Monday, 07 August 2017 07:20



A 10-year-old girl who is pregnant and has been refused an abortion.

A 10-year-old girl who is pregnant and has been refused an abortion.

The girl became pregnant after allegedly being repeatedly raped by a relative.

That relative is now in jail, pending trial.

The girl in question has been described as a happy child who smiles easily.

She's shy and not very talkative.

English and mathematics are the favourite subjects of this class six student.

She loves to draw and is pretty good at it. She can't get enough of her favourite cartoon shows Chhoti Anandi (Little Anandi) and Shin Chan.

She loves chicken and fish and ice-cream.

But on 28 July, India's Supreme Court rejected a petition - filed on her behalf - to allow her to abort, on the grounds that at 32 weeks, she is too far into her pregnancy.

A doctors' panel had advised the court that a termination at this stage would be "too risky" for the girl, and that the foetus was "doing well".

The court order was a huge disappointment for the girl's family.

Indian law does not allow terminations after 20 weeks unless doctors certify that the mother's life is in danger.

Someone who interacts with the girl on a regular basis says: "She's very innocent and has no idea what's happened to her."

Her parents also missed the telltale signs, perhaps because she's "a healthy, chubby child". Besides, they couldn't imagine even in their wildest nightmares that their daughter could be pregnant at 10.

The child has still not been told about her pregnancy and, for those dealing with her, talking to her is like treading on eggshells.

She has been told that she has a big stone in her stomach and the bulge is because of that.

She's been put on a special diet of eggs, milk, fruit, fish and chicken and she seems to be enjoying the extra attention.

But in recent days, police, social workers and counsellors have been in and out of her house, and a media circus has grown up outside her home.

Her parents are struggling to deal with the situation.

Medical tests so far show that her health is "good" though she suffers from "mild anaemia".

But there are other concerns. The girl was born with a hole in her heart, which was plugged in 2013.

Although doctors say it's unlikely to interfere with her pregnancy, the fact remains that she is way too young to give birth.

Those in the know say the baby is due by the middle of September and the doctors have decided that it will be a Caesarean delivery.

In case of any complications, the birth could be earlier.

Since the girl's family have said they want nothing to do with the baby, the newborn will be looked after by the child welfare committee until it is put up for adoption.

Medical experts say the 10-year-old is bound to suffer from mental trauma and will need years of counselling from a child psychologist.



Read 457 times Last modified on Sunday, 01 October 2017 15:24