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Plight of orphans stressed on ‘AIDS Orphans’ Day’
Correspondent KOHIMA, MAY 7 (NPN):
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Published on 8 May. 2011 12:27 AM IST
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‘World AIDS Orphans Day’ was observed on Saturday with a programme held on the theme ‘Child’s Rights’ at Academy Hall Kohima.
President, Naga Mothers’ Association, Abeiü Meru who was the chief guest, called upon the gathering to address issues of stigma and discrimination against AIDS orphans.
She stated that there were more than 25 million children worldwide who have lost one or both parents to AIDS, and that the impact of AIDS orphans was catastrophic in the society. NMA president further stated ‘World AIDS Orphans Day’ was a call to take immediate action in-order to help the vulnerable lot in the society. Meru asserted that a long term response supported by political will would be effective in meeting the plight of AIDS orphans.
Additional director of health and family welfare, Dr. Neiphi Kire said ‘AIDS Orphans Day’ was declared on May 7 in the state by the Government of Nagaland in 2007 and since then, the state had been observing the day to reach out and address the plight of AIDS orphans.
Dr. Kire pointed out that despite various campaigns carried out; there was still fear in the eyes of orphans which bars them from disclosing their identity or from receiving help. He added that there had been no thorough study done by the state on AIDS Orphans so far, but affirmed it should not deter the people from reaching out to orphans. He called upon the people and organizations not to only depend on donors or foreign agencies to address the needs of the orphans, but show their solidarity, care and attention to the orphans.
Project director of NSACS Dr. N. L. Changkija said ‘World AIDS Orphans Day’ should not be just observed, but transform what has been discussed into positive action. She urged the gathering to spread the message that AIDS orphans are an unfortunate lot who need a lot of love, care and understanding.
A one minute silence was observed in remembrance of all who lost their lives to AIDS. Songs were presented by Natsali and friends; Toshinaro, NSACS Naga Idol 2008; Red Ribbon Club of Sazolie College and Kenei, NSACS Rock Reach Brand ambassador.
The programme was organized by Nagaland State AIDS Control Society in collaboration with FXB Action Network.
JALUKIE: On the occasion of ‘World AIDS Orphans Day’ on May 7, ‘Legacy Explorers’ appealed to all on behalf of children orphaned by AIDS feel the emotion and sentiment of infected and affected children orphaned by AIDS.
Quoting Kofi Annan, director of Legacy Explorers Irangbui Hingleu said, “The global HIV and AIDS epidemic is an unprecedented crisis that requires an unprecedented response. In particular it requires solidarity -- between the healthy and the sick, between rich and poor, and above all, between richer and poorer nations. We have 30 million orphans already. How many more do we have to get, to wake up?” -
‘Legacy Explorers’ further urged the people to let the day be an occasion where people can be brought together to fight stigma against the dreaded virus.

 
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