Girija Srinivas looks like a toddler as she suffers from extremely rare medical condition called congenital agenesis of the bones, Bangalore, India.
A 19-year-old teenager weighs a mere 12kg while her height is 76,2cm, she can't sit up because her head is so heavy in comparison to her body, and she is unable to lift anything beyond a cup of tea. Besides, even the most simple household chores are too tough for the girl and she also has breathing problems. The only outlet in Miss Srinivas' life is painting, she is dreaming about a career of an artist to become independent and help her parents financially.
She 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 (N25,575-31,968). I have to look after my parents and I need to have the financial capacity to do that.
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."
Miss Srinivas lives with her family in Bangalore, where her father is a tailor and her mother devotes herself full-time to her care, making it hard for the family to get her even the most basic medical treatment. Her mother, Nanda Baayi, 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." Despite their relative poverty, her mother Nanda says she supports her daughter's dreams of independence. "I am confident enough to tell that she can be self-dependent. It is her dream too."