Indian rape victim, 10, and her baby 'doing fine'

Image source, AFP
Image caption, India has a grim record of sexual assaults on children, with more than 10,000 raped in 2015

A 10-year-old Indian rape victim and the baby girl she gave birth to are doing fine, her doctor told the BBC.

Dr Dasari Harish said her surgery was initially scheduled for Monday, but it was moved to Thursday morning after she developed high blood pressure.

The girl was denied permission to abort by the Supreme Court last month. Her story made headlines in India.

But she is not aware she has given birth. She was told she had a big stone in her stomach which caused the bulge.

The girl alleges she was raped by her uncle, who has been arrested. Her pregnancy was discovered in mid-July when she complained of stomach ache and her parents took her to hospital.

A local court in Chandigarh turned down the abortion plea on the grounds that she was too far into her pregnancy after a doctors' panel said that termination of the pregnancy would be "too risky". The Supreme Court also refused to allow an abortion on similar grounds.

'Offer to counsel declined'

The baby, weighing 2.2kg (4.8lb), was delivered by Caesarean section in Chandigarh.

Dr Harish, who supervised the 16-member medical team that carried out the surgery, said it lasted "90 to 105 minutes" and was "uneventful".

"If all goes according to plan, both can be discharged by next Tuesday," he added.

Although the girl hadn't been told about her pregnancy, "she's bound to find out at some point about it and then I don't know how she or her parents will deal with it", Dr Harish said, adding that the parents had declined the hospital's offer to counsel her.

The 10-year-old girl's family have said they do not want to have anything to do with the baby, so the infant will be looked after by the child welfare committee until she is put up for adoption.

A child-care official said the newborn, who had been placed in the intensive care unit of the hospital as she was born prematurely, had since been moved out to the nursery since she was stable.

Formalities would be initiated on Friday for the baby to be handed over to the child welfare committee, he added.

The girl's case has dominated headlines in India for the past several weeks, with officials saying it is the first-ever case of a child so young giving birth.

Image source, AFP

The scale of abuse in India

  • A child under 16 is raped every 155 minutes, a child under 10 every 13 hours
  • More than 10,000 children were raped in 2015
  • 240 million women living in India were married before they turned 18
  • 53.22% of children who participated in a government study reported some form of sexual abuse
  • 50% of abusers are known to the child or are "persons in trust and care-givers"

Sources: Indian government, Unicef

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