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    Pernod Ricard India Foundation and Ambuja Cement Foundation partner to ensure Quality Healthcare and Road Safety for truck drivers: Derabassi, Punjab

    Published on January 6, 2021

    Punjab: Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF), a CSR implementing organization partners with Pernod Ricard India Foundation (PRIF), the non-profit subsidiary of Pernod Ricard India Ltd, to address primary healthcare needs and promote responsible behaviour for road safety among truck drivers in Derabassi, Punjab.

    Truck drivers have very challenging jobs and often put their own health at risk. They suffer from multiple health problems due to long hours of travelling and inadequate rest hours. The nature of their work, exposure to pollution and lack of nutritious food puts them at risk of contracting Non-Communicable Diseases. Hypertension, Diabetes, Lung infections and Live Cirrhosis are also very prevalent due to the high levels of pollution, physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use. India has the largest number of people living with HIV and more than 2 million are migrants. They are known to have such health issues due to continuous travel, loneliness and being away from their families. Truckers have an extremely high prevalence of STI but are often ignored as a likely cohort of such diseases.                  

    To address this issue, ACF has come together with Pernod Ricard Foundation to inculcate responsible behaviour change on preventive healthcare and substance abuse and to generate awareness on road safety to reduce road accidents.

    The project duration will be for 3 years and occur in 3 phases targeting about 3500 Rural Truckers and Allied Population in the Derabassi area. Structured intervention is expected to reduce the prevalence of STI, reduce cases of road accidents and change knowledge, attitudes and practices of the truckers in regard to health and responsible consumption. For impact sustenance, the program will also develop a truckers committee which would include members from the trucker’s union, local community-based organization and members from the local government department.

    The engagement plan will involve setting up a vision care centre, counselling area for those struggling with alcohol and substance abuse, organizing road safety weeks along with sensitization by RTO department, creating peer- led support groups, capacity building of migrant groups to ensure ownership of the program amongst other initiatives.

    Sharing the objectives of the project, Ms. Pearl Tiwari, Director & CEO of Ambuja Cement Foundation, said “The project has been introduced to address primary healthcare and safety needs of the target population by starting a healthcare centre, creating awareness on road safety through effective IEC materials and ensuring Behavioural Change Communication to address HIV and STI. We are delighted to partner with Pernod Ricard Foundation who will be rendering their support over the next three years to ensure maximum awareness.”

    “Mr. Sunil Duggal, VP – Corporate Affairs and Sustainability & Responsibility, PRIF said, “We believe that our support to communities has the power to unleash the next wave of growth and development for the country. We are grateful to the truck drivers’ community, which has ensured that India’s supply chain and services remain robust through all challenging times, often at the cost of their own well-being. Through this program, we reaffirm our commitment to Leaving No Trucker behind by providing quality primary healthcare and promoting road safety with them.”

    Over the last 15 years, ACF has initiated primary healthcare interventions for truckers in Surat, Farakka, Sankrail, Nalagarh, Darlaghat, Ropar, Chandigarh. They have reached over 71,000 truckers last year by organizing various health camps and awareness campaigns on HIV & STI. ACF has also focused on HIV AIDS and STI in partnership with government agencies like National AIDS Control Society and Punjab State AIDS Control Society (targeting 1500 CSW, MSM, IDU on prevention of HIV AIDS), Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society (targeting 20,000 migrants on prevention of HIV AIDS) and private players like Apollo Tyres Foundation (targeting 17,000 truckers by forming healthcare centres).