The Himachal Pradesh Government has made it mandatory for all the educational institutions of the State, both public and private, to provide admission to children perceived to be or actually infected with HIV/AIDS. This is to ensure that such children may not be deprived of their legitimate rights under the Right of Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, stated an official spokesperson here today.

The State Government, in its notification, strictly laid the norms that no educational institution will deprive the right of admission to the children infected by HIV/AIDS or whose parents, family members or guardians are suffering or perceived to be ailing from the fatal disease.

As per the notification, children, who are suffering for this dreaded disease or living with their infected parents and guardians, falls under the category of ‘disadvantaged group’ and none of the educational institution will deny them admission solely on the above grounds.

A proviso has also been clearly laid, wherein no educational institution (public & private) will suspend or expel any child living with or infected by HIV/AIDS and there shall be no segregation of such children undergoing the trauma and they will be supported and enabled to attend the regular school with other children.

The Government had further directed that no child will be compelled to disclose his status regarding the disease and no one will question from the children about the status of their family/parents or guardians on the issue.

The Government will initiate strict action against any such educational institution found guilty of violation of the guidelines laid in the notification.