Not only have the villagers stopped them from using the village pond and tube well, they even tied up Sushant Naik (name changed) to a tree, beat him up and threw human excreta at him on one occasion.
The couple’s sorry plight came to light on Monday, when Naik and his wife, of Bhairagada village located about 70 km from the district headquarters town of Rayagada under Muniguda block, met collector Sashi Bhushan Padhi at his grievance cell and told him about their experience.
The couple were diagnosed HIV positive in 2012 when their blood samples were examined during the woman’s pregnancy. “On the advice of doctors, we immediately started taking medicines and my wife delivered a son at Koraput hospital. By the grace of God, our son is not affected by HIV,” said Naik. However, the dalit couple’s happiness over the birth of their child didn’t last long as the news about their disease reached the village. The villagers soon started ostracizing the couple and placed several restrictions on the family.