HIV+kids: Carriers by accident, victimised by choice
Kerala. God's own country. The state with near cent per cent literacy. Yet in the same state five young children below the age of ten are forced to remain illiterate due to ignorance of the society around them.Updated: Nov 29, 2005 20:49 IST
Kerala. God's own country. The state with near100 per cent literacy. Yet in the same state fivechildren below the age of ten are forced to remain illiterate due to ignorance of the society around them.
The lives of Bency and Benson, Aswathy and Ananthakrishnan and Vidya, all of who were tested positive, show that literacy has not had an impact on people dealing with HIV/AIDS. At an age when the childrenshould find love, a disease that should fetch them sympathy, what they get are revulsion and negligence. They have been barred out by kids their age and dreaded by adults.
All the five children have been denied basic education, in a state with the highest literacy level, confirming that the so-called political acumen, progressiveness and learning in which the state takes pride, have failed to produce any kind of positive effects on the public.
The siblings, Bency,aged seven, and Benson, five, are perhaps two of the most recognised children in Kerala today and the only two in the history of the state to have sat on a fast to obtain schooling.
The children lost both their parents to AIDS three years ago and are supported by their grandfather, formerly a soldierin the Indian Army. After being driven out from as many as five schools in a single academic year, the children along with their grandfather sat on a fast in front of the State Secretariat, which forced the government to take action. Even that was difficult, since parents of other children where not willing to send their wards to a school where two AIDS patients studied.
First Published: Dec 05, 2003 17:21 IST