What We Owe 14-year-old Shakti


What We Owe 14-year-old Shakti

Illustration: Mudit Ganguly


ourteen-year-old Shakti from a small tribal village in Gujarat has no idea of the place she has in history. If you tell her that she, along with Kamini Jaiswal, has pulled off a landmark judgment and set the first case in point against the immutable Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, she will smile at you in confusion. She has never met Jaiswal. She never wants to set foot inside another courtroom. All she wants to do is forget the last year and disappear back into her childhood.

Her real name is not Shakti, of course. You probably just know her as the “14-year-old abortion case” from Gujarat who was denied termination of her pregnancy by the state’s sessions court and the high court, as she had crossed 20 weeks.