A woman in India with a record 31 fingers and toes has been branded a ‘witch’ by her superstitious neighbours.
Kumari Nayak, 63, has polydactylism – a common abnormality at birth where the person has extra fingers and toes.
Nayak is set to enter the Guinness World Records for having the most digits in the world – 19 toes and 12 fingers. She beats previous record holder Devendra Suthar, who entered the record book in 2014 – with 14 toes and 14 fingers.
But Kumari, from Ganjam district in Odisha, India, claims cruel neighbours have branded her a “witch” and avoid her in the street.
“I was born with this defect and I couldn’t be treated as we belonged to a poor family. It has now been 63 years that I have had this condition.
She continued: “The residents nearby, who are too much into blind faiths, believe that I am a witch and keep away from me. They sometimes come to see my condition – but never help. I am forced to stay indoors as I am being treated differently which is not a nice way of treatment from my neighbours.”
One of her neighbours, who is aware of Kumari’s condition, said others in their ‘small village’ put too much belief in superstition.
The neighbour said: “I know that she has a medical problem and has nothing to do with what others believe her to be. ‘I feel so sorry for her that she cannot even afford to get herself treated.”
Government officials in India, having heard of Kumari’s plight, have offered her a home and a pension, and are making attempts to spread awareness among her neighbours. An administrative department spokesman said: “We are aware of her situation and have offered all possible helps. ‘We are also educating her neighbours to treat her with love and compassion and that she is not a witch.”