Jaipur, Nov 1 : The local guardians of Japanese surrogate baby 'Manjhi' today bid adieu to the child and her 74-year old grandmother Emiko Yamada, who would be leaving for Japan tonight.
Manjhi and Yamada left from Jaipur in the afternoon for New Delhi from where they'll board an Air India flight to Japan with a one-year visa, which would be renewed later. Local guardians Kamal Vijay Vargiya with his wife Shweta presented garlands and the temple priest performed prayers and rituals while bidding farewell to the baby and her grandmother.
"We are very happy today. I cannot even express how happy I am. When she came to Jaipur and was admitted in the hospital, we took a pledge to make all efforts to send her to her father in Japan. The people and mediapersons have helped us a lot and we are really happy that the baby is ready to leave for Japan," said Vargiya.
Shweta with tears in her eyes let Manjhi go off from her arms and told reporters that she would go to Japan if she misses her too much.
"I am happy that now she would meet her father and get his love and affection after waiting for so long. But I am sad as well because she will be away from me. I took care of her like a mother," said Shweta.
Manjhi was caught in a legal tussle as Indian laws prohibit the child's divorced Japanese father from taking her custody. Soon after her conception, her parents were separated.
The baby's parents Ikufumi Yamada, 45, and his then-wife Yuki Yamada, 41, had come to India a year ago and had hired the services of a surrogate mother in Ahmedabad, but during the pregnancy, the couple was divorced.
Soon after the baby was born, serial bombings took place in Ahmedabad and the baby was shifted to Jaipur, where she was being looked after at a hospital.
Her father wanted to take custody of the child but Manjhi's future was left in a legal limbo, with only her grandmother to look after, as her father had to leave India on expiry of his visa.
According to governing laws parents have to adopt their surrogate child and adoption laws make it difficult for single fathers to adopt girls.