Zee Media Bureau
Pratapgarh (Uttar Pradesh): The deep rooted prejudice and lack of awareness about AIDS has once again manifested itself, this time in a village in Uttar Pradesh where five children of AIDS victims are forced to live in a graveyard.
The five children - the youngest is just 7 years old - have been living in a graveyard after the death of their parents due to AIDS. Fearing that others may contract the virus from the children – four boys and one girl - their relatives and others forced them out of Jamua village three months back.
With nowhere to go they took refuge in the village graveyard, next to where their parents are buried. The oldest among the siblings is a boy aged 17.
A tattered tarpaulin tent under a tree and two broken cots are now home for them. And for food, they primarily depend on handouts by villagers.
However, they may not be left at peace even in the graveyard as some villagers now feel the children will "contaminate" the graves of their forebears and so want them to move out.
The government, expectedly, has reacted to the story by allotting them a home under the Indira Awas Yojna and a promise to bring the children back to the mainstream.