Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports about five children who were allegedly ostracised by villagers after the death of their parents due to AIDS, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the district magistrate of Pratapgarh to submit a report in the matter within four weeks.
The commission has observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of the children.
These five children, four minor boys and a minor girl, had lived in a makeshift tent near a graveyard in Jamau village of the district for about a month after their mother died in June.
The children’s father had died more than five years ago.
The villagers claimed that they had died due to AIDS, following which the children were fearful of contracting the disease. Consequently, they were living outside the village.
“The commission has observed that contents in the media reports indicate that the issue is of violation of human rights of the children and has issued notice to the district magistrate, Pratapgarh, to submit a report in the matter within four weeks,” an NHRC press communiqué said.
It also observed that the villagers did not want these children to stay in the their house as they feared that they might also be HIV infected.
The children stopped attending school and were surviving on the food given by some villagers, it added.
The district administration had intervened on Friday, making several promises to the children, which included giving a plot of land.
Currently, the children are living in the house of their grandmother. On Sunday, however, the plot was found to be disputed.
The Pratapgarh administration on Monday provided an alternative plot of land to the children.