Officials of a state-run Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) in Jharkhand’s Garhwa district have been accused of endangering a pregnant Class VI student’s life by giving her abortion pills.
Sources said the school administration reportedly took the step earlier this month to prevent the school from “falling into disrepute”. However, as the medicine was given without consulting a doctor, the girl’s condition worsened to an extent that she had to be rushed to the Garhwa Sadar Hospital for treatment.
Doctors carried out a proper abortion to save the girl’s life.
“The girl was two months’ pregnant. She was suffering from blood loss due to excessive bleeding, and had to undergo blood transfusion,” hospital gynecologist Dr Ragini Agarwal told reporters, adding that she was now out of danger.
District administrative authorities claimed the matter has not been brought to their notice. “If the victim’s family lodges a complaint, we will take punitive action,” said Garhwa police superintendent Shree Alok.
“I just know that the girl was admitted to the hospital in a serious condition. The truth will come to the fore soon. An investigation is on,” said district education superintendent Brajmohan Kumar.
Meanwhile, the girl has been discharged and sent to her parents. Though the incident occurred on January 24, her family was informed only two days later.
School authorities remained tightlipped about the incident. When contacted, warden Anima Kumari said she found the girl lying on the bed, bleeding profusely. “I immediately brought the matter to the notice of some staff members, who took her to the Ranka block hospital. As the girl was in a critical state, the doctors there referred her to Sadar hospital,” she added.
Sources said the girl was in a state of trauma, and was not in a position to speak. “We will record her statement once her condition stabilises,” said an officer probing the case.
State school education and literacy secretary Aradhna Patnaik said the deputy commissioner has been asked to investigate the matter. “We have also issued safety and security guidelines to all KGBV schools, and have instructed the authorities to hold regular counselling sessions for students,” she said.
Patnaik also said biometric attendance systems have been installed at all KGBV schools to check student absenteeism. “If their attendance is found to be irregular, parents or local guardians will also be summoned to the counselling sessions,” she added.
The incident has once again raised serious questions regarding the security of KGBV girl students, who mostly hail from poor tribal families in Jharkhand. Reports of such students being raped or killed under mysterious circumstances emerge every year.