An eight-year-old boy who has a condition that makes his skin look like stone has been shunned by his community.
Mehendi Hassan is forced to stay at home in Naogaon district, north Bangladesh, because his appearance terrifies other children.
“Other children detest him. People find him filthy because of his condition,” his mother Jahanara Begum said.
He has been home for eight years because whenever he goes out, villagers get scared and say bad things to him. It upsets him so I keep him at home.
He always cries out in pain. It is devastating to see him suffering.
The youngster’s body is covered in thick layers of scaly skin that when touched cause severe pain.
The first signs of his condition came 12 days after he was born when his parents found minor rashes on his body.
These eventually spread and his affliction has baffled doctors ever since.
“No doctor could diagnose the disease,” his father Abul Kalam Azad added.
They all say he suffers from a rare skin disease but no one has been able to cure him.
Mr. Azad further expresses his helplessness:
I have no money left. Whatever little I could earn from driving a van, I spent it on his treatment.
I stopped taking him to doctors. For last year he has not seen any doctor.
His mother, who has two other children, has asked the government to help her son find a doctor who can help him.
I beg government to help my child. Seeing him in pain is unbearable.
He cries and says why he is suffering. I always tell him Allah has made him different and with his will, he will also be able to study and live a normal, healthy life.