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08 Apr 2008 17:31
A baby with two faces was born in a northern Indian village, where she is doing well and is being worshipped as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess, her father said on Tuesday.
The baby, Lali, apparently has an extremely rare condition known as craniofacial duplication, where a single head has two faces. All of Lali’s facial features are duplicated except for her ears—she has two.
Otherwise, she has two noses, two pairs of lips and two pairs of eyes.
“My daughter is fine—like any other child,” said Vinod Singh (23), a poor farmworker.
Lali has caused a sensation in the dusty village of Saini Sunpura, 40km east of New Delhi.
“She drinks milk from her two mouths and opens and shuts all the four eyes at one time,” Ali said.
Rural India is deeply superstitious and the little girl is being hailed as a return of the Hindu goddess of valor, Durga, a fiery deity traditionally depicted with three eyes and many arms.
Up to 100 people have been visiting Lali at her home every day to touch her feet out of respect, offer money and receive blessings, Singh said.
“She is the reincarnation of a goddess,” said Lakhi Chand (65), a farmer who came to see Lali from neighbouring Haryana state.
“Lali is God’s gift to us,” said Jaipal Singh, a member of the local village council. “She has brought fame to our village.”
Village chief Daulat Ram said he planned to build a temple to Durga in the village. “I am writing to the state government to provide money to build the temple and help the parents look after their daughter,” Ram said.
Lali’s condition is often linked to serious health complications, but the doctor said she was doing well. “She is leading a normal life with no breathing difficulties,” said Ali, adding that he saw no need for surgery.
Lali’s parents were married in February 2007. Lali is their first child.
Singh said he took his daughter to a hospital in New Delhi where doctors suggested a CT scan to determine whether her internal organs were normal, but Singh said he felt it was unnecessary.
“I don’t feel the need of that at this stage as my daughter is behaving like a normal child, posing no problems,” he said.—Sapa-AP
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