Somen Debnath, an Indian national has landed in Sierra Leone to continue his “Around the World Bicycle Tour Program seminars on Indian culture and awareness of HIV/AIDS”, which He began on May 27th 2004.
Sierra Leone is the 117th countries he has visited so far.
Debnath stated that since 2004-2006 he has travelled through 28 states and five Union Territories of India. He has gone to 22 countries in Asia from 2006-2009. Debnath also said that he has travelled to 45 countries in Europe, including North Pole and Greenland in 2009-2012 and from 2015- date he has been travelling in Africa and Middle East (60 countries).
He said he was inspired for this mission at the age of 14 when he read the article entitled “AIDS is more deadly than cancer”. The person referred to in the said article was homeless and was sitting in front of the Medical College of Calcutta, abandoned by hiss inhabitants and left to die alone.
According to him, the article had a great impact on him and then he began to ask his teachers at school about HIV/AIDS, but they could not give him any satisfactory answer. As a result, two years later, Somen decided to get specialized training in Society of West Bengal State AIDS Control (WBSACS) and started awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS education from his own school.
The AIDS-related stigma and lack of awareness about this deadly but preventable disease motivated him more. His first mission was extended to the people of his village, then in India and is now a global campaign for him.
He aims to create awareness among youth and encourage non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in countries around the world.
His focus is on poor people in urban/rural and tribal areas throughout the world as they have the lowest level of awareness on this deadly disease.
His short-term objective is to see how best students, young people and communities that benefit from awareness program will run in the societies of their respected countries and long-term goal, to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS through education of local people worldwide.