Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 5:
National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) chairman Rameshwar Oraon has expressed deep concern about cases of tribal school girls becoming pregnant.
The NSTC chairman conveyed his concern to chief secretary GC Pati during a meeting with him to discuss infrastructure and education in tribal schools here today.
The five-member NSTC team led by Oraon has visited various state-run and Central Government-sponsored ST residential schools in Odisha among the tribal dominated areas of the state like Koraput, Sundergarh and Keonjhar.
The team has come to Odisha to inquire into the rising number of pregnancies in sevashram schools. The rising numbers of teen pregnancies in the residential schools has become an issue of grave concern for the administration.
Recently, Scheduled Tribe and Schedule Caste Development Minister Lal Behari Himirika had told the State Assembly while replying to a question that at least 16 girl students of different Sevashram schools were victims of rape during the last five years.
In the last six months about 13-14 minors studying in sevashram schools in Koraput district had got pregnant. In many cases the pregnancies are going unnoticed with girls delivering in the school itself.
The Commission has also looked into the quality of education and infrastructural facilities in the state-run and Central Government-sponsored ST residential schools in Odisha.