Three-year-old Shreya’s story could one day become the plot for a Bollywood biopic, a tragic tale of a toddler separated from her parents in one of India’s worst natural disasters, the Uttarakhand flashfloods.
Even one of Bollywood’s most accomplished and sensitive actors Anupam Kher has shown interest in adopting Shreya, who is now lying in a hospital bed in Dehradun with fractures on both her legs.
The young girl was separated from her parents during the Uttarakhand flash floods on June 16 and was rescued from Kedarnath. She was first admitted with broken legs to a hospital in Rishikesh and was later brought to Dehradun on June 24. Though no one knows her real name, the hospital staff has lovingly given her the name ‘Shreya’.
After news of the little angel was splashed on TV and newspapers, the hospital started receiving queries from individuals as well as institutions keen on adopting the youngster.
Doctors at the hospital say that it will take at least three months for Shreya to recover from her physical injuries but also warn that it will “probably take decades for her to recover from the trauma of separation from her parents”.
She is too young to understand the world’s interest in her but her growing list of visitors now also includes politicians and VIPs besides representatives from NGOs, childless married couples and government officials.
“I have received roughly 15-20 individual inquires for adoption. Moreover, many others are approaching the district administration and may be some other authorities,” Dr RS Aswal, chief medical superintendent at Doon hospital informed Hindustan Times.
So far, only the Rishikesh-based Parmarth Niketan has formally approached the hospital.
“I have received an e-mail from Parmarth Niketan. The Ashram has shown interest in adopting the girl child. I have forwarded the mail to the social welfare department for follow-up,” Dr Aswal added.
Actor Anupam Kher is also said to be keen on adoption of the girl child but hospital sources said that they are yet to receive a formal request from the thespian.
For little Shreya, however, the words of compassion and the noble thought of adoption means very little as she lies in the hospital bed, often crying out the only word she has learnt in the world so far, amma (mother).
But little does she know that she may never see the mother who gave birth to her.
But then, miracles have happened at Kedarnath and amazing stories of survival continue to trickle in from the ravaged hill slopes of Uttarakhand. Like Shreya’s own escape from certain death.