Five HIV-positive children, who fought their way back to a Kottayam school this week, could not, however, douse the anger of the parents of their classmates.
Upset with the re-admission of these HIV-positive children, the parents of other children have withdrawn their wards from the Mar Dionysus Lower Primary School, Kottayam.
Out of 61 students, only 11 attended the school on Friday. The school management has now called the Parents Teachers’ Association meeting on Monday.
Meanwhile, many parents have approached the headmistress for the transfer certificate of their children.
But the state education department has strictly instructed the government-aided school not to issue any such certificate.
“Some of the parents came to inform me that they are not ready to take any risk. I tried to convince them, but they were adamant,” headmistress Elsamma Mani told the Hindustan Times.
Last Monday, one boy and four girls, in the age group of 5-11, were allowed to enter the school after six-month isolation due to their HIV positive status.
But the next day, the headmistress sent them back saying some of them had developed high fever. Under tremendous pressure from the government and voluntary bodies, they were finally re-admitted on Thursday.
Their appearance at a World Aids Day function in December 2006 made all the difference. Once the media splashed their photographs, they were thrown out of the school in February this year.
“I am really scared of sending my children to the school. We know the HIV will not spread by mere touching or cajoling. But we don’t want to take any chance,” one of the parents, whom two children are studying in the school, said.