The two boys had been adopted by Anandaghar in Gobindapur, South 24–Parganas, after they lost their parents to AIDS. Anandaghar is the only home in the state that houses HIV–positive orphans. The two attended a primary school nearby, from where they passed Class IV last year. Their ordeal started when they were denied admission by Langolberia Suraj Smriti Vidyamandir (LSSV), the nearest school, in April.
Numerous appeals to West Bengal State AIDS Prevention and Control Society did not yield any result. “We are trying to resolve it. But the issue is sensitive and if publicised, these children may face further problems. It is better to keep it under the carpet for now,” school education minister Partha De had said.
TOI carried a report on the boys’ plight on November 26 last year. A week later, two days after World AIDS Day, the director of the school education department shot off a letter to the LSSV school committee to admit the two children and also send a progress report.
Four days ago, the school committee, which had earlier denied admission to the boys on the grounds that parents of other students objected, gave in. After compiling all formalities, Samir and Anjan were given admission.
“We were worried about the future of the other inmates of Anadaghar, as eight more need to move to a higher secondary school from the next academic session. LSSV is the closest school to Anandaghar and if the school committee had succeeded in denying the two boys admission, it could have done the same with the other boys, too,” said Kallol Ghosh, secretary of the Organisation For Friends Energy & Resources (OFFER), the NGO that runs Anandaghar.
Samir was brought from Bongaon to the home in 2007 after he lost his parents to AIDS. Anjan, too, landed there under similar circumstances from Howrah’s Domjur in 2008. The prospect of going back to school from February 25 has brought back the smiles on their faces.
Source: Times of India