A 26-year old man from a village in Bihar hopes to get his life back on track after being given hope that doctors will be able to remove a massive tumor on his face that has led him to be called the 'Elephant Man'.
Lalit Ram suffered from a condition known as neurofibromatosis that led to the formation of a large tumor on the right side of his face. He became a virtual recluse, looking after his family's buffaloes in a tiny shed and even slept there. He was made to suffer cruel taunts from neighbors and other villagers and was even told by local priests that he would never be able to persuade any girl to marry him.
After doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi came to know about his case, they offered to perform a pioneering surgery, though not without risks as the tumor is surrounded by tiny blood vessels that would bleed heavily when cut.
Stating that he hopes to get married one day, Lalit said, "When I was a kid the tumor was smaller. It grew as I grew, but no one paid attention to it. Whatever work I do I do at home. If I go anywhere, people laugh and stare and I get embarrassed. I keep my feelings buried in my heart. I want to earn money, work hard, go out to work and get married".