The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the West Bengal government following reports that an HIV positive boy was removed from a school in South 24-Parganas district.
The Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that a private school in Bishnupur area of South 24-Parganas banned an HIV positive student and also forced his maternal grandmother, a teacher in the same school, to take a ‘purity test’ and since then she has been a target to repeated verbal abuse.
“The content of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of the victim, most importantly, the Right to Education of the seven-year-old boy,” the Commission observed while issuing notice to the state Chief Secretary calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.
The Commission has also observed that this is a sad state of affairs. “It is the lack of awareness among the people about HIV/AIDS that breeds the stigma, prejudice, fear and the consequent discrimination of the victims,” it said.
According to the media report, dated November 20, the seven-year-old boy upon being tested HIV+, five months ago, was asked to leave the school after the confidential report about his health status was leaked and the parents of several children signed a petition demanding his ouster. Reportedly, both the parents of the child are also HIV positive.