A family running a dairy farm in Kawla village of Aathner block in MP’s Betul district has drawn attention for a genetic anomaly due to which at least 14 members have more than 20 fingers on hands and legs.
Thako Bai Yevale, 65, wife of Tatuji Yevale, has polydactyly, a congenital physical anomaly of supernumerary fingers.
The anomaly was replicated in her sons named Baldev, 46, Balraj, 43 and Pandari ,40 and their five children, Bai’s daughters Gaura and Sakhu and their three children, leading to 14 members of the family exhibiting this trait.
The fingers in excess are soft tissues and can be surgically removed.
“The genetic anomaly is passed onto generations. The family is certainly a subject of study,” said NC Sharma, former head of genetics department at Barkatullah University.
“Among six siblings, I was the only one born with more than 20 fingers, which made my parents and relatives treat me as a gaudy creature. Instead of posing obstacle in my marriage the 22 fingers saw me being married sans any dowry,” said Thako Bai.
“The same happened with Gaura and Sakhu, who were married to a single family in Khandwa district,” said Tatuji.
However, the three sons of the couple faced hardships in getting married. “It took around five years to find brides for the three.
People were not ready to marry them for having multiple fingers branching from one finger,” said Tatuji.
Kavita, 17, Baldev’s daughter, has 24 fingers in all and is the youngest in the family with the anomaly. “We stay away from public glare as people follow us to our house. The (supernumerary) fingers have never impeded our life, so we’ve never felt burdened.”
“The Yevale family has made the village famous. People from Hoshangabad, Harda and Khandwa districts of MP and Nagpur district of Maharashtra often come to meet them,” said Kawla village panchayat head Jai Prakash Mausik.