Even as film freaks wait for the Amitabh's flick - Paa in which he plays his character suffering from progeria, a rare disease in which the child ages rapidly. Miles away from limelight, the three real 'paas' in Haridwar district in Uttarakhand are facing trauma, doubled with social stigma.
Three siblings - Aasma (10 years old female), Shahjahan (16 years old female) and Shehjad (15 years old male) were born with an exceptionally rare hereditary disease progeria in village Mokhampur in Haridwar district in Uttarakhand. Wahid, a labourer and father of these kids tells he has five children and other two are healthy.
Progeria affected child, Shehjad
Dr Raveev Kumar Director State Resource Centre (SRC) Mentally Retarded and a Pediatrics Neurologist who has diagnosed these kids informed all of them have little time to survive. “It’s sad, but these children have only couple of years. They will die soon” he told Hindustan Times.
He tells peculiarly marked with striking features of ageing like bald head, no eyebrows, loss of teeth, wrinkles on forehead and face, brittle nails and improper speech, these children also have big heads and height about 3.5-4 feet.
Besides Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, these children are also suffering from multiple disabilities. "Mental retardation and hearing impaired are prominent problems associated with all three of them" Dr Kumar adds.
It is pertinent to mention here that there are around 40 cases of Progeria known in the world. This was the first case in North India specifically, in Uttarakhand.
Dr Kumar tells, Wahid, father of these kids has been running pillar to posts to get disability pension so that he could meet out expenses but in vain.
“Provisions of pensions to disabled by government are provided above 18 years and 60 years of age. However, they do not fall under any of these categories. Thus, they are not able to avail the benefit of the schemes for disabled” Dr Kumar underlines.