9-Year-Old Indian Orphan With Trunk-Like Nose Believed to Be Reincarnation of Hindu God

Can someone be venerated and be in pain at the same time? That is the situation of an Indian orphan boy with a trunk-like nose who is believed to be the reincarnation of a Hindu deity. His deformity has earned him some followers and worshippers, but it also made life miserable for him.

The boy is suffering from frontonasal encephalocele, a rare congenital defect that causes a small part of his brain to bulge out from his skull, creating a large lump on his forehead. But his appearance made locals worship him as the reincarnation of the elephant god Ganesh, whom he is named after.

Ganesh was found walking aimlessly on a deserted road in a remote village in Assam, northeast India. He was crying incessantly and couldn't tell police where he was from due to his impaired speech. He was turned over to a non-government organization (NGO) after learning he was orphaned.

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"He is the most special child in our NGO. I have never seen a child like him before," Jiten Gogoi, president of the NGO said about the nine-year-old. "People are looking at him as God's blessings. They were worshiping him when he was here. They adore him," Gogoi added.

Ganesh is in intense pain and couldn't eat because of the weight of his nose. The lump also made it difficult for him to see clearly. Furthermore, he is mentally unstable due to the slow development of his brain. The boy is now in a state-run hospital where doctors hope to operate on him.

Animal worship is prevalent in predominantly Hindu India. Last week, a calf with human-like features was born in a village in Uttar Pradesh. The deformed animal died, but this didn't prevent locals from worshipping it as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. They now plan to build a temple in honor of the dead animal.

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