Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: For Jaga and Kalia- the twins who underwent a rare successful cranial separation surgery at the Neurosciences Centre of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi back in 2017, the wait is finally over as they boarded Bhubaneswar-bound Rajdhani Express after being discharged from the premier hospital today. Even their parents breathed a sigh of relief as they are ultimately heading back to their homeland- Odisha, after over two years.

The separated conjoined twins will reach Cuttack tomorrow following which they will be admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack while their treatment would be carried out under the supervision of a 6-member team of doctors inside a special cabin set up in the hospital.

A team of doctors from AIIMS as well as SCB, parents of the twins and officials of Odisha Bhawan in Delhi are accompanying Jaga and Kalia to Odisha. The State government has made extensive arrangements for their safe return, further ensuring that it will oversee complete treatment of the twins in Cuttack SCB till they grow fit, sources said.

With a big smile on her face, Jaga-Kalia's mother thanked everyone and said "Both of them are fine and we are finally returning to Cuttack. We are extremely happy."

Earlier today, during a press conference at Delhi AIIMS presided over by Union Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan, the doctors expressed how joyful everyone was. "Today AIIMS is going to send the first successfully separated Craniopagus twins of India - Jaga & Kalia home. It is a glorious moment of pride for all of us," they said.

Congratulating the team, Harshvardhan said, "The doctors did an excellent job over the last 2 years and two months. Despite multiple complications, the surgeries were successful. I still believe picture is not over yet. It's just the beginning. The twins still have a long journey to cover. They will be rehabilitated, and the time is also ripe for them to go to school. I think they have the blessings of Lord Jagannath and He will take care of them."

Born to Bhuan Kanhar and Puspanjali Kanhar of Milipada in Kandhamal district, the twins, suffering from a rare craniopagus disorder, were admitted for treatment to Delhi AIIMS on July 13, 2017 with the help of Odisha government. A special team of doctors performed two phases of marathon cranial separation surgeries- one on August 28 and the second on October 25, 2019 to separate the conjoined twins.