New Delhi: People living with HIV, social activists and non-governmental organisations (NGO) organised a walk in the capital Monday, urging leaders to pass the pending HIV/AIDS bill.
The bill will protect the rights of the HIV-afflicted and work towards zero discrimination against them.
"Statistics don't bleed, but people bleed. In our work with around 40,000 children affected by HIV and AIDS across the country, we have seen their families have been denied the right to dignified life and treatment because of the stigma attached to the disease. A legal protection would go a long way in ensuring these children are able to access their rights," said Jayakumar Christian, national director, World Vision India.
The HIV/AIDS bill has been pending with the government for the past five years. After being finalised by the health ministry in August 2006, the bill was submitted to the law ministry in September 2007.
"When we first started talking about the HIV/AIDS bill, we were talking about how our children needed to be taken care of. Today, those children are adults waiting to be married, and have a different set of problems, but there is no law yet," said Daisy David, first woman in India to raise her voice for free distribution of Anti-Retroviral Therapy.