13-year-old Dalit mom forsaken by 'spouse' family


PALPA, Sept 8: Thirteen-year-old Nirmala Nepali of Gulmi, who gave
birth to a daughter, now lies abandoned at the district hospital at
Tamghas. The young mother was left high and dry after the family of
the boy who made her pregnant fled from the hospital upon learning
that they would have to accept her as their daughter-in-law.

Although Nepali was discharged on Monday, she has been staying at the
hospital as she has nowhere to go.

Nepali, a sixth grader at Panchayan Higher Secondary School, said she
had consensual sex with a ninth-grader Brahmin boy at the same school,
with the understanding that they would marry in future.

The new mother said she was in love with Ramchandra Pandey, 18, son of
Tamlal Pandey of Dhurkot Bastu-3, and entered into a physical
relationship. However, the Pandey family has locked their house and
fled since Friday.

Although Nepali had decided to go to her parental home, she´s been
waiting at the hospital as police hoped to find the boy and his

Nepali has been living on donations from some district organizations.
Chief District Officer Parshu Ram Aryal himself provided Rs 2,000 and
asked the Red Cross for clothing for the young mother.

“We´re searching for the boy´s family and supporting Nepali because of
her weak economic situation,” Aryal said.

Aryal, who has been surrounded by organizations pressing to bring the
boy in, is seeking help from the Dalit Rights Activists Association
over legal issues. “Organizations come and surround me. How am I to
bring the boy immediately,” Aryal said.

In case the boy´s family doesn´t accept the newborn, Aryal said they
would have to go to court to establish the relationship between the
two, and if needed, a DNA test should be done.

“If the boy´s family accepts the child, that´s fine. Otherwise, we´ll
have to take the case to court. However, various associations are
saying that the boy should be brought in by force,” Aryal said.

Dr Bhesh Raj Pokharel of the district hospital said that although
Nepali was discharged on Monday, they´ve allowed her to stay on in the
hospital for some time. “The hospital has given her Rs 1,000, and Rs
1,000 more as maternity allowance,” Pokharel said. He said that both
mother and child were in good health. At birth, the child weighed two

The district administrative office has directed Pandey´s neighbor Pom
Lal Bhandari to bring Pandey and his family to the office within five
days. Bhandari said that he did not know where the family had fled.
“I´ve heard that Ramchandra is in India. However, I don´t know where
the parents are,” Bhandari said.

Human right activists and an NGO working for the welfare of the
suppressed have said that if the Pandey family is not found within
five days, they would make provisions for Nepali to stay at her new
home itself.


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