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Times of India: Govt told to give shelter to five AIDS patients

Govt told to give shelter to five AIDS patients
from the Times of India, September 29, 2011

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Wednesday asked the Centre to provide shelter to five terminally ill HIV/AIDS patients, who approached court, seeking relief.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Mishra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna asked the government to step in and ensure that the patients, who are also the petitioners, are provided shelter and are no longer abandoned.

Earlier, the petitioners had highlighted their plight before court and pointed out that the tussle between different departments of the government had resulted in them being rendered homeless. They had added that they were forced to live with mentally challenged women.

One of the petitioners, Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury, informed the bench that the five persons were being taken care of by her organization, the Shramik Referral Centre for People Living with HIV/AIDS; however, they were rendered homeless after being evicted from the building that housed the centre and had nowhere to go. Both their families and the government had dispossessed the petitioners for no fault of theirs and simply because they were HIV positive, the petitioners said.

They also pointed out that the HIV/AIDS infected destitute people need a facility of hospice, a night shelter or a halfway home and long-staying home for survival, well-being, continuing medical care and nutritional support. The evicted persons, who used to work as labourers in the unorganized sector, need labour welfare centres for holistic single-window service for their care and support. “It is very difficult for the destitute, people of the street to manage and exist with HIV/AIDS infection and its numerous associated complications,” Chaudhury said in her plea, urging the court to intervene.

Seeing the gravity of the situation, the bench asked the Central government to seek instructions from the individual departments and government organizations like the National AIIDS Control Organization so that the affected persons get speedy relief. It posted the case for an early hearing next month.



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