Not nine-month pregnancy or labour pain, advocate Sadhna Pathak fought a rigorous three-month legal battle to get her bundle of joy home and become the first single mother in Madhya Pradesh and probably India to adopt twin malnourished girls in 2009.
Pathak, now 40, had visited a children’s shelter home, Matra Chhaya, seven years ago when two malnourished weaklings had caught her attention. Despite their feeble health condition, Pathak immediately wanted to adopt the two girls.
“I don’t know why but I felt a deep connection with them during our first meeting…The two girls were malnourished and many advised me not to adopt them,” Pathak told HT on the eve of mother’s day on Saturday.
The adoption norms of the country in 2009, however, allowed an unmarried woman to adopt just one child.
“During the court case, the defence counsel pleaded that as I was a single mother, how could I give the twins a feel of family? How would they learn cultural and traditional values?” she said, adding that many of her relatives also opposed her decision to adopt girls from “unknown” caste.
But Pathak fought with steel resolve and refused to leave either of the kids, then just few months old, behind.
“They were born together and no one had the right to separate them…My daughters Isha, and Aishwarya, are now studying in Class 3 at a reputed school in Bhopal. I feel proud of them,” she said.
“Many times, I feel wonder why female feticide is a problem in India. Girls are God’s best gift on the earth,” Sadhna said.
Her daughters too are proud of their mother. Last year in school, the girls wrote: “Sadhhna Pathak is my mother and Sadhna Pathak is my father too. We love our parents…We are the Pathak family and very happy.”