In India, 19-year-old Girija Srinivas lives with an extremely rare clinical and congenital abnormality that prevents her limbs from fully developing and makes her look like a toddler. Currently, Girija’s lives with her parents and her mother, Nanda Baayu, provides her with around the clock care. Girija’s only weights 26-pounds and is two and a half feet tall.
Nanda explained what it was like when they first found out about their daughter’s condition. She said, “We faced difficulties from the beginning. Even now, it’s tough for us to look after her. There is immense pain in our heart. When she was born, she was not like other babies. When the doctors told us that her condition was permanent, it broke our hearts.”
The Daily Mail reports that Girija cannot sit up because her head is so heavy in comparison to her body, and she is unable to lift anything beyond a cup of coffee. Additionally, even simple household chores are too difficult for her because she has breathing problems. However, Girija refuses to give up on her dream of having a career as a painter and becoming financially independent from her parents.
Girija said, “I don’t like anyone pitying me, I have shown everyone what my capabilities are. My mother helps me with eating and other normal things. But while I’m painting and drawing I need nobody’s help. I do it myself. I sell five to six paintings per month, which makes me between 8,000 and 10,000 rupees (approximately $160 in the U.S).”
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She continued, “I don’t want to be popular because of my rare health condition – I want to be famous someday for my art. I do not want sympathy, I want recognition. I have an aim to achieve more in life. It’s my dream to go abroad and achieve something big. People say many things about me, laugh at me and call me mad. But my family members treat me as a normal person and I have many friends of my age. They never tease me that I am a toddler. I am not sad for being too small and unable to walk or move like a normal person.”
Girija’s parents support her dream of becoming an independent adult. Nanda said, “I am confident enough to tell that she can be self-dependent.”
Learn more about this brave woman in the video below.