Odishatv Bureau

Kendrapara: Three young girls, all siblings from a poor family here, have been afflicted with a rare genetic and neurological disease.

The girls aged 22, 20, and 18 respectively wear an emaciated look with paralysed lower limbs.

Hunger stares at the family with impoverished parents struggling hard to make ends meet. Seikh Riyasuddin, their father is an automobile driver and the burden of his immobile daughters is too heavy on his part to shoulder.

"We have come across the health profile of the diseased girls. They might be suffering from a congenital disease called muscular dystrophy. But the nature of the disease is yet to be conclusively ascertained," Mirza Babar Beig, charge additional District Medical Officer (public Heath), said.

The girls are in need of specialized medical attention which the district headquarters hospital here is not equipped to handle. Steps are being taken to pay medical attention to the diseased sisters, he said. "This disease is very rare and is seen in one out of one lakh children. It has a debilitating effect on muscles and joints and those affected with such disorder undergo cardiac ailments which often turn fatal", he said.

"My husband hardly earns Rs 200 a day. We live on his meager earnings. Four of my daughters got crippled and lost the ability to move since early childhood. One of them died last year. My three daughters are confined to bed. Whatever savings that we had accrued has got exhausted while paying the medical bills", rued Nazrin Biwi, their mother.

For Nazrin, the lone comforting fact is that her physically challenged children have been covered under the Rs 300-a-month disability pension scheme. Ironically, the parents were allegedly forced to cough up bribes for the government dole.