A nine-year-old French girl, a social worker and the power of the Internet have come together to relieve the misery of a nine-year-old girl in a remote Manipur village.
Rebecca, a schoolgirl in France, has come to the rescue of S.P. Wungthingla, a slum-dweller of Wanglee village in Manipur. Wungthingla, suffering from encephalocele, is undergoing treatment at Christian Medical College and Hospital here.
Encephalocele is a congenital malformation of the neural tube, connected to the brain, because of which the bones of the skull do not close completely, creating a gap through which cerebral spinal fluid, brain tissue and the membrane can protrude into a sac-like formation. She must be operated and Rebecca will be her benefactor.
It all started in January when a social worker distributed pamphlets carrying Wungthingla’s photos and an appeal for financial help. The pamphlet landed in the hands of an Imphal cyber café owner, who scanned and e-mailed it to his contacts.
Soon, the mail was on its way to inboxes around the world, including that of Rebecca’s father Michel. Talking to HT from France, Michel said: “I too would have forwarded it further had my daughter Rebecca not intervened. She declared her intention to donate the 160 euros she had saved over the past five years. This moved me and my wife Jeany.”
A flurry of e-mails and teleconferences later Michel found Wungthingla through community website member Pamchui.
Wungthingla’s father S.P. Ayo said, “Pamchui met them and said someone from France wanted to help the girl. I was overwhelmed by the way it all came about. It is nothing less than the fairly tales my daughter used to hear from her grandma. Rebecca is a godsend.”
Rebecca has handed over everything she possessed, including her Christmas gifts, to her parents to arrange for a ticket to India. She is expected to arrive here on the day of the operation, sometime in April.