Only the hardest of hearts could feel anything but sympathy for Bablu Pishi, whose arm weighs a staggering 20kg (44lb) due to a genetic condition.
Bablu, who lives in Mumbai, India, is desperate to be able to work and earn money to look after himself, and to begin to live a normal life, but the prospects for that look bleak while he can’t afford treatment.
‘I’ve been this way since I was born. As I got older, my hand kept growing and growing,’ says Bablu, a sufferer of gigantism, a disease which causes excessive growth of body tissue.
Bablu came to Mumbai after being shunned in his home village, where he suffered abuse and was called ‘devil child’ by his neighbours. Sadly, life is still far from easy. ‘No one wants to help me in this city,’ he explains. ‘If I go to some shop for work, they beat me… They don’t even let me in.
‘If my arm was normal, I would have been living with my family… I would have married like others do.’
So, how do women react to the man with the gargantuan arm? ‘Women notice me but they turn a blind eye or walk away from me. Why would they even talk to me?’
Surely there must be something that can be done to rescue Bablu from this desperate plight? He has been advised that plastic surgery and reconstruction is necessary. Yet the £15,000 cost is way beyond beggar Bablu.
‘By any chance if I will get a treatment, I will go back to my home. I will earn a good living and eat. I will build a home with my own efforts and I’ll live happily.
‘Once my hand is operated upon, then I will earn from my own hard work, not from begging. I will pour my sweat, blood and tears into my work.’