Sunday, April 20, 2008

Baby born in India with two faces is worshipped as goddess Durga

A baby has been born with two faces in a northern Indian village, where she is being worshipped as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess, her father said today.

The baby, Lali, was born last month with 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.

She is otherwise healthy and said to be doing well.

“My daughter is fine, like any other child,” said 23-year-old Vinod Singh, a poor farm worker.

Lali has caused a sensation in the dusty village of Saini Sunpura, 25 miles (40km) east of New Delhi. Villagers flocked to see her when she left the hospital, eight hours after a normal delivery on March 11, said Sabir Ali, the director of Saifi Hospital.

“She drinks milk from her two mouths and opens and shuts all the four eyes at one time,” Mr Ali said.

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Rural India is deeply superstitious and the little girl is being hailed as a return of Durga, the Hindu goddess of valour, 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, said Mr Singh.

“She is the reincarnation of a goddess,” said Lakhi Chand, a 65-year-old 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.”

Daulat Ram, the village chief, said that 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 Mr Ali, adding that he saw no need for surgery.

Lali’s parents were married in February 2007 and she is their first child.

Mr Singh said that 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 Mr 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.

(TimesOnline, 2008) (

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