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July 6, 2004

Deaf-mute kid's new address: Nari Gruh

From: Indian Express, India - Jul 6, 2004

Express News Service

Ahmedabad, July 6: Three weeks after Jyotsna's family dumped her at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital and vanished, hospital authorities and the Shahibaug police have decided to send the deaf-mute child to Nari Gruh, a home for women.

Nine-year-old Jyotsna Bharatkumar Rawat was abandoned at the paediatric ward of the civil hospital — apparently by her own family — on June 18. She was diagnosed as having acute cerebral malaria. Suffering from diarrhoea, running a high fever and retching violently, the feeble Jyotsana had little hope of making it.

Deserted by her kin, Jyotsana's case suffered several setbacks. ''We had no one to tell us about the patient's medical history. Since the child is deaf and mute, she could not respond to our queries. To complicate matters, she was also mentally challenged,'' explains Dr Khalil Soniwala.

Despite all odds, the medical team gave Jyotsna a new lease of life. When The Express Newsline reporter last visited her, Jyotsna was incapable of moving her limbs. A fortnight later, she can not only sit up on her own, she can even ask for water by making queer sounds.

Satisfied with her condition, the hospital authorities have now requested the Shahibaugh police to speed up their investigation about her missing family. They have also asked the police to shift Jyotsana to a women's home. Taking charge of her case, Sub-Inspector Manoj Sharma visited Jyotsna on Tuesday. He spent nearly an hour with the child. ''She never spoke to me. However, several nurses, interns and parents in the ward insisted that she has started speaking,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Sharma, while going through the hospital register, came across an address under Baola police station. This address is different from the Suraj Nagar one given on Jyotsna's file and Sharma feels it is her last hope.

''If the Baola police station notifies us by Tuesday night, we will send her to her parents or else we will take her to the Nari Gruh on Wednesday,'' Sharma said.

© 2004: Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world.