Life

By Bilal Kuchay


An Indian family is suffering from a rare skin disease which is not only causing cracks in their hands and feet but also making them as hard as stone.

Parasram Baghel, 60, and his brother Bal Singh’s family from a rural village in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, have been suffering from a rare skin condition that has left their legs and hands with severe cracks.

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Their bodies itch so much that at times blood starts spilling out of the cracks.

But despite consultations with a number of doctors, the brothers and their children have received no relief.

“We have cracks all over our hands and legs. It has not spread in any other part of our bodies but the itching and pain is unbearable.

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“We have not left any hospital in Jabalpur unchecked. In past two decades, both of us have visited many doctors but there is no improvement in our condition.

“Every doctor whom we have visited said this is not a big problem and it will be cured with medicines and ointment. But, we saw no improvement even after following the treatment religiously,” said Parasram.

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Parasram’s mother had the rare skin disease and it was passed on to him and his brother and later his children were born with the same condition.

“Three generations in our family have been suffering from this disease.

“First it was my mother, then I became its victim and now our children are also suffering from the same condition,” said Parasaram, who works as a labourer and earns less than £4 a day.

At times, the condition causes so much pain in their hands and feet that the brothers are forced to skip work and stay at home.

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“It is very difficult to work because of the unbearable pain. We cannot touch anything. It feels like several pins are pricking our hands and legs.

“During monsoon and winter seasons, the condition becomes worse that blood spills through these cracks. Those are the worst times as not only we have to stop working but we cannot even eat food with our hands,” said Parasaram.

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While the brothers have endured the pain throughout their life, they are now worried about their teenage daughters who too have mild symptoms.

Bir Singh says: “I don’t care about my life any more but I’m worried about my young daughters who too have become the victims of this rare condition.

“They are being bullied in school for this condition. It saddens me that my daughters have to go through humiliation. I had taken them for treatment in a government-run medical college but the ointment and medicines prescribed by doctors there were of no help.

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“I don’t have funds to take them to any bigger hospital in Delhi or any other state where they can get advanced treatment,” said Bir Singh.

The distressed fathers are now hoping for government to come forward for their daughter’s help so no future generation in the family have to endure the same pain.

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“We appeal the government to help us so that our future generations wouldn’t have to suffer like us,” they added.