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  • SABMiller India`s HIV/AIDS programme “HUMSAFAR” reaches over 12000 truckers

    Published on June 23, 2011

    Gurgaon:  Launched in 2008 SABMiller India`s innovative HIV/AIDS truckers programme ‘HUMSAFAR’, has been able to create mass awareness through various outreach activities in its breweries in high prevalence states like Rajasthan, Pondicherry and Karnataka. The programme so far has reached 12382 truckers through one-on-one and group discussions, referred 859 truckers to civil hospitals and nearby Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres, reached 3885 truckers through mass media tools such as street plays, films etc. and distributed 25069 condoms through social marketing.

    The program has recently been expanded to SABMiller India’s biggest brewery in the North -Haryana Breweries Limited.

    Speaking on Project ‘Humsafar’, Meenakshi Sharma, Vice-President CSR and Sustainability, SABMiller India said, “HIV/AIDS is a key component of SABMiller`s Sustainable Development framework worldwide. In India too, our programme is in line with our global priorities. Since our launch of our internal programme in 2007 we have successfully extended it to our supply chain (Truckers) through project ‘Humsafar’. The project helps truckers to learn about HIV/AIDS through interpersonal communication and helps to address the issue by enduring prevention through knowledge and information dissemination.”

    HIV/AIDS is one of the most important development challenges facing India and SABMiller India recognizes this fact and has been working towards fighting HIV/AIDS through various initiatives. In addition to the truckers programme, SABMiller has a programme in place for its employees, their families and local communities.

    Sharing this thoughts about Project ‘Humsafar’, Lakshmi Narayana, a truck driver in Bangalore, said, “I visited SABMiller in December and participated in the programme on health. It was very useful as it involved plays, exhibitions and games. From that day onwards I have been regularly participating in all the health programmes. I wish such initiatives would be conducted in other companies that I visit.”

    ‘Humsafar’ -Interventions with Truckers

    The programme focuses on the following theme:

    Education and awareness about routes of transmission

    Disease prevention

    Availability and usage of condoms

    Referrals for counseling, testing and treatment

    Addressing stigma and creating empathy through contact programmes which are one-on-one interactions with positive people and their families and friends

    As part of the project, interventions are carried out at the breweries and at other locations where truck drivers halt frequently for sufficient duration, for instance food joints along the highway. Since literacy rates amongst truckers are low, mass media tools such as movies, videos, games etc. are widely used to effectively take the message to truckers. The programme also has a very strong referral component where the target populations are encouraged to avail of the free counselling and testing services made available by the government and local NGOs at the nearby ICTC (Integrated counseling and testing centre).

    These interventions are conducted by local partner NGOs, State Aids Control Societies and are supported by SABMiller India HIV/AIDs master trainers. To ensure optimum and effective outreach of the messages, peer creation from within the target groups is given special emphasis. In the truckers programme, special emphasis is laid on promoting correct usage of condoms with an ensured on-site availability through condom vending machines.

    ‘Humsafar’ was first launched at one of SABMiller India’s biggest breweries Rochees Breweries (RBL) in Rajasthan in partnership with Humana People To People , a Rajasthan-based NGO and Rajasthan State Aids Control Society and was later extended to other locations – SICA Breweries in Pondicherry, and Mysore Breweries in Karnataka and more recently to Haryana Breweries in Sonipat.

    SABMiller India has been recognized by the ILO as a corporate partner that has made valuable contributions to the National AIDS Control Programme. The company has also received endorsements from the local governments appreciating and recognizing the company’s efforts.