It was in 2003 that Akshara R of Kannur district first appeared in the news, as she had been ostracized from school for being HIV-positive. When she and her HIV-infected brother were denied admission in a lower primary school in Kottiyoor in Kannur district, her mother K Rema fought for a year to secure formal education for her children.
Now after 13 years Akshara is facing the same situation with the authorities of WIRAS college in Kannur, where she studies, who asked her to shift out of the college hostel and made her move to a charitable organisation where the aged and mentally challenged persons reside.
“On January 26 two teachers visited my house and informed us that two of my friends have vacated hostel because of me. One was my roommate and the other student stayed next to my room. So they asked me to shift from hostel. I did not go to college for some days after that as I was depressed to hear about it. Later when I met those two students from college they behaved very well, so I did not ask them,” Akshara told The News Minute.
Akshara stayed in hostel for two more days, at which point she was asked to move to this charity organisation. “They said a person like me will not get admission in other hostels, so I was shifted to this institution,” she said.
She said that she was planning to quit the college because of this episode. She says that though many of her friends and college mates know about her medical situation nobody has yet discriminated against her.
Akshara, who is in the first year of her Psychology BA is more concerned about her exams next month.
“The journey from my home to college takes almost three to four hours, so I cannot continue as a day scholar. Next month I have got my second semester exams. So the only option left for me is to leave the college,” she said.
After the news first broke on Asianet News, the college management responded saying that they have not asked her to leave the college and that some of the hostel students’ parents have misunderstood the situation.
Following this district collector P Bala Kiran had ordered enquiry in to the issue. College Principal PA Juneed told The News Minute that they wanted Akshara to continue to study in the same college. He said the whole situation was a misunderstanding and that it will be resolved soon.
According to recent reports the school authorities have informed district collector that they are even ready to adopt and sponsor Akshara and her mother.
But Akshara insists that neither she nor her mother need an adoption or sponsorship.
“My mother doesn’t need to be adopted, and neither do I. We don’t need that, I just have to continue my studies,” she told TNM.
Editor’s note : Akshara’s name and photograph have been published as she insisted that her identity to be known. Thanks: The News Minute for obtaining written permission from her as Indian law does not allow the identities of HIV positive people to made public