There are around 145,000 children in India who are HIV+. Some of them, like Keshav, don’t even know the exact nature of the disease they have. Yet, they have to face prejudice and exclusion instead of understanding and acceptance. Keshav lives with his grandmother and elder brother in Maharashtra. Two months ago, his teacher at a Sasvad Village school asked him to not attend classes anymore. He was told that he should study at home and would be called to school when there was an exam.
Rohini Pawar then made this video and aired it at the school where Keshav had studied. After the viewing, the principal stated that he had no idea that Keshav had been discriminated against in this manner and asked him to rejoin the school. Keshav is now happy to be attending his classes again.
However, this is just one case that had a positive result. Children with HIV+ have been discriminated against in various schools. In 2009, 8 HIV+ children were asked to leave the Zila Parishad School in Hosegaon, Maharashtra. In 2010, 8 HIV+ students were expelled from DPS, Maruti Kunj, Gurgaon. In 2011, 29 HIV+ students were expelled from a government school in Perukaranai, Tamil Nadu. In 2012, a Madurai school banned a 12-year-old boy from entering the school.
Take a page from Rohini Pawar’s book and be an active community voice that speaks out against such discrimination.