News & Photographs Courtesy – IndianExpress
They talk six to 10 times a day. They barely exchange words. For Sheetal Thakur and Anjana Thakur, it is enough to have someone to cry with. Shimla knows them as the mothers whose children got swapped at birth and have been returned to them since. Friends and relatives call to congratulate Sheetal on “a battle that has been won”. Torn between the child she raised for five months and one she now knows as hers, Sheetal breaks down, “Mujhe bilkul samajh nahin aa raha ki main khush hoon ya dukhi… Mein khush nahin hoon (I can’t make up my mind if I should be happy or sad… I am not happy).”
On October 26, the two families held ‘Annaprashan’, a ceremony to mark a baby’s transition towards solid foods. At the ceremony, a restless Jannat was handed over to Anjana and husband Jatinder Thakur. When it was her turn to hand over the quiet Nitansh to Sheetal and Anil Thakur, Anjana couldn’t do it herself and Jatinder had to step in.
Along with her “son”, Anjana gave Sheetal a bag containing the clothes and toys she had bought for him, apart from a meticulously documented feeding and sleep schedule.
Then, the two couples took their new children home, separated by about 9 km.
Read full story at Indian Exress website here.