The Himachal Pradesh government on Tuesday issued a notification, making it mandatory for all educational institutions in the state to provide admission to children perceived to be or actually infected with HIV/AIDS.
The notification makes it compulsory for both the private and government institutions to admit children infected with HIV/AIDS. The main objective of the notification is to ensure that such children are not deprived of their legitimate right to education under the Right of Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
"The government has issued a notification in this regard, strictly laying the norms that no educational institution will deprive the right of admission to the children infected with HIV/AIDS or whose parents, family members or guardians are suffering from or perceived to be ailing from the fatal disease," said an official spokesperson here today.
"No child living with or infected by AIDS/HIV shall be denied admission in any educational institution whether run by the government or a private (entity), solely on the ground of his/her HIV positive status (actual or perceived) or HIV positive status (actual or perceived) of his/her parents or guardians or any other member of the family," reads the notification.
He stated that such children who are the sufferers themselves or are living with their infected parents and guardians fall under the category of 'disadvantaged group' and none of the educational institutions will deny them admission solely on the above grounds.
"A proviso has also been clearly laid wherein no educational institution (public or private) will suspend or expel any child living with or infected by HIV/AIDS and there shall be no segregation of such children undergoing the trauma and they will be supported and enabled to attend the regular school with other children," he said.
The government has directed that no child will be compelled to disclose his status regarding this disease and no one will question the children about the status of their family/parents or guardians on the issue.
The spokesperson further said that the government will initiate strict action against any educational institution found guilty of violation of the guidelines laid in the notification.