A government-aided school in the city on Tuesday turned away a 15-year-old girl after admitting her upon learning that she is HIV positive. But it took her back after activists staged a protest on the school premises and intervention from the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society and the Department of School Education.
The girl, an orphan from Pollachi, was an inmate of a home run here for persons with HIV. She was admitted to the C.S.I. Girls’ Higher Secondary School at Uppilipalayam recently by Vihan Care and Support Project for Positive People, which was part of the Coimbatore Network for Positive People. Vihan Care’s project coordinator M. Somesh said her classmates were now aware of her health status and in all probability, would treat her differently. She was an inmate of Mercy Home in Puliakulam where there are 17 children and eight adults, all HIV positive. Most of the children are studying in government, aided or private schools, according to its trustee R. Riyaz.
Joy Elizabeth, Correspondent of the school, had earlier said the girl’s guardians did not inform the school prior to admission that she was HIV positive and that despite receiving aid from the government, the school must consult its management before taking such a decision.
However, following talks with District AIDS Prevention Control Unit and some intervention from senior levels of the School Education Department, the management agreed to take her back.