INDIA: Child Rights Commission in the state of Goa tells school to re-admit HIV positive children

[18 July 2014] - 

The child rights commission in the Indian state of Goa has said that the 13 HIV positive students should be re-admitted to the school they were transferred from after facing protests from the parents of other children.
The Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights said this in its report to the government.
The 13 HIV positive orphaned students from a South Goa school were transferred last month to another school by the Church authorities.
According to the commission's chairperson Samira Kazi, who submitted the report to the Goa government Friday, her report also sought pro-activeness in the HIV/AIDS awareness programme, targeting especially the student community.
"We have said that the 13 HIV positive students should be re-admitted to the Fatima High School. Why should they have to step back, when it is their right to study in the place they want," Kazi said.
The controversy surrounds Fatima High School in Rivona, a village located 55 km south of Goa, over a long-drawn stand-off between a Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and the school management over the admission of children from a nearby orphanage.
The HIV positive students, from the Nitya Seva Niketan, were transferred by the Church-run school last month following pressure from the school's PTA. But the school management decided to stand by 23 other non-HIV afflicted orphans from the same orphanage, whom the parents also want out of the institution.
While the school management and Church authorities maintain that the 23 students are not HIV positive, the parents insist they do and claim that their children would be at risk of contracting the disease.
The protesting parents have threatened to remove their wards from the school and shift them elsewhere.
Some parents have already applied for a school leaving certificate for the wards, which is necessary to shift a school.
Kazi now claims that following the submission of her report, the ball was now in the court of the state government. "We will wait for the action taken report now. No child should be stigmatised. We have also suggested that the education department should be proactive in carrying out its HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns," she said.
Business Standard

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