Life always gives us a second chance but it needs courage and a lot of mental persuasion to grab that chance and put in efforts, all over again. Call it good or bad, but honestly, in the toughest of times, we only have one option of being strong enough to shake off the pain and start afresh.
When Meera Reddy (name changed to protect minor’s identity) was 16, she was raped by her father (no, not stepdad) which got her pregnant at such a tender age. There is so much more to Meera’s story but we want to begin by celebrating her victories.
A home where father rapes
This story from Mangalore, Karnataka is extraordinary for both its unthinkable inhumanity as well as the sparkling fighting spirit. Sometime in March 2018, Meera was stealthily taken to a nearby government hospital by her mother. They were there to abort a fetus which should not have been inside a 16-year-old in the first place.
When the doctors examined the teenager, they not only found that Meera was a minor but also that she was six months pregnant. This came as a shocker to the hospital staff and they did the right thing to inform the police about Meera’s state.
The police came to spot and interrogated Meera and her mom only to realize that the rapist is none other that her own biological father. Imagine the pain of a youngster for whom home is not a ‘safe space’ or a place filled with love and laughter. For months and years, little Meera was being sexually preyed upon by her father.
To add to miseries, the mother played a mere spectator in the whole situation. For six months, Meera had been enduring a pregnancy that was result of repeated rapes. Thankfully, swift action followed and the father was arrested under laws protecting children from sexual offences. But there was no way to terminate a fetus which is 6-month-old. The termination of pregnancy was not an option as it was already too late and doing so would have put her in mortal danger.
Offering an oasis
Meera was sent for counselling where the officials helped her recover from the trauma. She was encouraged to shift her focus from thorns in her past to a glorious future that was in the making.
All the counselling efforts started showing results when Meera decided to appear for her STD 10 exams and give it her best shot. She was also counselled to put her baby up for adoption after the delivery. In a sense, the counselling staff brought her more comfort, love, and understanding than her parents ever could.
Although Meera was ready to write exams but it wasn’t a smooth ride. The authorities arranged for a proper support system, tuition classes, and constant flow of encouragement her way. Eventually, she mustered enough confidence and appeared for the examination.
Look how they shine for you
Finally, the time came and Meera began writing her exams. She was heavily pregnant during this time with a eight-month-baby growing inside her. Thanks again to the authorities for the sensitive approach and timely help, she was allotted a different center than her classmates. It was clear that her progress had come a long way and was a tremendous achievement but now was the time for results.
The results for STD 10 exams were announced some days back and turns out the juice was worth the squeeze. To everyone’s joy, Meera had passed this crucial exam with first class. She scored a total of 360 marks out of? , which shows her enormous dedication and determination to leave behind the past and build a future that she wants.
“This success has brought her happiness amid the trauma. She is content with her achievement, and is yet to decide her next step as she’ll deliver a child in another two weeks,” a Child Welfare Committee official told TOI.
Life gave a second chance to Meera to start afresh and this little fireball grabbed it by its horns. Although scarring and scary, she did not let one incident dictate the course of her entire life. Although she wasn’t in the best of mental conditions she proved that with a strong determination anything is possible.
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