A 13-year-old student in Madhapur, a suburb of Hyderabad had a baby inside a school washroom on Saturday, leaving her teachers and other staff in shock.
The girl is a class 9 student of a government school in the Madhapur area of Hyderabad, the city’s IT hub. She reportedly complained of a stomach ache, after which her teacher sent her to the washroom along with a classmate.
The classmate soon came back and reported that the girl had delivered a baby.
The teen and the baby were moved to a room and her parents were called to school.
The school staff says no one, including 13 women teachers, had noticed that the student had been pregnant.
”She is very slim and would walk with a dupatta on her stomach and she would sit with her bag on her lap, so we didn’t know,” said the girl’s teacher.
It is suspected that the girl may have been assaulted by a neighbor, but a police complaint was filed only after the incident became public on Monday, provoking shock and outrage. A rape case has been registered.
The district education officer who visited the school to inquire into the case said it appeared that the girl’s parents may have been aware of her condition but were reluctant to tell anyone or go to the police fearing social stigma.
The girl’s classmates said she had been aloof for some time and would not even come out to play.
Activists say this incident once again highlights deep-seated ignorance surrounding child abuse. The lack of awareness is reinforced by the fact that what the girl was going through missed the attention of so many people around her.