A 13-year old girl staying at a hostel for tribal girls in Udaigarh gave birth to a dead child last week, prompting the Alirajpur district administration to order an inquiry into the case.
District Collector Ganesh Shankar Mishra ordered the inquiry on Tuesday after it came to light that the hostel authorities failed to detect the pregnancy in the last six months that the girl had been staying there. Also, the hostel authorities allegedly tried to keep the matter under wraps when they came to know of the pregnancy on December 17 during the course of a routine medical examination of the girls.
The hostel superintendent, Joytsna Gehlot, then called the girl’s parents and handed her over to them. She delivered the dead child at her parents’ home.
The girl’s father, meanwhile, admitted that he knew of the pregnancy. He said that he had left the girl with her brothers and had gone to Gujarat for work. During this period, she developed a relationship with a boy from the neighbourhood and became pregnant. Later, the father got her admitted to the tribal girls’ hostel in Udaigarh. The father said that he did not lodge a police complaint as he had reached a monetary compromise with the family of the accused boy. He accepted ₹ 80,000 from the boy’s family in two instalments of ₹40,000 each.
After DC ordered the inquiry, hostel superintendent Joytsna Gehlot tried to wipe her hands off the issue saying the girl was already pregnant when she got admitted to the hostel in July last year. “When we questioned the girl on nat having her periods, she claimed that it was because she had suffered a stomach ailment. We believed her. When we suspected that something was amiss, we called a doctor to examine her,” she said.
She, however, didn’t reveal why the district administration was not informed about the pregnancy.