Residents of Unnao Village Want Name Changed After HIV Linkage, Fear Social Stigma

While quack Rajesh Yadav was held responsible for spreading the virus by using a single syringe in Unnao’s Bangermau area, the government doctors in Pakistan suspect that the virus broke out in the village due to a 'local practitioner', Allah Ditta, who himself was an AIDS patient.

Lucknow: Residents of the village in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district want its name changed after more than 40 people were found infected with HIV.

After reports in the media about the incident emerged, residents of the village Prem Ganj demanded that the name of their village be changed due to social stigma.

They believe that the media coverage of the incident and statements made by officials of the health department showcased the village in a negative manner.

According to local residents of Prem Ganj, now their vicinity is known as “AIDS wala mohalla”.

“Now people associate our village with AIDS and this is very disgusting and it hurts the sentiments of the people residing here. There have been cases from other villages too, but the entire media and health department officials are just highlighting Prem Ganj,” a youth from the village said.

Overall, 58 people have been found injected from HIV in three village of Bangarmau, namely Prem Ganj, Chakmir and Kirmidiyapur, allegedly after a quack used a single syringe to administer injections to multiple people. A total of 33 people were detected at a blood donation camp which had been organised on 3rd February while 25 were found infected with HIV last year.

Another local youngster said, “Some people in media are spreading false news about brothels being run in our village, which is wrong. We all want health facilities in our village but at the same time no one has the right to allege that flesh trade is being run in our vicinity.”

Taking note of the sentiments of the local residents, corporator Sunil Kumar has already given a memorandum to the district administration and has raised a request to change the name of the village. “It’s due to fear that the stigma will isolate them, majority of locals have requested me to get the name of Prem Ganj change soon to avoid social stigma,” he said.

Locals are planning to meet the District Magistrate to demand the name change. A panchayat is also on the cards before meeting DM. After getting the permission from district officials, a resolution will be passed in a panchayat again to decide the new name of the village.

As per reports, a group of women in Prem Ganj chased out visiting journalists who are running news of flesh trade in the locality. Local women have also decided to submit a written complaint and a memorandum with the DM to seek strict action against those spreading rumours about the patients, who were already undergone enough trauma.