Hairy Werewolf Syndrome Sangli Sisters All Affected By Hypertricosis UniversaliBy huffingtonpost.co.uk
2/9/2012 10:09:21 PM -
Meet the incredible Sangli sisters, three siblings whose lives have been blighted by one of the rarest conditions in the world - werewolf sydrome.
Savita, 23, Monisha, 18, and 16-year-old Savitri are just like any other young women except their bodies have been covered from head to foot in thick hair.
Werewolf syndrome - or hypertricosis universalis - affects just one in a BILLION people but in an incredible quirk of fate all THREE sisters have the condition.
Hyperthrichosis is a genetic mutation where cells, that normally switch off hair growth in unusual areas, like the eyelids and forehead, are left switched on.
It means the girls have had abnormal hair growth on their bodies and even their faces, affecting their eyebrows, nose and giving them appearance of having a beard.
Every day is a battle for the siblings who are now just beginning to bring the condition under control using a special hair removal cream.
Compared to these pictures taken just last year the sisters, from southern India, have changed remarkably, and two of the sisters have managed to remove much of the hair growth from their faces.
The sisters use hair remover cream every day, but to little avail
But every day is still a constant battle and not using the cream will see the hair quickly return, with the youngest sister Savitri still virtually covered.
The girl's mother Anita Sambhaji Raut has six daughters in total with only three having werewolf syndrome.
The condition was passed down by the girl's father who Anita was forced to marry aged 12 not knowing he had the condition as she had never seen him till their wedding day.
Anita and her daughters are now desperate to fund laser surgery that will help to finally remove the curse of excess hair and allow the girls to lead normal lives.
In their small village near Pune, central India, the girls have little prospects for marriage and the eldest Savita sometimes gets sent home from work when her hair begins to show.
Laser surgery would cost 350,000 Indian rupees or £4,500 per girl but the family are not wealthy enough to be able to afford it.
Now documentary filmmaker Sneh Gupta is planning make a film of the girls in a bid to help their dream of becoming almost hair free - with the eventual aim finding marriage.
The sisters are keen to marry - but want to achieve their dream of becoming hair-free, first
Mum Anita, 40, said her husband - who died in 2007 and whose portrait hangs in the family home - also suffered from werewolf syndrome.
Anita was being looked after by her uncle and auntie as her parents had passed away and they told her if she didn't marry this man they would kill her off.
She said: "It was only on the day of my marriage that I discovered what he was, (he) was hairy on his face, ears and body, that's when I found out.
"I was very young, I didn't know what kind of boy he was, he scared the hell out of me when he arrived at the altar. He's the groom, I am the bride, I had no idea what all that meant.
"I was only 12 when they forced me into marriage, and if you don't agree to marriage as a girl they will kill you off.
"I asked my mother-in-law why my daughters were born like this and she told me because their father is like this, at the time (as a baby) my daughter had little hairs all over her face.
"When I used to take her (Savita) out as a child, they used to shout here comes the beast, the witch, that's what they said.
"They keep her at work now for 10 to 15 days, and then after that they ask her to leave as soon as the hair starts showing through, that's what they do.
"I tell people this is the type of girl she is, hair grows on her face, she has to apply medicine, we must be honest with everybody."
In the village society a woman does not have much prospects if she is not married and mum Anita explained she was still trying to get her daughters a man.
She said: "If a good proposal comes in, I'll get her married. If nothing comes in she'll have to work and survive. As long as I am living I have to keep trying."
Eldest daughter Savita, who now using a cream to try and combat her hair growth, said: "When I used to go to school the boys and the girls would shout, 'hairy face', 'horrible looking', 'don't sit next to her', that's how they behaved.
"Marriage is not an option for us, it's not likely to happen, who is going to marry us when hair keeps growing on our faces."