Another 'god' found in disabled boy
A 14-year-old boy, who is the shortest teenager in Nepal, was hailed as Nepal's new divine reincarnation.india Updated: Mar 12, 2006 16:23 IST
As the Nepal police searched for a missing teen wonder hailed as a reincarnation of the Buddha, believers in another part of the kingdom claimed to have found a "god" in a physically disabled boy.
A 14-year-old boy whose parents say he measures 20 inches and is the shortest teenager in Nepal was hailed as Nepal's new divine reincarnation as rain brought cheer to the country reeling under a drought-like situation.
Khagendra Thapa Magar, from Baglung district in western Nepal, became the new media sensation as his impoverished farmer parents travelled to the popular tourist city of Pokhara in central Nepal to raise money for his "treatment".
Khagendra's father Rup Bahadur said that his son stopped growing two years ago and now weighs only 4 kg.
"He is so tiny that he can fit into a bag," Rup Bahadur said on Friday.
Although the youngster has some speech impediment, he can apparently understand what others are saying. The boy stopped going to school after he became the butt of jokes.
Meanwhile, 16-year-old school dropout Ram Bahadur Bomjan, dubbed a "Little Buddha" and "Namo Buddha", who went missing from a forest in Bara district in southern Nepal Saturday, remains untraced.
Bomjan became famous last year when he reportedly began meditating under a holy tree in the Char Koshe Jhadi forest, sitting in the cross-legged position like the Buddha.
Devotees claim he has been under the tree in the same position since May 2005, praying without food and water for enlightenment.
The teen went missing on Saturday morning, giving rise to speculation that he could have been abducted by Maoist guerrillas or taken away by security personnel.
However, the media on Sunday reported some devotees as saying they had seen the "boy god" walk away on his own but were too awed to speak to him.
As far as Khagendra is concerned, villagers are hailing him as a reincarnation of Hindu deity Vishnu, who is believed to have descended to earth once as Baman Avatar, a dwarf, to humble a powerful king.
The belief spread after the family's arrival in Pokhara last week coincided with the arrival of welcome late winter rains brought by westerly winds.
By the weekend, about 50,000 people had flocked to the Pokhara Shopping Complex to see Khagendra.
In an initiative reminiscent of the medieval circuses where little people were exhibited as freaks, Khagendra's family has put him up on display for a week, ostensibly to use the admission money for his treatment.
Dwarfism is a genetic condition that is aggravated in Nepal due to diet deficiency, especially of iodine.