In Delhi's Lok Nayak Hospital, Zikra Malik lies on a bed with her doll. The 11-month-old has her legs attached to a traction rod - and so does her doll, named Pari.
According to Amar Ujala, Zikra fractured her leg after falling down from her bed on August 17. But when her family rushed her to the hospital, the toddler, nervous and crying, refused to get treated.
Indian Express reports that doctors suggested putting Zikra on gallows traction, a method used for treating a fractured shaft of the thigh bone in children younger than two years.
But Zikra refused to get treated - forcing her parents to come up with a novel solution. They decided to bring Zikra's doll, Pari, to the hospital.
"Even at home, she is always moving from one place to another and it's impossible to make her sit down for five minutes. On the first day at the hospital, she wasn't ready to lie down on the bed. She kept moving and doctors asked us to keep her legs straight for proper alignment. Then I asked my husband to get her favourite doll to the hospital. We just thought of putting Pari in the same position as Zikra - and it worked," said her mother, Fareen, to Indian Express.
"She was happy as soon as she saw the doll," she added.
Doctors at the hospital first 'treated' Pari, and then Zikra. They plastered the doll's legs, after which Zikra agreed to receive treatment.
At bed number 16 of the orthopaedic block, the two now lie together, and their friendship has become the talk of the ward. Zikra is now famous in the hospital as the "gudiya waali bachi (the girl with the doll)", and is expected to make a full recovery in another week.