Separate schools for HIV/AIDS-infected kids

IN A strange development, the Guardian Minister in the government of Maharashtra, Dileep Deshmukh, has said that the government is mulling over setting separate schools for HIV/AIDS-infected kids across the state. According to reliable sources, the state government had been compelled to take this unprecedented step owing to the boycott of the school by  parents of 148 children, as the school in question admitted 10 children suffering from HIV/AIDS. Rajiv Azad

The 10 children who are victims of HIV/AIDS, are living in an ashram managed by Amhi Sevak, a non-government organisation (NGO) that works for the welfare of orphan children. These children were admitted to the ZP School and that added fuel to the fire. The news spread like wild fire and parents of a majority of the children raised questions on their admission and were of the opinion that even their ward may be infected if they read with these HIV/AIDS-affected children.

Dileep Deshmukh said, “The parents are afraid that their children will also be affected by AIDS. We will think of making some separate provisions for these children. We will also try to discuss the matter with the chief minister and do our best to sort out the issue amicably”.When asked to comment on Deshmukhs view, the director of the Sevalaya-Ravi Bapatley told media persons that, “It is the society that has given me the land and the money to run the organisation and the ashram for the AIDS and HIV affected children.”
Another minister in the state cabinet, Education Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, took the incident seriously and visited the village on Friday (July 10). He also had a meeting with the villagers to get to the bottom of the quandary. He also directed the district magistrate of Latur to conduct a thorough enquiry into the issue. Education Minister Patil surprised well wishers of the HIV/AIDS victims by saying that it will not be appropriate to take any stringent measures against the parents who were opposed to the admission of HIV/AIDS victims.
Many social workers and prominent personalities, including leading social worker Kaustubh Amte of the Anandavan, are opposed to the decision of the state government to start separate schools for HIV/AIDS-infected kids . Why don’t these people understand that even those who suffer from HIV/AIDS are human beings? They need love and sympathy and not social ostracisation.

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