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HIV positive driver sacked; Maharashtra to act

Jun 05, 2012 12:48 PM IST India India

Pune: Maharashtra Health Minister Suresh Shetty has promised to look into the case of a bus driver who was sacked by the state transport corporation last month for being an HIV positive. He said, "It is unfortunate if it is true. I will speak to the transport secretary about the dismissal of the HIV positive state transport bus driver. It is not the correct approach. I will need to find out more details."

The 41-year-old voluntarily disclosed his status to his employers in 2008. He had later asked to be shifted to a non-driving job as the condition had weakened him physically, rendering him unfit to drive.

But the STC chose to sack him instead citing norms that provide desk jobs for drivers only in cases of accidents and disabilities.

It's been two decades since the government launched its battle against discrimination of HIV positive people with an iconic advertisement, crores of rupees have been spent to counter persecution of the HIV infected.

But the campaign ironically has failed to eliminate prejudice even within the government departments.

Often condemned twice, the HIV affected are hopeful the HIV AIDS Bill will do what awareness campaigns have failed to.