Soumittra S Bose | Sep 14, 2015, 03.01 AM IST
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Nagpur: Indian-born-Swedish-national 41-year-old Nilakshi Elizabeth Jorendal, alias Nirupa’s, reuniting with her biological mother after four decades at Jawala village of Amravati district on Saturday also brought to fore suicide of her biological father, a farm labourer, in 1973 when farmers’ suicides was not a political issue.
The meeting between Nirupa and her mother Kunda (name changed) took place three days short of Nirupa’s 42nd birthday. Kunda had left Nirupa when latter was barely a few months old at Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission’s shelter-and-adoption home in Kedgaon near Pune where the little girl was born in 1973. Readying for a second marriage after an abrupt widowhood, Kunda and her family chose to keep Nirupa’s birth a secret that had remained intact so far. This centre gave Nirupa in adoption to a Swedish couple in 1976.
Emotions flowed when Nirupa touched the face of her mother, now in her late 60s, seated on a charpoy in the ramshackle room in a locality where mostly the poor from Buddhist community lived. While Nirupa was struggling to hold back tears, her biological mother Kunda was bore a cautious look unable to react at sudden appearance of a daughter whose existence she had never disclosed to her present family.
“Hi Mom!’ said Nirupa in a hushed voice brushing Kunda’s face. Though she is known as Nilakshi Elizabeth in back home, she now wants to switch to ‘Nirupa’ permanently which was the name her biological mother gave her. Nirupa was helped by activists Arun Dohle and Anjali Pawar of Brussels-based NGO, Against Child Trafficking, to help her trace her roots in Amravati and Murtizapur. After a prolonged period of ill-treatment at the hands of her adoptive mother, for whom taking her into adoption was just a fad after three children of her own, Nirupa seemed to be trying to find some genuine love from Kunda.
“My mother is the most beautiful and strong person I have ever met,” said Nirupa, a store employee in Sweden. Kunda, till date, has remained clueless why her first husband, from whom Nirupa was born, had consumed poison while returning home from farmland. Her marriage was barely two-and-half years old then. She returned to her father’s place near Murtizapur where she realized she was pregnant. Kunda’s elder sister Anupama (name changed) had taken her to the Mukti Mission centre where she gave birth to Nirupa on September 16 in 1973. After a few months, Kunda left the centre and the child with a signature on a document whose content she was unaware of.
Kunda, after meeting her daughter, made a fleeting gesture of her hand to indicate Nirupa was a foot long when she had last seen her, evading notice of others in the room in the family of her second husband from whom she had another three children. “I was shattered while leaving her but was helpless,” she said. The mother-daughter tried to bond, with Pune-based activist Anjali playing the interpreter, while going to Murtizapur where Kunda’s brother stayed. This brother was among the few who knew of Kunda’s secret daughter.
Anjali said Nirupa broke down while bidding mother adieu. “It was heartening to see mother counselling daughter to face tough situations strongly. Though being more frail of the two, mother still provided Nirupa with emotional strength,” said Anjali who has helped almost 40 adoptees meet their biological parents.