Alappuzha: Physical deformities are found in rare cases among people in different parts of the world, but more than limited access to medical help, superstitions and a clear lack of awareness about these conditions prevent people from seeking appropriate help to find a cure.
A family in Kerala’s Alappuzha is facing a rare condition which has left everyone from the 85-year-old head of the family to the youngsters with webbed fingers. They don’t have to live with the disorder called Syndactyly as it can be treated, but the family doesn’t acknowledge it as a medical problem.
The Kannathu family from a village in Alappuzha believes their life altering disorder to be a curse from god, and they don’t want surgery since they are afraid that it will bring bad luck upon the family. The family insists that they can live a normal life even with their fingers stuck together, and carry out daily chores like cooking and cleaning.
The family started having webbed hands 90 years back and since then this has been passed on to every generation. They say they have learnt to use their fingers properly and are proud to show their hands to people who travel from far away places just to see their fingers.
The family believes that they started having this condition when a neighbour cut off a tree in a sacred grove nearby. They are afraid to undergo surgery as a relative who tried lost his ability to hear later. They also hold prayers to appease the snake god.