IMPHAL, Sep 29: People with HIV/AIDS succumbed more out of Stigma and Discrimination than actually killed by the dreaded virus. Manipur is today made known to rest of the world by various fields like sports, culture and other activities. The state is also known to the world due to its high rate of HIV/AIDS which however is worrisome.
This was stated by leader of the Opposition in the Manipur legislative assembly Radhabinod Koijam, MLA during a one day constituency level convention on HIV/AIDS held at Meitei Sanglen Thambalkhong under Kshetrigao assembly constituency.
The programme was a part of series of conventions being organised by the Manipur Legislators Forum in the effort to eradicate HIV/AIDS in the state.
Further speaking at the convention, Radhabinod said elected leaders of the people need to worked out on rooting out HIV/AIDS and also to prevent it for they are being elected by the people to something for betterment of the society.
While stating that Leprosy had been declared as national disease and several welfare schemes are being introduced for those affected by the disease, Radhabinod reminded and asked as to why HIV/AIDS which is more dangerous than Leprosy could not be declared as national disease.
Radhabinod further said families and people affected by HIV/AIDS should be given every opportunity and welfare schemes for their sustenance and survival.
While observing that children of HIV/AIDS affected person and unaffected orphanage of the dreaded disease should be given proper care and assistance for their future, the NCP leader called for having a thorough discussion on the matter.
Elected representatives have reached out to the people for a healthy Manipur and the initiative taken by the public leaders need support of the people, Radhabinod said and called upon people join hand with the elected representative on the issue.
Sushil Huidrom, state coordinator, UNAIDS, who also took part in the convention stated that Manipur ranked 6th in India in HIV/AIDS prevelance.
He also stated that there has been no sign of decrease of HIV/AIDS cases in the period between 1989 to 2010.
While stating that numerous measures taken up by various agencies to prevent and eradicate HIV/AIDS in Manipur remain unsuccessful, Sushil maintained that a political commitment is needed in the fight against the dreaded disease. It is becouse of this that Manipur Lagislative Forum has been formed and political leaders are joining hands with the people in the fight.
He also stated Manipur has a total of 36,372 HIV/AIDS affected person as of August, 2010.
In his speech at the convention, local MLA Th Nandakishore stated that people with HIV/AIDS living in Kshetrigao assembly constituency will be provided key inputs in giving assistance in form of self help group.
During the technical session, several resource person also spoked on various issues of HIV/AIDS. They also advised people living with HIV/AIDS not to let other people suffer due to the disease for mere sake of getting money.
The convention was also attended by Saikul MLA Doukhomang Kipgen.