.
Dr Akashitora Saikia said this during the National Youth Day observed by the Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) in collaboration with Red Ribbon Club (RRC) of Pandu College as a part of National Youth Month 2019 at the auditorium of Pandu College in Maligaon here recently.
“Youth are prone to various addictions like drinking, smoking and drugs. Therefore, proper counseling is required so that youth can be engaged in a wide variety of activities including sports, music and drama. There can be complete freedom but there has to be absolute control over oneself,” said the actress.
Welcoming the participants, principal of the college, Dr Jogesh Kakoti stated that the National Youth Day assumes significance because it coincides with the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, who is the real youth icon of this world.
He also expressed concern over the HIV menace that has been affecting today’s youth, stated a release.
Speaking on the occasion, JM Patgiri, Joint Secretary to Health and Family Welfare Department, Assam, said, “HIV and youth are inter-related because the youth are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Therefore, it is the prime responsibility of one and all to save our youth from HIV. HIV awareness amongst the youth is absolutely necessary.”
Mount Everest climber Henry David Teron, while narrating his experiences of Mount Everest said, “I consider Everest as an institution because I learnt a lot during my journey to the topmost place of the earth. It was a spiritual journey for me.”
He further said every youth must recognise their talent within him or her and because it is the realisation of the talent within oneself that will help one to grow. In this context, he drew a comparison between Chinese martial art with Japanese martial art.
He said, “Today Chinese martial art is more popular than the Japanese martial art because Chinese people could realise and recognise their talent within them.”
Talking about the HIV menace, he said that in African countries, it is the grandparents who drop their grand children in the schools because their parents lose their lives due to HIV/AIDS.
He appealed to the youth community to channelise their energy in creative ventures rather than indulging in high risk behaviours like injecting drug use and unprotected sex.
Educationist Dr Bibash Ch Das, who is also associated with Swami Vivekananda Kendra, exhorted the students by asking them to see within themselves and decide what they want to become.
He said, “Swami Vivekananda always believed that the purpose of life has to be greater than one’s career.”
Prizes were also given to the winners of various competition like painting, quiz, mobile film making on HIV/AIDS which were organized prior to the day of the event, it added.