Ganjam, November 25 (LocalWire): It may be a well-defined medical condition globally, but Polydactyly or having extra toes and fingers may make people believe that you are a witch.
This has been the case of a 65-year-old woman, Nayak Kumari from Ganjam district in the state, who was born with 20 toes and 12 fingers.
According to Kumari, her poor parents did not have the means to get her diagnosed and treated and she had to bear the stigma of being called a witch by the villagers.
The local villagers who failed to understand that it was simply a case of defect or deformation at birth still believe that she is a witch and keep a distance from her.
The hostile behavior of the villagers has forced Kumari to remain within the confines of her small house, as much as possible.
Experts point out that Polydactyly is a condition where someone is born with one or more extra fingers or toes and the additional growth can happen in one or both hands or feet, and it can be treated with surgical intervention.
Medical journals also indicate that Polydactyly is a relatively common developmental abnormality with little clinical significance, although cosmetically it is generally regarded as unacceptable.
According to the US-based National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, “It is the most common birth defect of the hand and foot.
Polydactyly can occur as an isolated finding such that the person has no other physical anomalies or intellectual impairment.”
The Center further adds that: “It can occur in association with other birth defects and cognitive abnormalities as part of a genetic syndrome.
In some cases, the extra digits may be well-formed and functional. Surgery may be considered especially for poorly formed digits or very large extra digits. Surgical management depends greatly on the complexity of the deformity.”
It is interesting to note that the Bollywood star actor Hrithik Roshan also has Polydactyly condition, conjoined thumb in his right hand, something that many consider lucky for him.