Bhubaneswar: A young Dalit couple from Bhairabagarh village of Naxal-affected Rayagada district has been boycotted for being affected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
The couple are being treated in an unjust manner by the villagers for the past two years, so much so, that they are not even allowed to walk down the streets of their village. They are also not being allowed to take a bath in the common river or collect drinking water from the common tube well.
Babuli Gardia, the victim, said, "They have denied us to collect drinking water from the tube well, use water from the river and walk on the street road."
"Everyone hates us and ask to leave the village. We went to Muniguda and stayed there for six months, but the situation turned same there as well," she added.
"One day one of our brothers fell sick, my uncles came to take him to the hospital but the villagers misbehaved with them. My relatives were attacked and then socially boycotted like us," the victim added.
The couple alleged that the villagers have been behaving with them so nastily that one day they were asked to apply human tools on their heads and walk in the street.
Umasankar Garadia, the second victim, said, "The villagers told us that since you are suffering from AIDS we will also be affected unless you leave the village."
"The government has not helped us in any form. We want to request the government to give us the BPL card and a lot us a house as well," he added.
With much expectation to get some help and solution from the police, the couple often tried going to their nearby police station but they were ignored there as well.
The victims stated that they feel so isolated, neglected and rejected by their villagers that they do not want to live any longer.
While they themselves find it extremely difficult to face the social boycott, their problem becomes double when they think of the future of their only child. They say that they are alive today only to look after and give their love and affection to their child.
They want to be accepted by their village mates and come back to the mainstream of the society, but the impediment of HIV has become a major block for them.
Finding no hope, support and peace from any one or anywhere, they are now working as coolies at the Muniguda railway station to earn their livelihood.
Although the government has been trying to make aware the people about this deadly disease by arranging lots of programme and giving many slogans, but this incident reflects the government's failure.