Bhubaneswar: The state Department of Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Tuesday acknowledged in the Assembly that 11 female inmates of government-run SC/ST hostels were impregnated in the last eight years.
The revelation came to the fore when BJP MLA Ravi Nayak raised a question on the spate of female inmates and minors living in the state government-sponsored SC and ST hostels.
Replying to the question, department minister Ramesh Majhi said that there are several reports of abuses, pregnancies and alleged deliveries of babies by minor inmates of the government-run hostels in the state in the last eight years.
Data, as furnished by the department in the Assembly Tuesday, claimed that a total of 11 minor inmates of these hostels were found to be pregnant between 2010 and 2018. Most such cases were reported from hostels in Mayurbhanj district.
According to the same data, there have been three cases where teenage inmates of government-sponsored hostels actually delivered babies in the last eight years. These deliveries were reported from Sundargarh, Koraput and Kandhamal districts.
What is, however, most astonishing is the magnitude of abuse and harassment suffered by girl inmates of such hostels. The data, as provided by the SC, ST department in the Assembly, claimed that 35 cases of abuse and harassment were reported to the concerned authorities between 2010 and 2018 from the government-run hostels especially meant for the welfare of the kids coming from the SC/ST communities in the tribal-dominated areas.
In his response to the Assembly, Ramesh Majhi said that the health of the teenage inmates residing in such hostels is being taken care of and the government also ensures their counseling.