Centre, UP govt have a responsibility towards Bareilly rape survivor

Updated on Sep 15, 2016 08:51 PM IST

When seen in a broader perspective, incidents such as these are used to further put women and girls in a tighter situation, with more fetters on them or denying education to them.

The girl had terminated her education after class 5 because of her penurious conditions and also because of being compelled to do so that she could perform household chores(HT)
The girl had terminated her education after class 5 because of her penurious conditions and also because of being compelled to do so that she could perform household chores(HT)
Hindustan Times | By

The trauma of the 14-year-old girl who will now, by all accounts, have to give birth to a child because of being raped is something that should shake the conscience of the nation. The girl cannot be morally faulted for saying that the offender, who had sex with her on the promise of marriage, and his family should be responsible for the child. The girl’s parents, faced with a second tragedy after one of the girl’s brothers became blind some years ago, have taken a similar position.

Read: I don’t want the child: Bareilly rape victim denied termination of pregnancy

This is a multi-faceted problem that has got caught in the toils of the law. The reason why the girl could not get herself aborted was a legal barrier that disallows abortion when the pregnancy is of more than 20 weeks. However, there is also a legal provision that says in the case of rape, abortion could be done in 24 weeks, as was once allowed by the Supreme Court. Alas, the girl, being so young, came to now that she was pregnant only in June after becoming pregnant in January.

Read: ‘Busy’ with govt event, UP doctor keeps 14-year-old pregnant rape victim waiting

As it is, the girl had terminated her education after class 5 because of her penurious conditions and also because of being compelled to do so that she could perform household chores. Now she stares at a very bleak future. All hopes rest on individual help. Both the UP government and the women and child development ministry have a responsibility towards her.

Read: UP rape victim’s father to file revision plea in HC for MTP today

When seen in a broader perspective, incidents such as these are used to further put women and girls in a tighter situation, with more fetters on them or denying education to them. The UP government, beleaguered though it may be because of its internal problems and in-fighting, must step in immediately to see that the girl is not chastened or chastised in any way.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Uddalok Bhattacharya was part of Hindustan Times’ nationwide network of correspondents that brings news, analysis and information to its readers. He no longer works with the Hindustan Times.

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