Now normal Lakshmi Tatma draws crowds

March 3rd, 2008 - 10:22 am ICT by admin  

By Imran Khan
Patna, March 3 (IANS) Lakshmi Tatma, born with a parasitic twin that was removed after a highly publicised operation in Bangalore, has returned to a rousing welcome to her village in Bihar. Villagers can’t believe that Lakshmi, 2, is the same child who was born with four arms and four legs. The parasitic twin was removed after a complicated surgery at the Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore in November.

Hundreds of people, including a large number of women and children, have been thronging Rampur Kodarkatti village in Araria district, about 350 km from here, for last few days to get a glimpse of Lakshmi.

“Her return to the village as a normal child is drawing huge crowds. From early morning to late evening, everyone is eager to see her,” said Santosh Tamta, her uncle.

Santosh said people were eager to touch, kiss and hug Lakshmi after she along with her parents returned to her village last Thursday. Now Lakshmi can easily walk, stand and crawl, unlike six months ago when she was a toddler with eight limbs.

Lakshmi along with her parents will spend nearly a month in the village before returning to an NGO home in Rajasthan, which adopted her. “We will go back to Rajasthan by the end of March because Lakshmi would be admitted in Bangalore hospital again for three remaining operations,” her father, Sambhu, told IANS on telephone.

Villagers had been eagerly waiting for Lakshmi’s return after she was released from the hospital in December.

Her family and relatives tonsured Lakshmi and offered special prayers and rituals on the banks of the river Ganges as a gesture of gratitude to god, soon after she returned to the village as a normal child.

“Lakshmi’s mother Poonam Tamta had prayed to god that Lakshmi would be tonsured, if she became a normal child after the complicated operation,” said Rukmani Devi, grandmother of Laksmi.

Some villagers believe Lakshmi has divine powers while others believe she is the incarnation of a Hindu goddess.

Lakshmi’s idol has been installed in the village and many villagers, particularly women, have started worshipping her. Her relatives are planning to build a temple dedicated to her. In fact, Lakshmi was named after the Hindu goddess of wealth who is traditionally depicted with four arms.

Soon after she was released from the Bangalore hospital, Lakshmi was brought to Manaklao village in Rajasthan along with her family by a Jodhpur-based NGO, the Sucheta Kriplani Shiksha Niketan (SKSN), which has offered to provide free board and education to the girl. The organisation has also given a separate accommodation to her family.

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