Sunday, 11 April, 2021

A harrowing tale of pregnancy of speech impaired 12-year old girl


By Arpana Adhikari

Kathmandu, Nov. 11: A little girl was sleeping on a hospital-bed hugging her thin and blond hair Barbie, when a group of people led by Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa reached the Maternity Hospital (Prashuti Girha) Thapathali to meet her on Sunday.
This-12-year-old survivor of sexual violence, who recently went through the labour induced termination to abort her 20-week pregnancy, had had no idea that she was visited by one of the top government officials.
When Minister Thapa and officials of the Ministry were inquiring the doctors and her uncle about her condition, she was looking calm and was constantly smiling.
It seemed she had not understood the gravity of the situation and how the boys from her neighbourhood ruined her childhood.
Krishna, her uncle who had been accompanying the girl, told Minister Thapa that the girl had speech disorders by birth and the situation of her parents was not different from hers.
Dr. Jaggeshwor Gautam, Director of maternity Hospital, said the termination was done because the girl was too small and had speech disorders.
“The girl is absolutely fine but she needs rest and care because her body has undergone many changes during pregnancy and birth,” he added.
He said her pregnancy was luckily detected in time. “If it was detected further late, there would be a legal barrier to carry an abortion,” said Gautam.
In reference of the district hospital, Mangalsen this five-month old pregnant of Ramaroshan Rural Municipality was brought to Prashuti Griha on Nov 2, for a safe termination of her pregnancy.
One of the helpers of the hospital told The Rising Nepal that the girl did not understand what was happening to her when contraction struck on Friday.
The girl really had a hard time. In fact, it was emotionally hard time for everyone around, she added. According to Krishna, two weeks ago, his niece was bitten by a dog while she reached a jungle to collect grass.
He came to know about her pregnancy only after she was taken to the hospital.
“As her stomach was hard and was swelling, I asked the doctor to check her stomach also. Then the doctors told me that she was pregnant and I was totally shocked to know this,” said Krishna.
As she was unable to speak, she had not informed anyone what had happened with her, he said, adding that during the

interrogation she took the name of two boys of her neighbourhood.

Both the boys were aged below 16 years, said Krishna, adding that the police had already detained the accused for the allegation. “One of them had already admitted his involvement,” he added.
Since the financial condition of his family is not good, he brought his niece to Kathmandu, with the support of the District Hospital, Mangalsen, the District Police Office and Rural Municipality.
He said, “I don’t want to take her back to home because her parents are not able to take care of her. And I am worried that the same thing could happen in the future again.”
Ministry to bear the responsibility of the girl
Minister Thapa assured her uncle to provide support to the girl and take her responsibility.
After inquiring about the girl, Minister Thapa said the girl would be provided immediate relief under the gender-based violence elimination fund of the Ministry.
According to Anju Dhungana, Under-Secretary at the Ministry, it was challenging to restore her back to her home because the same incident could happen again. “She needs special care and socio-physiological counseling, so the Ministry has decided to send the girl under the protection of the Asha Nepal.”
According to Dr. Gautam, every year around 400 sexually exploited women and girl reach the hospital seeking the similar service.
The hospital has (One Stop Crisis Management Centre) a center that provides sexual violence survivor with treatment and counseling. The hospital has been providing free treatment for the survivors of sexual violence.
(The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy.)