March 4, 2021 5:37:27 am
A 15-year-old girl would be chained to a cot at her home in a remote village in Odisha’s Keonjhar district while her parents, both daily wage labourers, were away for work.
The parents have said she has mental health issues. They have also said she earlier studied at a residential school and had returned home after the lockdown.
She would be chained to a cot outside their two-room kutcha house, her legs tied together. The matter came to light after some social workers met the girl during a visit to the village.
“She studied in a residential school and would often run away. Her teachers would bring her back. We received complaints but we thought she was just being undisciplined. For nearly a year now, she has been at home,” her father said. “We have consulted doctors but there has been no major improvement. She talks less and is mostly on her own. We do not have the money to take her to big hospitals,” he added.
According to her parents, she would go missing for hours. “Twice we had to report to the police after we were unable to find her. Someone has to constantly be around her which is not possible… We are scared that she might be harmed if she wanders alone. When we are at home, we do not chain her,” her mother said.
“The matter has been brought to our notice and we are looking into it. We will also counsel the parents. We will extend all necessary help and after examination, provide her the necessary treatment. The Chief District Medical Officer has been asked to inquire into the matter,” sub-collector Ramchandra Kisku said.
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