Women with 31 fingers called a witch throughout her life

Life becomes unbearable without the love and affection of the family members and the belongingness of society. Unfortunately for KumariNayak, a 63-year-old woman from the Ganjan district of Odisha, her life has been a humiliation because she has Polydactylism.



Polydactylism is a defect in the body where the person suffers from abnormal growth. In the case of Kumari, she was born with 19 toes and 12 fingers by birth. Her life was made miserable by this disease as, since childhood, people used to keep their children away from her and call her names. 


Kumari said in an interview: ‘I was born with this defect and I couldn’t be treated as we belonged to a low-income family. ‘


As she grew old, things turned even worse as she was called a witch by her neighbors. She feels terrible by such remarks but is helpless as she cannot get herself treated and can’t fight a long battle with superstitions. Therefore, she keeps herself indoor to avoid bitter words.

Kumari has faced shocking abuse from neighbours who call her a witch (Picture: SWNS)


It has now been 63 years that I have had this condition. She said in the interview, ‘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 neighbors.’


One of her neighbors, who understands the medical condition of Kumari, often comes to help her, but even she said that the mentality of people in a small village is such that they think of everything in terms of good or bad, god-like or witch. And, Kumari’s medical condition has made her the witch of the village.

(Picture: SWNS)


On hearing Kumari’s situation, government officials of India have decided to come to her aid. She is granted a house and monthly pension so that she can live a life of dignity. Even measures are taken to stop murders of women in the pretext of witch-hunting and black magic.

In 2016, there were 135 cases registered of murder and lynch mobbing to curb black magic. Even though the government of India is taking measures to curb such heinous acts, but the administration feels the efforts on the ground level are not adequate, and mass awareness needs to be spread about such diseases. 

Let's hope stricter laws are passes, and victims of such diseases are also considered humans and give their share of respect in society.