Minister wants ‘separate provision’ for HIV+ school kids

LATUR: Guardian minister Dileep Deshmukh on Sunday said the administration is thinking of making a separate provision for children affected with AIDS here.

As reported earlier, 10 children suffering from the disease are staying in the Ashram Sevalaya in the village, run by Amhi Sevak, an organization serving orphans and children inflicted with the disease.

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The affected children were admitted in the ZP school due to which parents of 148 children out of the 240 have stopped sending their children to the school.

Education minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil had on Friday ordered a probe into the matter and directed the Latur Collector Ekanth Dawale to submit report within two days.

Deshmukh, after meeting the villagers said it is not proper to take action against the parents.

“The parents are afraid that their children will also be affected by AIDS. We will think of making some separate provision 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,” Deshmukh said.

Reacting to Deshmukh’s statement, Director of the ‘Sevalaya’ Ravi Bapatley said, “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. These children have very short life and even in this shorter span of life should they be kept away from the society?”

Kaustubh Vikas Amte of the Anandvan, established by Baba Amte, also visited the Sevalya in the Hasegaon village.

“On one hand, government is spending crores of rupees for AIDS awareness campaigns and on the other hand it is thinking of keeping such children separately out of the society, this is contradictory to the government’s policy,” Amte said.

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