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NHRC issues notice to Odisha Govt. on pregnancies among tribal, dalit girls in residential schools

Acting on the petition filed by human rights lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy, the apex human rights panel asked the State’s Chief Secretary to furnish a compliance report within six weeks.

Statesman News Service | BHUBANESWAR |

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the Odisha government and sought for an Action Taken Report (ATR) over the disturbing trend of minor motherhood and pregnancy of girls in tribal residential schools in the State.

Acting on the petition filed by human rights lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy, the apex human rights panel asked the State’s Chief Secretary to furnish a compliance report within six weeks.

A minor girl, who studied in an ashram school of Kandhamal run by the SC/ST department, was found to be pregnant on 23 September following which she was kept in a childcare institution of the district.

On 5 October, she went into labour and an ambulance was called as there was no emergency service at the childcare institution.

By the time the ambulance arrived, the girl had delivered a stillborn. Later the minor girl also breathed her last, Tripathy stated in a petition to NHRC while citing several other instances of alleged sexual abuse of minors in the government-run residential schools.