Care home owner asks HIV inflicted kids to leave

The children had shifted from Jagatpura to the care home at the upmarket Bharat Marg, Hanuman Nagar on Khatipura Road on November 3 this year. But, within a week, they were asked to leave. These children, in the age group of four to 14 years, have come to Jaipur from various districts.

For Rs 30,000 a month, they got four bedrooms, two floors and enough space for nine adult care-givers, who cook for them and drive them to school. The expenses are paid for by an NGO called The Rajasthan Network for Positive People which is in turn funded largely by Keep A Child Alive, an international organisation supported by Grammy winner Alicia Keys.

It was Keep A Child Alive that insisted the children move to a better area where they could enjoy parks and a good school.

The children lead a normal life - school in the morning and homework and games in the evening. The landlord, moved by their story, dropped the rent by Rs 20,000 when he gave his house to them. But neighbours have been resisting their presence in the neighbourhood.  “We were told that your children have HIV, and neighbours in the area object their presence here, so please vacate the house,” said Mona Balani, one of the adults who is working closely with the children.

“It is a violation of human rights and discrimination against them for we were asked to move them out of the house for their being HIVpositive”, Brijesh Dubey, president of Rajasthan Network For People Living With HIV/AIDS, said.

“He asked us to come to the care home and when we reached there he told us the children should leave the place immediately. When we sought the reason, he replied that they could not live here because the people in neighbourhood strongly oppose it and have filed a complaint with the society president.”

Dubey said the action was wrong as they have done nothing to harm people living nearby. The landlord stated he cannot go against society and that these children should leave immediately. He added that he had also decided to cancel the rent agreement.
The children have no option except to plead with the district collector. The representatives of the children met collector Navin Mahajan regarding the matter. Mahajan said, “We have constituted a team of district administration and policemen who will counsel the people about HIV/AIDS.”

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