The constitution of Kingdom of Bhutan under the article seven, the fundamental right states “all persons are equal before law and are entitled to equal and effective protection of the law and shall not be discriminated against on the ground of race, sex, language, religion, politics or other status”
This exactly applies to five brave individuals who disclosed their identity as HIV status on Bhutan Broadcasting Services, the national television on 1st December 2011. It was an inspiring courage and selfless act of those individuals and personally, I would like to congrats them as a concern citizen for their bravery. Their appearance on the national television was shocking to many of the peoples around the nation, not as a HIV Patient but for their guts to appear. Particularly I have an enormous admiration to all of them individually, for the message they carried along with their appearance on the television.
The personal notion of a HIV patient was very different during my tender age. I fear the name of the diseases itself and gave me horror as soon as I heard people with the diseases identity. I would be reluctant to go near those victims and avoid at far distant. The similar behaviour was also seen with my friends and usually we do gather in one of the corner to discuss and jeer as a united, but now when I realize, they are like you and me. They are no different than every one of us, the diseases is like any other diseases, although it appear terrible in the eye of society with stigmatization and discrimination.
Now to understand them really, why don’t we assume their status? How would we think and what would be our reaction to the society if they look upon with that stigma. What would we imagine to different level of discrimination from relatives, office goers, parents, and community? I think with the pressures from different level of society the solution available would be suicide and do we think, that is the moral encouragement in the society of Gross National Happiness?
Now listening to the experiences, from those HIV infected, I felt extremely sorry and pity for my misconception. The physical pain of austerity and emotional fear of death they explain gave me strong blow at heart. The multi level of prejudice and criticism from humanity and disgrace situation they came across made their environment unfeasible to show their face.
The ways of treatment to those victims are no different than animals; even I feel animals are happy and better. They are neglected and considered as lifeless body that would take all the blames. Does it sound right? I guess NO.
The story needs revolution, the commitment from people, to support morally and treat as any other normal human being. We should clear those stigmas the society is bound with. Be compassionate and let our victim execute their fundamental right after all we are Buddhist.
December 1st is observed as International HIV and AIDs day. The day in Bhutan is observed in the capital city, Thimphu with those five brave and selfless individual who disclosed their identities as HIV status. The theme for the year was “ZERO NEW INFECTION AND ZERO DISCRIMINATION OF HIV INFECTION”