Abandoned girls get help
The two minor orphan girls who had been shunned by their family and village on the suspicion of being HIV-positive were on Thursday shifted to a town for tests, and treatment, if needed, reports Utpal Parashar.india Updated: Nov 07, 2008 01:29 IST
The two minor orphan girls who had been shunned by their family and village on the suspicion of being HIV-positive were on Thursday shifted to a town for tests, and treatment, if needed.
The Hindustan Times had on Thursday written about the two sisters and during the day, the district administration made arrangements for the girls to be taken to Chamba in Tehri district.
For the last 10 days, the siblings had been living all by themselves in an abandoned house in Anthwalgaon village in Tehri district, 200km from here.
Thursday morning, a team led by the Ghansali sub-divisional magistrate and Tehri deputy chief medical officer reached the village and took away the two girls.
“The girls have been taken to a mother NGO for HIV/AIDS patients affiliated to the National Rural Health Mission, where three tests would be conducted on them to find out if they have the disease,” Tehri District Magistrate Soujanya, who only uses one name, said.
The sisters lost their parents to AIDS — the mother died on September 13 and the father passed away a month later. Their maternal grandmother took charge of them and brought them to Anthwalgaon from Mumbai. But the girls were abandoned when doctors at a private hospital in Narendra Nagar told the grandmother that both were HIV-positive.
“If the tests at Chamba confirm that they are infected with the virus, both the girls would be taken to Doon Hospital in Dehradun for further tests and treatment. We’re also trying to arrange for their rehabilitation in the state capital,” said Soujanya.
Taking note of lack of awareness, and misconceptions the villagers have about AIDS, the district administration has sent a health department team to Anthwalgaon.
The sisters’ plight has also brought to light the absence of a community care centre for HIV/AIDS patients in the state. Such centres offer shelter as well as treatment to patients shunned by their families.
“Most states have such centres where patients, like the two girls, can get good care. But Uttarakhand is yet to have such a facility which leads to HIV/AIDS patients getting humiliated and being abandoned,” said Kamal Bahuguna, executive director, Hifeed, a Doon-based NGO working with HIV/AIDS patients.
First Published: Nov 07, 2008 01:27 IST