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'Elephant man' with 'trunk' due to rare condition is revered as god but needs miracle surgery
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'Elephant man' with 'trunk' due to rare condition is revered as god but needs miracle surgery

Source: mirror.co.uk
Every morning Kanai Das walks to the railway station and stands at one corner with his hands out in the hope of getting alms.

He patiently waits for the benevolent commuters who give him as much as £3 a day from his efforts.

But the 42-year-old is not just a beggar.

For many Indians, he is the reincarnation of Lord Ganesha - the elephant God known as the 'Lord of Obstacles' and they pay him money in respect.

However Kanai doesn’t have a trunk like an elephant.

He suffers from a rare condition called neurofibromatosis that has disfigured his face, left his facial skin sagging down to his chest and his right eye has vanished in all the layers of his droopy flesh.


Deity: many Indians believe Kanai he is the reincarnation of Lord Ganesha

He cannot eat and talk properly and always needs medicines to keep his inflammatory skin soothed.

And because of his deformity, he has never been able to land a half-decent job.

He said: “I do not want to beg but I have no other way to earn money and look after my mother.

"People think I am God because I have a trunk like him. But I was not like this always.

“I have fond memories of seeing from both the eyes but over the years, my right eye has disappeared.

"I could see it in the mirror some years ago but now I cannot find it in all the pile of flesh. I do not even remember how I used to look before,” says Kanai.

The beggar from Baruipur in West Bengal in eastern India was born with a lump on his head and by the time he turned nine, the lump became so big that it engulfed his right eye and bloated his nose, partially disfiguring his face.


Angel: Bharati Roy adopted Kanai after he was abandoned and found homeless

With no money for his treatment, his widowed mother abandoned him.

A hapless Kanai then resorted to scavenging dustbins at railway stations for filling his empty stomach until one day Bharati Roy, a then shopkeeper found him.

His miserable condition melted the mother of six children and she adopted him.

Bharati, now 73 and widowed, said: “I was in the shop when I saw a young boy, wretched and sifting through the dustbin for food. His nose was bulging and his right eye was sagging. I was so moved by his condition that I could not stop myself from bringing him home.”

But even though Bharati’s husband and children accepted her decision, they refused to assist the deformed Kanai in his day-to-day life.


Ganesha: this revered Hindu deity is regarded as the Lord of Obstacles

She said: “I had 22 members in my family and no one really hated him but his condition was such that none wanted to touch him or get close to him.

"It has always been me who feed him or bathe him. I have always taken care of his needs.”

The mother-son duo share a small room in an apartment built on the area that once belonged to Bharati.

But their life only runs on the money that Kanai gets.

Bharati says: “People revere him as Lord Ganesh and give him money. You should see how much they give him when there is a festival.

"Everyone loves him and seek his blessings. But we need the blessings. He needs it more as he lives a very painful life.”

Bharati and her late husband had tried to give Kanai medical treatment but every time they took him to doctors, they would be told his condition is incurable.

But Kanai still believes in miracles and hopes for a surgery that could give him a normal face.


Help: Kanai prays to God for forgiveness each night despite his deformity not being his fault

“I always pray to God and ask him for forgiveness. My life is very painful. I cannot walk or eat. I spill the food while eating. I do visit others as it embarrasses me.

“The flesh irritates me, it always feels like burning and itching. I have to always take medicines so to keep the skin soothed.

"Though doctors have told me there is no cure, I still hope for a miracle. I want to be a healthy person and lead a normal life,” a wishful Kanai.



Source: mirror.co.uk

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