3 tribal girls found pregnant at girls’ hostel in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Months after scores of teen pregnancy incidents in girls’ hostel and schools in tribal dominated areas of Odisha sparked state-wide outcry, similar cases have now been reported from capital Bhubaneswar.

The incidents came to limelight after as many as three cases of positive pregnancy tests were found after health check up of 101 students of a particular tribal girls’ hostel.

According to sources, a mobile health check up unit employed under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram performed the tests on the girl students on June 28 which revealed the results.

While the details of the development have been informed to the parents of the girls, the primary pregnancy reports prepared by the mobile health unit and the positive kits which confirmed the pregnancies have been sent for further examination to Capital Hospital, the detailed data of which is with OTV.

However, the authorities of the concerned girls’ hostel have refuted the reports of positive cases of pregnancies.

Usharani Munda, the assistant manager of the girls’ hostel claimed that everyone was found to be ok during the health check up. “The allegations of pregnancy is false and baseless and we believe that others are trying to spread rumours,” said Munda.

Labanga Nayak, the matron of the girls’ hostel questioned the validity of the pregnancy kit.

“The innocent girls had to suffer embarrassment as they were forced to undergo counselling first in the school, then by the Child Helpline officials at the hospital. They were also put to ultrasound tests so one can imagine how negative the experience for the girls would have been. This is like playing with the lives of the innocent girls,” Labanga said.

Meanwhile, questions have been raised on whether innocent girls are bearing the brunt of flawed pregnancy kits or it is a deliberate attempt to suppress the matter.

Because not only this, but there are cases of several other girls hostel and residential schools where such incidents of teen pregnancy have been reported.

On the backdrop of such sensitive incidents, social activists have urged for appropriate investigation and stringent action against the accused.

It may be noted that cases of teen pregnancy, rapes of minors in residential schools and girls hostels have been on a rise in Odisha for past few years. It has also been a hot topic of discussion in the Assembly several times in the past. In 2018, the then Women and Child Development Minister of the State had also accepted the rising cases.