The word Aarambh is a 'Sanskrit' word which means to begin. Aarambh seeks to initiate knowledge and capacity building among young bi-cycle rickshaw pullers for HIV/AIDS. The Dove Foundation won the Mtv Staying Alive Foundation Award of December 2010 for Project Aarambh.
Aarambh is being supported by Mtv and Staying Alive Foundation ,UK. Project 'Aarambh' is dedicated towards building the knowledge and capacity on HIV/AIDS & Reproductive Health of highly marginalized and socially excluded community of bi-cycle rickshaw pullers in India. It is estimated that there are around 8 million rickshaw pullers are in India. Presently there is no National or State level program which is focusing on the HIV and Reproductive health of rickshaw pullers
Rickshaw Pullers in urban settings are migrants and possess some common characteristics like risky sexual behavior, multiple sex partners, homo sex, substance abuse, illicit substances , use (Cannabis), lack of family planning etc. A major group of these RPs comprise of young population group between age of 14 32 years making them more vulnerable towards HIV. The RPs are also acting as a bridging population for HIV.
Aarambh is focusing on creating and spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS & Reproductive Health through use of mid-media and other BCC material. The awareness created by the project would result into demand generation by the community for the services like condoms, contraception, STDs/STIs clinical facilities etc.
In spite of such a potential importance of this population in the context of the HIV epidemic in India, there is little intervention activities toward this population; even the correlates of the HIV-related risk behaviors which are critical for a focused intervention program have never been identified. We therefore come up with project Aarambh on the HIV-related risk behavior of rickshaw pullers and in Uttar Pradesh ,India.