Looking like a small baby , Shanti Devi, 60, spends her days cuddled up and lying on a cot, mumbling or singing alone and has become a tourist attraction in her Indian village.
Her limbs have shrunk and twisted and have become so rigid that any movement is impossible for her. She cannot open her hands and spread her legs or even tilt her head and entirely relies on her children for assistance. She has been like this for more than two decades.
Devi once stood five-feet tall but in the past 25 years she has gradually shrunk to just two-feet tall. “I have been living like this for nearly 25 years now. This is painful. I get bored but I can do nothing on my own. I miss sitting and waking and meeting my friends or watering plants,” said Devi in a hoarse voice.
It all started after the delivery of her third child, a son. Husband Gangacharan Kushwaha said: “She was perfectly healthy and leading a normal life when we got married thirty five years ago.
“Problems only started after the delivery of our third child, a son. She had become weak and very slow.
“After three months, she complained of severe pain in her bones that had become stiff. After a couple of months, she noticed changes in her body as she was looking smaller,”
“She told us but we did not believe her until we realised she had shortened by half feet in just four months. However, she could walk.”
Shanti’s condition deteriorated and she became completely bed-ridden after a thatched roof from a neighbouring hut fell on her legs.
“One day, while neighbours were fitting their new thatched roof, she was looking at it and it accidentally fell on her legs. After that accident, she could not get up on her feet.”Her bones had become weak and tight. She complained of severe pain and eventually lost physical strength and became bed-ridden,” added the 62-year-old farmer.