Odisha woman branded 'witch' for having 12 fingers, 20 toesLast updated on Nov 25, 2019, 07:11 pm
In a remote village in Odisha's Ganjam district, a 63-year-old woman confines herself to her mud home.
"The neighbors believe I am a witch so they keep away from me," says Nayak Kumari, who was born with 20 toes and 12 fingers.
Now, Kumari spends most of her time indoors at her home in Kadapada village, Ganjam.
Here are more details.
People here are superstitious, explains Kumari's neighbor
Speaking to ANI, Kumari revealed that her neighbors take her for a witch due to her appearance.
However, there's little she can do about it since she comes from a poor family.
So she started keeping to herself to avoid prying eyes.
A sympathetic neighbor told ANI, "This is a small village and people here are superstitious, so they treat her like a witch."
Kumari's condition is called polydactyly
Kumari's condition has a name: polydactyly, which involves a person having more than the normal number of digits.
In the womb, at 6-7 weeks of gestation, the hands and feet first form in the shape of a paddle, which then split into fingers and toes. Any anomaly during this stage can cause polydactyly.
Although the condition is usually random, it can also be hereditary.
25 members of Madhya Pradesh family found to have polydactyly
Recently, a Madhya Pradesh family made headlines after 25 members were found to have polydactyly. One of the family members, Baldev Yawale, said the condition made it difficult for them to find employment and for the kids to get an education, due to bullying.
1-2 people in every 5,000 have extra fingers: Doctor
Meanwhile, surgical specialist Dr. Pinaki Mohanty told ANI, "Polydactyly is caused by a mutation in genes."
"It is not that uncommon," Dr. Mohanty explained, "Around one or two people in every five thousand have extra fingers."
"However, someone having 20 toes and 12 fingers is very rare," he said, adding that many patients with the condition often get neglected due to the social stigma.