Feb 4 2016
Though Keshav Kumar and his sister Anjali Kumari are only children, they appear to be decades older, just like the titular character in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
The pair, who are 18 months and seven years old respectively, have wrinkled, sagging skin, joint paint and swollen faces.
But the comparisons with the hero of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story ends there. Doctors say the siblings suffer from something called Cutis Laxa, as well as a form of Progeria, for neither of which there is any treatment.
‘We dream there is a cure for my children,’ said the children’s father, Shatrughan.
‘We’ve tried to get help from our local doctors but they have told us our only hope is from overseas.’
Shatrughan spends 500 Rupees (£5) a month on homeopathic treatment for Anjali and Keshav but it hasn’t had an effect.
Shatrughan, 40, and mother Rinki Devi, 35, have another child, 11-year-old Shilpi, who says she will teacher her siblings ‘to be strong’.
‘I get very upset but there’s nothing I can say, what do I say back to these cruel kids?’ she said.
‘I will be here for them forever but I just wish them the best education so that they are never dependent on anyone for anything as they grow up.