“As there’s no one willing to take care of her in the village, we have decided to wait till she recovers. Jyoti will be in the custody of the district administration until we take a decision on her adoption,” Purushottam said.
The district authorities and the state government have been trying to trace Jyoti’s roots after she was operated on. Residents of Bagwan identified her from photos.
Purushottam subsequently sent nayab tehsildar Surendra Kumar to the village and brought a few inhabitants to the hospital for identification. Villagers Sarojini Devi, Ramchandra and Shoorveer Singh identified the child.
The girl too identified the villagers in the presence of additional district magistrate Jharna Kamthan.
Satendra Tamta, patwari of Devprayag later said in his report that Jyoti’s father Sinesh Chauhan had died in an accident. Her mother took her away to stay with a woman named Bilorani near a chicken farm that was destroyed during the floods. Bilorani took Jyoti to Kedarnath but drowned.
Before her real name could be found out, Jyoti was christened Shreya by Sarita, an anganwadi worker. Nervous amid strangers in the hospital, the little girl somehow bonded with Sarita.
“She seemed to understand Hindi but was not able to speak properly. We often communicate through signs. Earlier she never used to let anyone else come near her. But she is more relaxed today,” Sarita said.
Meanwhile, many people have offered to adopt Jyoti. They include Bollywood actor Anupam Kher and Parmarth Niketan of Rishikesh.