Villagers Worship 'Parasitic Conjoined Twin' as Goddess Sans Her Extra Limbs

by VR Sreeraman on  December 30, 2007 at 12:14 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Villagers Worship 'Parasitic Conjoined Twin' as Goddess Sans Her Extra Limbs
A two-year-old girl born with four arms, four legs and extra internal organs is worshipped like a Goddess in her village even after being successfully operated upon last month to cure of her birth defect.

Lakshmi Tatma, born with the deformity was named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth (Lakshmi).

Indian Goddesses and Gods are depicted in epics and mythological books as very powerful with more than one pair of hands equipped with arms to kill the demons.

Referred to as an incarnation of the Goddesses, the villagers want to build a permanent temple to honour the deity.

"When she was born, she had four hands and four legs. We were very happy that the Goddess has taken birth. When she was being taken to Bangalore for the operation, all of us thought that there should be some remembrance of the form in which she was born, so we decided to build a temple and worship her." said Indradev, Lakshmi's uncle.

"Whenever such a child is born, we have seen that the child doesn't survive. But Lakshmi fought back and she survived the operation too. The villagers worship her for the same," said Rajesh, Sarpanch, Kottarpatti village.

A team of around 30 medics removed what amounted to Lakshmi's headless identical twin sister who was joined at the pelvis and who did not develop and separate properly in the womb, in an extremely rare case, in a risky operation.

The rare birth defect is known as a parasitic twin.

While cutting off the extra limbs, doctors had also removed extra internal organs and corrected a deformed skeleton.

The hospital said it did not charge Lakshmi's poor parents even a penny of the steep 2.5 million rupees the surgery cost.

She will need what doctors termed corrective treatment at a later date, but is being allowed to go home as her parents were keen to get back to their village.

Lakshmi's parents are poor labourers from Bihar state in northern India. They told the media that they had refused offers from circus owners to buy their daughter.

Source: ANI

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