In the emergency ward of Doon Hospital at Dehradun, a little girl with plaster on both legs lies surrounded by dolls on a bed.
A three-year-old rescued from Kedarnath recuperates with broken legs at the district hospital of Dehradun. The child is unable to tell the name of her parents or any other information that may help identify her. Authorities have issued her photo hoping her relatives will spot her. (HT photo)
A woman lovingly tends to the child, and calls her Shreya. But the woman is not her mother, and Shreya is not her given name.
Registered in the hospital as three-year-old, the girl got separated from her parents during the Uttarakhand flash floods and was rescued from Kedarnath. She was first admitted with broken legs to a hospital in Rishikesh and was brought to Dehradun on June 24.
Her name is unknown, as is the identity of her parents. The child is unable to give any information that may help identify her.
The woman nursing her is an Anganwadi worker called Sarita, who has named the child Shreya.
"She is not able to speak properly," said Sarita, who is posted at Panchpuri Adhoiwala. "But she seems familiar with Hindi and speaks a few words. The child also tries to communicate with us through signs."
After putting a plaster cast on both her legs, doctors have put the little girl on bed rest for four weeks.
When Shreya first came to the hospital, she would not stop crying.
"The child was in a state of shock," said Jairam, a security guard at the hospital. "She would cry all the time and not allow anyone to touch her. But she has adjusted to the new environment now. She is eating properly and recovering."
However, the child still cries when she remembers her parents, and often demands to see them.
The hospital administration and local police have been trying to trace her parents. Authorities have issued her photograph hoping that her relatives would spot her.
But Shreya has no dearth of visitors. People have made a beeline at the emergency ward to meet the little girl from Kedarnath who survived the disaster. Several locals have donated toys, clothes and sweets to her.
"We are planning to shift her from the emergency ward into a private ward," said Dr RS Aswal, chief medical superintendent, Doon Hospital.
"She is given special care at the hospital. Once she recovers, the social welfare and child development department will take a decision regarding the child. Lately, there have also been queries regarding her adoption."