Kolkata, Feb 19 (IANS) A HIV(+) special educator employed with a special education center for counselling and training of specially-abled children at Barasat in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal has been asked by the centre authorities to go an indefinite leave just as he joined back duty five days after his marriage with his partner, who is also HIV(+).
Both met at Ananda Ghar (house of joy), a home for HIV(+) positive children run by Offer India in Kolkata. While the bride, who is working as the floor manager of a cafe in Kolkata, was brought up at Ananda Ghar, the groom got associated with the home at a later stage.
The founder and director of Offer India Kallol Ghosh told IANS that the Ananda Ghar authorities arranged their marriage recently with a lot of fanfare and enthusiasm, which was participated by 400 invitees from different walks of the society.
“The pictures of their wedding went viral on social media. However, five days after the marriage when the groom joined back his duty at the special education centre, the centre head called him to his room and accused him of joining the centre after suppressing that he is HIV(+). As per existing legal provision, an HIV(+) person is not bound to declare that unless he joins the core medical sector,” Ghosh explained.
Thereafter the centre head asked the groom to go on an indefinite leave. “He even told him that there is immense pressure from the guardians of the children associated with the centre that the groom should no longer be associated with them. Thereafter, the centre head asked him to go on an indefinite leave and also said that the centre authorities will consider whether he will join back duty in future after HIV tests are conducted for the children associated with the centre. What is most unfortunate is the centre head himself is a doctor,” Ghosh said.
“Oh my god! How could he do that/” was the first reaction from city- based renowned physician Dr Udipta Roy when IANS contacted him for his comments and detailed the development. “Infection happens through sexual intercourse or blood transmission or infected needles in case of drug. Forget touching and shaking hands, infection does not even happen in case of normal kissing. This is most unfortunate that the discrimination against that unfortunate groom has been done from an educated brain and who has a medical degree,” Dr Roy said.
Senior counsel of Calcutta High Court, Kaushik Gupta told IANS, as per the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act, no person can be discriminated at his or workplace for being HIV (+). “The centre head has clearly violated the provisions of the Act that bars discrimination. The victim groom has every right to sue the centre on grounds of discrimination,” Gupta said.