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Five HIV-positive Children Ousted from Kerala School

Five HIV-positive children were turned out of a school in Kerala after protests from parents of other children. //

The MDLP School near Pampady district dismissed the children Wednesday after people threatened to withdraw their children from the school if the infected children continued to study here.

The children - a boy in kindergarten, two girls in Class 2 and two girls in Class 4 - are inmates of Asha Kiran, an NGO formed under the aegis of the Kottayam District Orphanage Association, which has 138 orphanages in the district.

Asha Kiran was inaugurated on Worlds Aids Day Dec 1 last year by then chief minister Oommen Chandy. Eight children and their five mothers are currently lodged in the home.

'After a written request from the school authorities, which said the children's continued presence would spell trouble for them, I decided to withdraw them,' P.C. Yohanan Ramban, Asha Kiran secretary, told IANS.

'These children began their schooling this academic year and the issue surfaced last week. I have nothing against the school. I now look to the government to formulate a plan for taking care of such children,' added Ramban, who is also a member of the Orphanage Control Board in Kerala.

'The children are now being taught by teachers of another school,' he said.

State Health Minister P.K. Sreemathi has decided to send a project director of the AIDS Control Society to begin a door-to-door campaign at the Pampady village to spread awareness about HIV.

'I am going there myself to make an on-the-spot study and have a meeting with all the village council members,' he said.


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