Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Beggars Spread AIDS Awareness

Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Beggars Spread AIDS Awareness

Article excerpt

A plan to recruit thousands of beggars to spread awareness of HIV and AIDS through the medium of song and dance has been unveiled by Eastern Indian state officals.

The state welfare department in the impoverished state of Bihar is seeking to involve many of the region's estimated 100,000 beggars in a training programme which will teach them how to pass on information about the conditions by performing songs on public transport and street plays besides busy roads. Officials plan to pay each beggar a few hundred rupees for participating in the scheme.

Bihar's welfare secretary, Vijay Prakash, explained: 'Beggars are great actors and very creative. They always had the skills, but lacked direction which we are giving them. The experiments have so far been very successful, and we hope that our training programme will help the beggars to learn a living.'

Mr Prakash also revealed that if the project is successful, beggars may be recruited in the future to promote awareness of other diseases, such as polio and malaria. …

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