Photo Credit: ThoughtCo
In Chhattisgarh, India, an otherwise healthy baby girl was born on November 2, 2018 with three arms. Now two-months old, this baby girl has her small additional arm and hand growing out of the right side of her chest. A doctor's recommendation is that, no matter the fact that the baby is healthy, the additional arm and hand should be removed in order to give the baby a normal life. Meanwhile, this little girl has already become the talk of the town and some locals from the Bilaspur district, a district where the girl was born, are supposedly worshiping her as a Hindu god.
After the baby was born and an unexpected additional limb was discovered, the girl's concerned mother (Radhika Saku) brought her for a check-up at the local health center. Fortunately the extra arm and hand are causing no harm to the girl. Regardless, Dr. B.P. Singh, head of Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Science, recommended an operation. If the extra limb is removed, an anomaly which can sometimes occur but is extremely rare, this will allow the girl to live a normal life. Until then she is under attention of the villagers who perceive the little girl as a Hindu deity.
Babies born with extra limbs in India are often worshipped as reincarnations of Hindu deities. Depictions of Hindu gods often show them with multiple arms, which emphasize their superhuman power and ability to perform many tasks at once. Occasionally a deity is portrayed with more than one head, which shows the multifaceted nature of the god and their many characteristics. These types of depictions of Hindu deities are leading some people to perceive an extra limb as a symbol of divinity.
For example, a baby boy from Yamunanagar was described as a "gift from god" because he had two heads. Another baby boy who was born with eight limbs was believed to be the reincarnation of Ganesh, the popular god of wisdom, success and good luck and portrayed with an elephant head. Thousands of devoters traveled to the remote town where the boy was born to see him. Another example of this was a six-year-old boy who grew a foot-long tail, which his family and locals believed was a sign that he is connected to the Hanuman, a monkey-like Hindu deity.