Srinagar, Dec. 14 -- Last week, 10-year-old Fatima (name changed) visited the district hospital Pulwama with her mother who was quite panic-stricken because her daughter had started menstruating.

"She is only in Class 4. While I knew she would start menstruating one day, I didn't expect it so soon," the mother told the pediatrician at the OPD.

However, Fatima isn't an isolated case. Health experts in Kashmir are observing a disturbing trend- girls in the region are attaining puberty earlier than before, with most children and their families being unprepared for this sudden change.

Puberty is a phase of life marked by the emanation of sexual hormones in a human of both genders characterized by physical and psychological changes. A signi...