HIV + workers sacked by TN college
Despite several awareness drives about HIV/AIDS, the stigma attached to it rears its head out every now and then.
An engineering college in Tamil Nadu has sacked workers because they are HIV positive.
One of the workers, a 38-year-old lady has faced a double blow. After her husband died five years ago, she took up a job as a cook in the hostel of the private engineering college in Tamil Nadu`s Dindigul district.
During a regular health check-up conducted by the institution for it's staff, she tested HIV positive along with three other colleagues. The college authorities sacked all four of them immediately.
"I have been working here for three years. After Pongal festival when I underwent a check up, I was confirmed of HIV. The hostel warden told me that I cannot continue working here," said the lady.
The college claims the employees stopped coming to work on their own after the tests. The government's HIV awareness drive may have helped changed mindsets in some parts of Tamil Nadu, but there's clearly a long way to go in fighting the stigma attached to this condition.
Just recently, in another part of Tamil Nadu, a HIV positive lady was elected Panchayat president.
Meanwhile, the Health Secretary of the state has told NDTV that he will have the workers re-instated.
"What the college management has done is wrong. I've asked my local officials to talk to them and see that they are taken back," said V K Subburaj, health secretary, Tamil Nadu.
The law clearly says no one can be denied a job on the ground that they are HIV positive. But in practice, such instances of discrimination surface regularly.