Taking tips from YouTube, minor gives birth at home
Incident came to light after girl was taken to hospital with a post-partum infection
A 17-year-old girl who had been raped by her neighbour gave birth to a child secretly in her house at Kottakkal, near here, a few days ago.
The girl did not let even her mother know about her pregnancy and the childbirth. She cut the umbilical cord and disposed of the placenta by taking tips from a YouTube video.
The incident came to light when the girl developed some infection during the post-partum period, and was admitted to Government Medical College Hospital at Manjeri on October 23.
The Kottakkal police registered a case and a 21-year-old man arrested under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for raping the girl, after the medical college authorities informed the police.
The police filed the case on the basis of a statement given by the girl’s mother, who is partially visually impaired. Sources said that the girl, a higher secondary student, was abused by her neighbour who exploited the vulnerable circumstances of her house. The mother reportedly told the police that she was not aware of her daughter’s pregnancy, and that she learned about it a day after the delivery took place on October 20.
According to the police, the girl refused to give a statement against the accused as she was in an affair with him.
The mother had taken the girl to two private hospitals at Kottakkal on different occasions in the past eight months after she complained of gas trouble and stomach ache. But the hospitals had not detected her pregnancy.
The authorities, including the police, were bewildered at the incident, which exposed the failure of the District Child Protection Unit in identifying the vulnerable family and preventing the abuse.
Matter of concern
However, the authorities, including the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), have raised concerns at the gravity of the situation. “The rape apart, the fact that the childbirth took place within the confines of a poor home without any medical aid or elderly support is a matter of serious concern. The lives of both the girl and the newborn would have been in danger,” said CWC chairman Shajesh Bhaskar.
The failure of the hospitals concerned in diagnosing the minor girl’s pregnancy and reporting it to the authorities has also raised concerns.
The hospital sources said the baby boy was in good health.