LUCKNOW, India, 5 May 2012 - More than 7000 children, assembled in the Lucknow’s Cantonment Area, were abuzz with expectation as they were led by their teachers to a gigantic open ground to participate in a historic feat.A feat of creating the world’s longest ever Red Ribbon. Representatives from Guinness Book of World Records and the Limca Book of records waited excitedy as did the children and their teachers.
Caption: In less than half an hour, more than 7000 children from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India painted the world’s longest red ribbon with their hand prints and send out a a strong message against stigma and discrimination for children and people living with HIV and AIDS Credit: UNICEF India/2012/PrashanthVishwanathan
As the Army band played patriotic music in the background, the children - young and old, from various schools, orphanages and slums and some of them HIV+ were ready to send out a message to the world. A strong message against stigma and discrimination for children and people living with HIV and AIDS on the eve of the World AIDS Orphans Day commemorated today.
No sooner, the children were given the cue, they wasted no time in dipping their delicate little hands in colour and imprinting the white ribbon with their indelible hand-prints. In less than half an hour, the children had hand painted in red, a one kilometer white ribbon, and in process created world’s longest Red Ribbon made by the hand prints of children. The awareness ribbon measured 1005.7 meters comfortably surpassing the previous record of 408.55 metres.
Photo Essay: Children Break Guinness Record, Make Longest Red Ribbon
It was a spirited display by the children’s collective will to stand up together, with the mission of putting forward the message of removing discrimination against HIV affected people in the society.
“While we congratulate all partners who contributed to the success of this monumental feat, I would take this opportunity to mention that children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS need special care, hugs and affection.” said Ms. Adele Khudr, Chief, UNICEF State office for Uttar Pradesh.
Ms. Adele Khudr added that UNICEF is the voice of all children, specially the most marginalized and the vulnerable. She also appealed to the decision makers to focus specially on these disadvantaged children, as they need extra nutrition and special attention
The initiative of bring children was made possible by non-governmental organization, Ummeed in collaboration with UNICEF and UP State AIDS Control Society.
The event was also supported by the Central Command of the Indian Army, Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society, private sector, cultural organizations, schools and several volunteers.
The theme of this world record attempt was “Zero Discrimination”, which is in sync with the global campaign launched last year by UNAIDS and other partners.The event reaffirmed UNICEF’s commitment towards children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.