Denying HIV positive kids education violates SC notice

TNN | Jul 10, 2014, 02.51 AM IST

PANAJI: Children's Rights in Goa (CRG) issued a statement on Wednesday stating that the denial of admission to 13 HIV positive children to the school in Rivona would be a violation of a recent Supreme Court notice that has asked the central government and states to declare HIV positive children as a disadvantaged group under the Right to Education (RTE) Act to ensure they get education without discrimination.

"CRG is anguished with the response of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of Fatima High School at Rivona, who are threatening to boycott the school if the management gives admission to 13 HIV positive students. Denying admission to children affected with HIV is a violation of the rights of the child under the Indian Constitution, child-related laws in India and international covenants that India has ratified," the CRG has said.

It has pointed out that the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act guarantees education to all children irrespective of any illness, caste, creed and disability. Section 9 (c) ensures that ?the child belonging to weaker sections and the child belonging to disadvantaged groups are not discriminated against and prevented from pursuing and completing elementary education on any grounds.'

"One would have thought that most people would be aware that HIV is not contagious and cannot be spread if a child sits next to a child infected with HIV. We also appeal to all parents of Goa not to resort to such kind of discriminatory behaviour towards HIV affected children. They too have dreams to study like any other child," the CRG statement said.