Five-year-old Manisha of Bangalore in southern India, who saw her parents commit suicide and herself survived a strangulation attempt by her own mother, is now recovering in hospital.
On Wednesday, the child looked better but was still in a state of shock, reports said.
Dr Karunakara, attending to the child, said, "She is doing fine and is responding to treatment. In a day or two, she will be shifted out of the Intensive Care Unit. However, Manisha keeps crying, probably remembering the horrifying incidents and it will take some time for her to come out of the trauma."
Her parents, Nagesh, 37, and Sudha, 35, seemed to be a happily married couple who had everything one could want a house of their own and a financially-sound future.
When Nagesh did not report for duty for two days, one of his colleagues turned up Tuesday to find out what was happening. None answered the doorbell. Then he and some neighhours broke the window panes to see Sudha's body hanging from the ceiling. The child could be seen sleeping in the hall.
On arrival at the scene, the police were preparing to break in, but the child herself opened the door.
"With a deadpan expression, she pointed towards the bedroom. The child's lips were dry and she looked devastated. We rushed her to the hospital," said a neighbour.
Manisha though in a state of shock managed to narrate the incident in bits and pieces to her relatives, it is said. According to her, the couple had had a heated argument. Though she couldn't say when, it should have been Monday, others believe.
Nagesh had locked himself in the bedroom, warning he would hang himself.
Sudha herself, who was busy attending to her daughter, broke open the bedroom door a little later and was shocked to see her husband hanging.
When she realised that he had died, she apparently tried to strangle Manisha and hang herself. The child survived the ordeal though, as it turned out.
But it would be quite long before she recovers completely. Said Lata Jacob, counsellor and co-ordinator of the Sahai distress helpline, "Children who suffer some assault or have witnessed something traumatic will surely take time to recover. In Manisha's case, she has barely survived strangulation and seen both her parents commit suicide, one can easily imagine the devastating impact on the child."
She stressed, "What is most important is that children who are victims of such horrific experiences should get unconditional love from their family members. Since Manisha has lost her parents, the other family members should ensure that she feels secure, loved and taken care of. If there are other children around her who will play with her and love her, the healing will be faster."
She added that the family should identify a parental figure, maybe a grandmother or an aunt, who could be of constant support to the child, whom she could look up to for help if she had any problem.
Such a person should not be too busy with other things, because physical presence would be important to the child.