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3-yr-old Kedarnath survivor now a free bird

The 3-year-old survivor of the Kedarnath tragedy, Jyoti, could not be happier. After all, both her legs were set free from plaster today. Nihi Sharma Sahani reports.
Hindustan Times | By Nihi Sharma Sahani `, Dehradun
UPDATED ON JUL 26, 2013 08:09 PM IST

The 3-year-old survivor of the Kedarnath tragedy, Jyoti, could not be happier. After all, both her legs were set free from plaster on Friday.

While doctors assured she would be discharged on Monday, the district administration planned to start the process of putting her up for adoption, preferably to social welfare groups and not individuals.

Dr Dinesh Chandra Nautiyal, senior orthopedic surgeon at Doon District Hospital shared with Hindustan Times, "Jyoti is fine. Today we cut her plaster which was put for 4 weeks. X-ray was also done and its reports will be received tomorrow. Both her legs seem fine and she can start walking. We hope to discharge her by Monday."

Jyoti was rescued from Kedarnath on June 24 after floods ravaged Uttarakhand on June 16-17. A rescue team found both her legs broken and admitted her to Doon District Hospital in the capital.

Experts plastered her legs and advised 4 weeks stay. Initially, she was kept in emergency ward but was later shifted to private ward. As she was drawing much attention causing heavy footfall at emergency ward, the hospital administration decided to shift her.

Apparently, the state government declared having custody of young Jyoti. Several hands came forward to adopt the child, but the district administration said it would take a decision after her recovery. Anganwadi workers and child help line workers were nursing her in the meantime.

Dehradun district administration had sent officers to Bagwan village in Tehri where some villagers identified her through television channels. But, even after knowing her identity, little Jyoti remained lost.

Villagers shared that Jyoti was living with a lady who took her to Kedarnath. Her father was a priest who had died in an accident a year ago and her mother ran away after she was born. The old lady with whom Jyoti went to Kedarnath remained missing during the disaster.

Several people came forward to adopt the young survivor of Kedarnath including Bollywood actor Anupam Kher representing Pratham NGO and Parmarth Niketan of Rishikesh.

Till first week of July, more than 50 queries were received for her adoption. In fact, the district administration is now planning to proceed with adoption formalities.

However, the administration prefers to give her to a social welfare group or charitable trust instead of individuals.

"The process of adoption is lengthy. We don't want to make mistakes. Therefore, we would prefer to give her to some charitable trust or organisation working towards child development instead of individuals," R Meenakshi Sundaram, acting district magistrate, Dehradun said.

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