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Abused six-year-old battles trauma

She does not talk as much as she used to. She likes to keep her toys — gifts from visitors — next to her on the hospital bed. They are the only things that give her a sense on comfort. Everything else — nurses and doctors who visit her every now and then, loud conversations, presence of strangers and her inability to change position on the bed without help — is painful and scary.

This six-year-old, daughter of poor migrant labourers from Madhya Pradesh, has fought her way back to life, days after an iron rod was inserted into her by a security guard while she was playing on a construction site on March 6.

“I was at home when she came to me bleeding heavily, and said, ‘ usne sariya dala [he put an iron rod],’” the child’s mother told The Hindu at the Civil Hospital here. “Home” was just a makeshift ramshackle hut for this destitute, homeless Dungariya Bhil Adivasi family.

“When she was brought to hospital, she had life-threatening injuries. She was conscious but in severe pain. She was bleeding severely and her haemoglobin level had dropped to 3,” said a doctor who is in the team of paediatricians and gynaecologists treating the victim.

In an operation that lasted three hours, the doctors repaired her injuries and performed protective colostomy, a surgical procedure that involves opening the abdomen and placing a pouch to collect body waste. In two months, another surgery would have to be performed.

While complete recovery is possible, doctors are concerned over the possibility of infection. “She will be here till she recovers as the family does not have a house and hygienic conditions to live in,” the doctor said.

The victim’s mother seems to be as fearful as her daughter after the incident. “We will go back to our village in Madhya Pradesh. What if something like this happens again?” she said.

The girl does not speak of the incident or her attacker. But she identified the accused, Kaushal Chauhan, from among a row of men. Chauhan has been arrested under the Indian Penal Code Section 375 (d) (manipulating any part of the body of a child so as to cause penetration of the private part), as per the new anti-rape laws, under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has announced an aid of Rs. 1.5 lakh for the victim.

The girl’s family can’t afford even two square meals a day. Her father, an alcoholic, is also undergoing treatment. She has three younger brothers. It is only after the girl was hospitalised that the family has been getting regular food. She never went to school and never will, said her mother.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 8:31:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/abused-sixyearold-battles-trauma/article6987180.ece

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