A schoolboy who suffers from ‘Werewolf Syndrome’ has told how cruel bullies throw stones at him and call him ‘monkey’ – but all he wants to do is be their friend.
Lalit Patidar, 13, from India, was born with Hypertrichosis, a condition characterised by abnormal hair growth on the face, arms and other parts of the body.
He also hopes to have surgery in the future so other children stop being so scared to play with him.
“I was born with too much hair on my face and this makes me different,” he said.
“Sometimes I wish I was like other children, but I cannot do much about it.
“I have gotten used to the way I am, and I am usually comfortable with myself.”
Lalit’s 42-year old mum, Parvatibai Patidar, is a busy housewife looking after 14 family members, including Lalit’s five sisters and grandparents.
She was stunned to see her baby boy covered in hair when he was born.
Parvatibai said: “I saw Lalit first half an hour after he was born, I was amazed to see his body covered in extraordinary amount of hair.
“We immediately asked the local paediatrician to examine him who trimmed off his excess hair and said that there is no cure for this.
“I have five daughters and we prayed at lot of temples to have a son. Our prayers were answered when Lalit was born.
“He is different but still very special for me because he was born after many special prayers.”
Despite being used to his condition, Lalit often has bad days when due to his excess hair, he faces difficulty in breathing and sight. His parents have tried a number of treatments without success.
Lalit’s father, a 45-year old celery and garlic farmer, Bankatlal Patidar, said: “When Lalit was two years old, I took Lalit to a big hospital in Baroda where a team of doctors examined him.
“After examining him, they told me that there is no cure for it and if they come across any cure, they will inform me.”
Lalit often gets jeered and stared at while in public, especially when outside of his native village.
“Sometimes when I am out in a busy town, people come and stare at me. Some even call me monkey,” he said.
“There have been times when other kids throw stones at me and call me names.
“But my family and friends come to my rescue and defend me during such incidents.”
He added: “I sometimes wish to have some surgery to get rid of excess hair because I want to be friends with everyone. They shouldn’t hesitate to play with me.
“If I didn’t have hair I’d be fine. No one would bully me.”
Lalit is very optimistic about his future and wants to join the police force.