The alleged discrimination over the admission of a 15-year-old HIV positive boy at a government in Perambalur, has propelled the the Director of School Education into action. ToI reports that director S Kanappan has sought a report on the denial of admission and directed the district Chief Education Officer to ensure that the student is allowed to join the school.
According to reports, Kumar* studied at this school till Class 8 but shifted to another government-run institution when his mother passed away. He however wanted to return to the first school to continue class 10. When he approached the headmaster, K Kamaraj, he was told to attend classes for a week. The recently appointed headmaster stated that Kumar will be evaluated for a week and then a decision taken on whether he can stay.
However, TNIE reports that Kamraj discovered that Kumar was HIV positive within days of this decision and forced him to drop out. Following this, on Wednesday, Kumar's family demanded an explanation from the school.
This is then resulted in an argument with Kamaraj and the boy's aunt has told ToI that her nephew was being discriminated against because he was HIV positive. His father, who is also HIV positive, alleged the same.
Even the CEO K Arularangan, who they next approached, reportedly gave the headmaster a long rope and offered to admit Kumar to a government school in the neighbouring village. Relatives told TNIE that the CEO claimed other boys in the school might feel ‘uncomfortable’ and that the headmaster was an ‘adamant person’.
However following media reports, the CEO has now admitted that the headmaster could have handled the situation better and promised admission to the student. The government has promised to look after the boy's admission as well but his relatives have demanded action against the headmaster.
But the president of the parent teachers association A Raghavan pointed out that this episode is likely to affect the student.
"The boy used to travel all the way to Chennai every month to get his tablets from a government hospital instead of procuring it from Perambalur. He didn't want people in the village and his classmates to know about his ailment but now the entire village knows about it after the episode," he told ToI.