A 50-year-old man in Chandpur has spent four decades of his life carrying an enormous tumour-like growth at his right thigh.
Harun Patowar was only nine when he first felt the bulge around the waist. The family did not give much thought about the treatment.
He was already working at a restaurant in Dhaka and carried on with the bulge for several more years until it burst out automatically, releasing pus.
He was suffering from great pain around the bulge after the incident and returned to his home in Chapatia village under Matlab Dakkhin upazila.
The bulge continued growing bigger year on year. Harun underwent a surgery at Dhaka Medical College Hospital about 25 years ago.
But it did not stop growing at all. Nowadays, it's hard for the man to move around. More tumour-like bulges have sprouted from other parts of his body.
“It's impossible to walk carrying such a big tumour. I manage to walk around only with a perching stick, but it causes me a lot of pain. It's intolerable, it's hard to live on like this. Yet, I need to travel to the market from the house everyday and sit beside the road to beg for alms,” Haruon told the Dhaka Tribune.
“No one in the area has come up with any real assistance. The chairman and the member of the union parishad live nearby, but they do not take much account of my illness. No one has come forward with any help for the treatment,” he added.
Harun's wife Joytunnesa said she had accepted it as her fate when her parents married her off to Harun 20 years ago. “But the illness was yet to affect the upper half of the body. The tumours did not grow around the trunk at that time. After the marriage, two tumours – one around the right knee and the other around the waist – had had an abnormal growth over the years.
“Wherever it is – he is my husband and I'll remain with him till the last day of my life. But it's intolerable when he screams in pain all through the night. The tumours are bulging with pus and it stinks.”
The couple has two children. Their son Masud, who is now 19, used to get scared of his own father in the early childhood. The hardship in the family did not allow Masud to continue his study beyond the primary level.
The youngest daughter – Mukta – is a seventh grader. Mukta complains her classmates look down upon her for her father's illness.