Moved by the plight of an orphaned girl who was sexually exploited and raped by her relative and gave birth to a child in a Shimla hospital, a Tibetan charity run by a disciple of the Dalai Lama on Sunday showed interest in adopting them.
"We are ready to take care of both the girl and the child. We will sponsor her (mother's) education," said Tibetan monk Jamyang, who is running charity Tong-len Charitable Trust on the outskirts of Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
On being told by IANS about the plight of the girl and her child, Jamyang immediately replied: "We will look after them, provided we fulfil all the legal formalities."
The charity looks after schooling and hostel facilities of the 'adopted' children, whose parents are not taking care of them.
Starting with 20 children in 2005, it now has 85 boarders, including five children below five years of age, in three hostels. The charity is being funded by the Dalai Lama Trust.
The children reside in the hostels most of the year. They return to their families during holidays and every second Saturday in a month.
The Himachal Pradesh high court on Saturday directed the state government to provide the day-to-day necessities of life to the 13-year-old mother and her 10-day-old girl child.
The court also said that in case any family is ready and willing to adopt the baby, "all the codal formalities, in accordance with law, shall be completed within shortest period not more than two months".
Listing the matter for next hearing on March 28, it also sought a report from the government on whether the mother can be admitted to Portmore School in Shimla, where board and lodging facilities are available.
RP Chauhan, district programme officer with the child welfare department, said both the mother and the child are doing well.
He said the girl, belonging to a remote Kullu village, was brought here by members of a Manali-based child helpline.