Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Soro, Oct 14:
Tension prevailed at a village in Odisha after the family members of an HIV/AIDS infected patient were not allowed to conduct the funeral activities in the village cremation ground.
According to reports, the bizarre incident took place at Tentei village under Soro Block in Balasore district where the villagers were up in arms over the funeral of the HIV/AIDS infected at Hansiani Pada in the village.
The kin of the deceased had approached the local police and Tehsildar seeking intervention. The latter asked the Revenue Inspector (RI) to visit the village and persuade the men at odds to allow for the funeral. However, the villagers remained unrelented.
Following this stiff opposition, the family members lit the funeral pyre in front of their house.
The deceased Sushanta Mallick (name changed) aged around 35-36 years was working in Mumbai where he acquired the infection. Recently, he had moved to his native place here as he wasn’t keeping well. As his condition deteriorated, he was admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack where he died today, sources said.
Mallick’s wife is also HIV/AIDS infected and one of their children had also died of the disease earlier, sources added.
Notably, despite awareness campaigns and increase in literacy levels, HIV/AIDS still remains a taboo in society and the family members of the infected people still face discrimination, which is loud and clear from the above incident.