BALCO promotes increased community awareness on HIV/AIDS through month-long campaign

Balconagar, December 28th, 2023: Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminium producer and a unit of Vedanta Aluminium, has concluded a comprehensive month-long AIDS awareness drive aimed at empowering the communities in the vicinity of its operations. Commencing on World AIDS Day (December 1), the initiative was organized in partnership with the District Health Department as part of BALCO’s Project Arogya, successfully reaching out to over 26,000 people in Korba, Chhattisgarh.

The primary objective of the extensive campaign was to heighten community awareness on HIV/AIDS through wider information dissemination, combating stigma and advocating for preventive measures particularly within high-risk behavior groups and youths. A multipronged approach was employed through the launch of the ‘Jagrukta Rath’ in collaboration with the District Health Department, which employed audio-visual aids and informational material.
Additionally, the campaign included group awareness sessions in high-risk areas within the community, partnering with health experts and community members to sensitize parents and youths on several safety and prevention strategies related to HIV/AIDS. Peer learning was facilitated through a ‘Youth Chaupal’ where adolescent girls and boys were trained to become community advocates promoting deeper awareness of HIV/AIDS within their communities. The initiative also reached out to over 500 students across local schools and colleges. The aim was to equip them with essential knowledge, foster empathy, and encourage responsible behavior.
Rajesh Kumar, CEO & Director, BALCO said, “We envision a future where greater knowledge and awareness can act as a powerful shield against social health concerns such as HIV. Through this month-long initiative, we aim to foster a more informed society, reduce further transmission of the illness and support healthier living. Our heath interventions are a testament to our pledge towards cultivating a brighter and equitable future for all community members.
Highlighting the significance of the campaign, Dr. S.N. Keshari, Chief Medical and Health Officer, District Hospital, Korba, said, “I urge each citizen to step forward, seek knowledge, and be aware of their HIV/AIDS status. Every development block and district has integrated testing and counseling centers (ICTC) which stand ready, offering free tests and counseling to empower individuals on their journey to well-being.”
World AIDS Day, observed annually on December 1st, is a global initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing battle against the virus and commemorates those who have lost their lives to AIDS-related illnesses. Project Arogya, a health-oriented community development initiative from BALCO, has been working diligently towards generating awareness on HIV among high-risk behavior groups such as truckers and migrant workers. In FY2024 till December, over 2,000 individuals were sensitized through health camps, one-to-one counseling sessions, and group awareness sessions. The Counseling Centre in Rural Health Post, Parsabhata, supported by BALCO, serves as a crucial center for HIV awareness, counseling, and linkage for HIV testing.
BALCO remains steadfast in serving the community through impactful healthcare interventions under Project Arogya, in partnership with Social Revival Group of Urban, Rural and Tribal (SROUT). The company ensures the accessibility of quality primary healthcare services for communities through Rural Health Posts, coupled with awareness campaigns on critical topics such as HIV, maternal and child health, and malnutrition. Additionally, BALCO operates a mobile health van, addressing healthcare challenges through doorstep visits in remote villages every fortnight. The company frequently organizes mega health camps and awareness campaigns, promoting vaccinations and hygiene practices, while ensuring accessible healthcare through home visits and specialized consultations. Through its curative and preventive services, BALCO’s efforts have reached over 45,000 people in the fiscal year 2023.


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