Mother to 23 beyond umbilical cord!

Bhubaneswar: For some, life pans out in a manner where opulence in what they give back never makes them deficient of anything. Not one, not two, but Purnima Behera has been a mother to 23 children, without ever bearing one.

Purnima has built temple of motherhood at Kansaripara in Bolangir district where she has adopted children who are deprived of either or both parents.

“Some were only months old, while others days and some were newborn when I took them in,” says Purnima.

In fact, the youngest in her family is a baby girl who she rescued from the canines when she was found abandoned.

For these children Purnima is everything, an embodiment of motherhood and epitome of parenthood.

“She takes care of everything from what we need to what we eat,” says Basudha Behera, one of Purnima’s adopted daughters.

Purima never got married. Her big family lives in a house which is covered with polyethylene, but has full proof protection of love and affection.

“She loves us more than our parents. She does whatever to fulfill our demands,” said Purnima’s another daughter Gita Behera.

Purnima sustains her family by selling fish in Bolangir Bazaar, where she is known as Puni Nani.

While some of her sons and daughters have left her and settled independently after finding employment and getting married, 18 children still live under Purnima’s all-encompassing umbrella of selfless motherhood.