ibnlive » India

Oct 08, 2007 at 09:32am IST

Truckers turn teachers, dhabas schools for HIV classes

Nagpur: Truck driver Rajesh Hewse is a man on a mission. Trained by the Transport Corporation of India, Hewse isn't just a truck driver, but he is a teacher too.

He holds informal classes at every dhaba he stops at, educating fellow truckers about the hazards of unsafe sex, and about AIDS.

We talk about HIV and AIDS with other drivers. We take the chart wherever we go,” says Hewse.

As Hewse’s truck moves from one destination to the other it carries along the good word measures to prevent the spreading of HIV virus. But he is not the only one. Several long distance truck drivers have waged a war against the deadly disease.

Truckers have been identified as a high-risk group for sexually transmitted diseases, because of their constant travelling. Hence Project Kavach, started by the Transport Corporation of India five years ago to target long-distance truckers

And the message is well received.

“I have learnt that it’s good for our safety,” says a truck driver, Kamlesh Yadav.

His helper, Vinay Rathod adds, “I will suggest others to refrain from unsafe sex.”

And field workers too say the concept is a huge success

We cover 50,000 people in a month. We even cover 45,000 though mid-media activities, “says Field Officer, TCI's Operation Kawach, Fidius Kirketa.