The infected people cut across all section of society including civil servants, corporation/Pvt. employee, housewives, farmers, students, uniform personnel, commercial sex workers, religious groups etc. No one has been speared and for God sake not even our monks.
Yes, defiantly it will remain a concern and has been priority issue for the country. Since 1993 with first detected cases, government has been putting all its efforts to prevent and control the disease. Considering the priority, Her Queen Mother Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuk took an initiative and under the leadership of her queen mother, many programmes have been initiated right from the central level to grass root level.
Millions of money has been spent through the help of donor funding to support the programme. There is a continuous effort by the Government to educate the people on disease. Mult-Sectoral Task Force was formed right from Ministry level to Gewog level at the grassroots to help achieve the programme. Yet today, it still remains a concern and needs more efforts to address the issue.
In fact, the most courage’s move was taken by the patient themselves to form a NGO called Lhak-Sam in 2009 with aim of supporting each other. Now, again an unprecedented move is being contemplating by NGO to go public and reveal their identity and work for the cause.( Read: Kuensel Story)
Personally, I must bow down for courage of those people who wanted to support each other and work for the common cause. There were constant efforts and ideas by the patients voluntarily to go publicly and help society in many ways. So, it is time that society supports them and cheers them up.
Government can help them in many ways, religious leaders and group have immense role to play which is of course line with the Buddhism principle and media can play a very important role. What they need is our support at this time.
A simple message from Je Khenpo, Prime Minister and various Eminent Rinpoche’s will defiantly have strong hold and bearing in supporting the cause. And no explanation is needed when it comes to the role of media in such programmes. Above all, I believe each one of us who understands the situation can help in many ways.
I am sure, educated people will have no contrary argument when it comes to their voluntary will of going public and support the cause. But there may be certain reservation from our uneducated section of society owing to their innocence and it may not be very difficult to convince them. I understand the social stigma considering our conservative nature of our society but that is not enough reason to hold us back. Infact, we are very fortunate that our brothers and sisters who are infected with disease are willing enough to come forward and help the society.
If we fail today then I think we not only fail as a society, but may have to pay a huge price in future.
However, I would like to stress here that the choices should remain with those living with HIV/AIDS on decision to go public or choose to remain protecting their identity. As far as they are willing, our society should be able to support and help them.
TODAY I URGE EACH ONE OF US TO JOIN OUR HANDS AND SUPPORT OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS FOR THE GREATER CAUSE.