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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Financial crunch hampers treatment of Bihar girl born with torsos

Monetary problem is posing a hurdle in a subsequent operation of a Bihar girl born with eight limbs and two torsos. Her additional limbs were removed in 2008 following a surgery in Bangalore.

Eleven-year-old Lakshmi Tatma, who was born with a parasitic twin before it was surgically removed amid global attention in 2008, is facing a health scare which has left her parents worried.

The girl, who lives in Rampur Kodarkatti village of Araria district in Bihar, has been experiencing acute pain these days and is unable to sit for long.

Her parents, Shambhu and Poonam, said she was supposed to undergo a follow-up operation after her 27-hour-long surgery at a Bengaluru hospital in February 2008.

"My daughter is not well and she needs immediate medical attention," Shambhu, who is a daily wager and unable to afford the cost of her treatment, said.

Village headman of Rampur Kodarkatti, Rajesh Kumar Singh, said that Lakshmi's poor parents are unable to take her to Karnataka's capital city for treatment. After her first surgery, doctors had even advised them to take the girl to England for further operation but they did not."

The village headman, who had played a key role in facilitating her earlier operation, said, "She is unable to sit when attending classes at her government-run village school and has developed sores around the tail bone."
Lakshmi Tatma was born with a parasitic twin, which was removed in 2008 following a surgery; Lakshmi with her parents, Shambhu and Poonam, and two siblings.

He said that a noted surgeon from Katihar district had volunteered to cure Lakshmi. However, her parents want to take her to the Bengaluru hospital where the first surgery was performed.

Born with unusual features, villagers initially took the girl as a reincarnation of Goddess Lakshmi and started worshipping her. They even constructed a temple and consecrated her idol.

After the 2008 operation, the girl went to a charitable institution run by an NGO in Jodhpur where she studied and her parents worked and earned a living. However, the family soon returned to the village.

The village headman said that the "villagers are very fond of the girl and want her to recover soon".
Rajesh, however, said that the Bihar government had done nothing to help the girl or her family. He said, "When Lakshmi was garnering worldwide attention, then Araria district magistrate Upendra Sinha had promised the girl a house under the Indira Awas Yojana but that never materialised. She is getting only an allowance of `400 under a government scheme for physically challenged people."
He added, "I am trying to get a house allotted to her after obtaining permission from the district administration."

Source: India Today , 14th Jan 2015

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