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World AIDS Orphans’ Day Observed

IMPHAL, May 7: Along with taking out a rally to spread the message of ensuring the rights due to every child to HIV affected children as well, World AIDS Orphans’ Day was observed at the Singjamei Chongtham Leikai office of FXB India Suraksha, Manipur Branch here today.

To mark the occasion, a panel discussion on the issues related to AIDS orphans including education, nutrition, property inheritance and other rights due to every child was held.

Representatives of NGOs, community leaders, human rights activists and Government officials were among those who participated in the discussion session moderated by senior journalist Irengbam Arun. Child rights activist K Pradipkumar, human rights activist W Joykumar, Nurse Radharani of JNIMS and Project Director of ICDS, Social Welfare Department M Ranjana were among the panelists who participated in the discussion session.

In his observance, Pradipkumar stressed on the need for enacting special laws to protect the rights of HIV/AIDS affected children and pointed out that framing of policy on children has not been of any use to the children as such policies are beyond the jurisdiction of law.  So, to ensure proper implementation of the policies, there is need to enact related laws.

He further pointed out that to ensure successful implementation of Rights to Education Act that guarantee compulsory education to all the children, we need to understand the provisions of the Act thoroughly.

Under this Act, education is to be provided free of cost in all aspects in all Government schools whereas in the private schools it would be 25 percent free. If any of the rightful and deserving children were deprived of this benefit, then complaint could be lodged in the law court, Pradipkumar explained.

Radharani said that it is unfortunate that inspite of the seriousness of the issue over HIV/AIDS in Manipur today, there has been no facilities for PCR machines in the State so far. With the help of PCR machines, we could detect whether a newly born child has been affected with HIV or not very easily. This would in turn help in taking up necessary health care measures for the child.

Joykumar alleged that the welfare schemes being taken up by the Government of Manipur are being misused as vote banks. Old Age Pension, Family Benefit Scheme, Widow Scheme, IAY scheme, etc are being implemented through the respective local MLAs and the deserving ones are being left out. Such arrangements have also given a serious impact on the lives of children affected with HIV.

Earlier, a large number of children and their family members took out a rally upto Singjamei Super Market. Gifts and mementos were also presented among the FXB beneficiaries and talented children at the occasion.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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