Mona Lisa: Conjoined twins celebrate 20 years of separate lives, year of motherhood

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: India

Publishing organisation: The Times of India newspaper

Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd. (Times Group)

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 2022-11-19

Language: English

Authors: I persoanlly involved in the project


SUDIPTO DAS works as a staff for The Times of India newspaper, the highest selling news daily in the country and recently designated as Special Photojournalist posted in Kolkata, India who also contributes stories. He has completed his Post-Graduate Degree in Photojournalism at the Konrad Adenauer Asian Centre for Journalism in collaboration with World Press Photo at Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines.

A nominator for the 6×6 Global Talent Program 2019 & 2020, a World Press Photo Foundation initiative, Amsterdam. He also worked for Associated Press (AP), European Press Photo Agency (EPA), BBC News online, SPAN and India Today magazine.

Project description:

Born Monalisa as conjoined twins, they became Mona and Lisa when they were around six months old after undergoing a risky eight-hour complicated surgery exactly two decades ago. Now, both of them are happily married and mothers of healthy toddlers.

Narendra Nath Mukherjee, who was in the Medical College & Hospital (MCH), Kolkata surgery ward when Molalisa went under the scalpel 20 years back on November 1

A 30-member team conducted the complicated operation that was the 27th successful separation of thoraco-omphalopagus twins, a medical term for those joined at the chest, sharing a few ribs and some internal organs.

Impact reached:

The breaking story of the conjoined twins turned viral across country with many leading news organisation share the story on online platform

Techniques/technologies used:

Tracking the conjoined twins was not a easy task. I used social networking sites for some lead. And then I started tracking them before finaly able to get the phone number of their father

Context about the project:

I would want to highlight access to data can bring out amazing stories. Here to track the story I took help of Facebook.

What can other journalists learn from this project?

The succesfull operation of the conjoined twins was first published 20 years back in the newspaper but afterward there were no trace.

I made a frantic search for almost two months before find out an amazing story.

Project links: