By Taniya Dutta
A five-year-old Bangladeshi boy is seen as a devil by villagers after the thumb and one finger on his left hand has grown to gigantic proportions and weighs a whopping 13 pounds.
Tajbir Akhtar’s left hand is bigger than the size of his head.
Simple activities like holding a glass for water is impossible for him and walking and running are a difficult task for the young boy.
Because of his deformity, villagers have shunned the little boy and have asked his mother Parvin Akhtar to keep Tajbir away of their sight.
“People are scared of the unusual size of his hands. They say my child frightens their kids. They call him a devil.
“It is painful to see my child being bullied by people.
“His hand is thrice the size of children his age. It is so heavy that he cannot hold its weight and stumbles while walking or running,” said Parvin.
The villagers behaviour has forced little Tajbir to live a reclusive life. He does not go to school and has no friends to play with.
“His days are spent inspecting the hand. He cries all day and demands an answer. He is always curious to know why his hand is abnormally bigger than other kids in the neighbourhod.
“I always tell him that Allah has created him in a different way, and by his will he will be able to get normal hands and soon will have friends.
“But how long can I give him hopes? I want my child to live a normal childhood but what can we do? We do not have the means to get him medical treatment,” cried the mother.
Tajbir was born after desperate prayers by parents Parvin and Toufiqul Islam, a daily wage labour from Sonapara village in Bogra district.
Elated by the birth of a son after a girl child, the poor couple had thrown a feast for friends and family to celebrate the occasion but their happiness faded soon after 63rd day of Tajbir’s birth when they noticed the first signs of the rare disease.
Toufiqul, who makes just £30 pound a month, recalled: “We were blessed with a girl and wanted a son. When he was born we thought our prayers were heard but within three months his hand started swelling. At first, it looked as if a wasp has bitten him but the hand kept on growing bigger and bigger. His fingers started growing thicker and gradually changed the shape.”
The illiterate couple made many visits to local doctors for help but returned home disappointed after being told about the hefty amount required for the operation.
With Tajbir’s conditioned progressively worsening, Toufiqul left for Malaysia as a migrant worker in the hope of making good money. However, he could not arrange enough sum for his treatment and returned home three months ago.
He said: I do not have enough to feed the family, footing his medical bills is beyond my capacity. Whatever money I could save I spent it all on his initial treatment but I have nothing left now.”
Luckily, the desperate parents have been shown a ray of hope by social media activist Mamun Biswas.
“I was told by a local contact about his condition and was shocked to see him. The child needs immediate treatment. I have brought the matter to the health secretary and soon will see when can the government doctors start the treatment,” said Mamun, who has helped hundreds of people with similar medical anomalies getting government help.