A nine-year-old HIV positive boy Anshu Lal and his healthy brother and sister — all orphans — were shooed away from school by its headmaster at a village in Allahabad district on Saturday.
The district’s basic education officer is reported to have initiated disciplinary action against the headmaster.
Anshu’s father Munna Lal, a municipal employee, had died of AIDS in 2005 at the age if 35. The child’s mother, Sunita Lal, too died the same year after giving birth to the couple’s second son Ashish, who is now four. Anshu’s sister Sandhya is aged around seven.
After the couple’s death, the children’s maternal uncle, Rajnarain Mali took them to his village and had them admitted to school. The orphans were tested for HIV and it was found that Ashu tested positive.
Dr Muhammad Alam Ansari, who is treating Anshu, spoke to the village headman on the phone, telling him about popular misconceptions about AIDS. The doctor even assured the headman that he would visit the village and educate people on dealing with HIV positive cases.
After word got around that Ashu was afflicted by HIV, villagers became reluctant to send their children to school. This may have prompted the headmaster to tell Ashu and his siblings to stay away, said official sources, unwilling to be named.