Published: 27th March 2018
Mangaluru Education Department bends rules to support pregnant sex abuse victim to write SSLC exam
A counsellor was also appointed to accompany the minor student to the examination centre
In cases of underage pregnancy, young women often undergo severe psychological stress and end up giving up the life they once dreamed to live. In a positive change, the district administration here has supported a pregnant victim of sexual abuse to pursue her SSLC exams and work towards her future. The minor was able to chase her dreams thanks to the support by the district administration, education department, police and child welfare committee (CWC) under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act). She is in her eighth month of pregnancy.
"By the time, the child sexual abuse case was referred by local police to Childline and CWC, the minor had entered her sixth-month of pregnancy,'' informs CWC President Rennie D'Souza. As medical termination of the foetus would endanger the life of the mother, CWC, police, district child protection unit (DCPU) counselled the minor to pursue education by writing SSLC examinations and giving up the baby for adoption.
As her perpetrator was her own father, she was shifted to a government-approved institution. It was her PT master in the government school who suggested a change of examination centres in order to ensure that she faced examinations with dignity. The PT master said the minor was a bright student and had revised thoroughly. "Though the support group favoured a different examination centre, the hall ticket was issued,'' DK Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) Y Shivaramaiah said.
DDPI in consultation with DK Deputy Commissioner requested the education department to cancel the hall ticket and issue a fresh hall ticket identifying a centre in Mangaluru. The departments in being flexible and supportive of the rehabilitation of POCSO victim have been a model worthy,'' Rennie D'Souza stresses.