2 06 2008

Disabled girls confined to room for years hoping for miracle

1 June 2008

Thaindian News

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/disabled-girls-confined-to-room-for-years-hoping-for-miracle_10055342.html

Bhubaneswar, June 1 (IANS) Two handicapped sisters in Orissa’s Sambalpur district have been confined to a room for the past four years, praying for a miracle to cure them. Hastina Majhi, 21, and her sister Binita, 15, have been living in a small room in their village Gudhrapada, some 400 km from here, after they developed skeletal deformities, suspected to be polio affliction.

The matter came to light when a few villagers complained to the police that the girls were being “forcefully” confined to the room.

A team of district health officials Sunday visited the village to check whether the girls have been afflicted by polio, said Narayan Nayak, a police official.

The girls told police that they stayed inside the room after being told by a ‘godman’ that only Lord Krishna can cure them and they need to stay and worship in a restricted environment.

“We took them to local doctors, who told us that the girls have developed polio and it cannot be cured,” Pabitra Majhi, the girls’ father and a daily wager, told IANS.

The girls then preferred to stay in the room worshipping and observing fasts frequently.

They would open the room only to take food or meet members of the immediate family.

The district administration has announced it would extend all help for their treatment, he said.

Despite mass immunization and efforts by government to eliminate the virus, India continues to have cases of polio with 676 detected in 2006 and 590 cases in 2007.

In Orissa, health officials have detected at least three cases of polio in the past five years including in a two-year-old daughter of a migrant labourer last month. 

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