In an attempt to dispel misconceptions among general public that people become human immune virus positive by merely touching one another, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday told the state legislative assembly that he was ready to share a food plate with an HIV-positive person. Responding to queries raised by the members of the House during discussion on calling-attention motion moved by his party colleague, Subhash Phal Dessai, about the issue of admission of HIV-positive students in a Rivona school and threat by some parents to withdraw their wards from the school, Parrikar said that he would share the plate in which an HIV-positive person has eaten to prove that the disease was not transmitted by mere contact and dispel the myth. The Chief Minister also informed the House that HIV-positive students have been admitted to a school, which he declined to reveal in the interest of the children as also the public. He further said that if people could become HIV-positive by physical contact then almost all people would become HIV-positive.
“HIV is not transmitted like common cold and its virus dies within minutes if it was exposed to outside atmosphere,” he stated adding that one has to have trust in authorities. Replying to an alleged statement of a doctor that students could contract HIV through casual contacts with HIV-positive children, he urged the member to reveal the name of the doctor who made the statement so that action could be taken against him.
The Chief Minister said that the role of Fatima High School was not above board and that it, knowingly or unknowingly, leaked the information about the medical health of the students, which he added was against the provisions of Right to Information Act. The government would probe the conduct of school authorities, he told the House.
The school also was involved in another violation as it showed the children in question as its students but in reality they were housed in an orphanage run by Nitya Seva Niketan, which availed funds under a scheme for “left-out” children. The school also had their names enrolled and benefit under mid-day meal scheme was availed by it, the Chief Minister informed.