The parents of 2-year-old Sofya Zakharova, from Russia, were told she couldn’t attend her local nursery school because her deformed skull would “scare other children”.
Little Sofya and her parents live in the Russian village of Alatany in the Bashkortostan region. The little girl was born with a deformed skull and fingers and toes that are fused together.
Her parents were told that their child would need to get surgery before she could be allowed for a place in the school.
While Sofya’s parents are desperately trying to get her an operation, experts warn that her development will suffer if she does not interact with other children her age in the meantime.
“The sooner she gets the experience of interactions, the easier it will be for her to cope with the conditions in which she lives and grows.” Educational psychologist Ekaterina Belan told The Metro.
Sofya and her family live in an apartment with no water or heating because the stove is broken and the gas has been disconnected.
According to the Metro, Sofya’s case was picked up by by local charity, Rainbow of Goodness, but the school still refused to allow Sofya to enroll.
The child’s mother said she was told, “First, you need to arrange an operation to she can go to nursery school like an ordinary child.”
Now, prosecutors are investigating why Sofya has not been operated on and why the school refuses to give her a place.
“I understand that if it were not for the intervention of the charitable foundation, there would have been no meetings on this and no relocation. It’s already clear that the rights of the child and parents are violated, and there will now be an appropriate legal assessment.” The Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan, where the family is from, Radiy Khabirov said.
Find out more about Sofya’s story in the clip below:
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