The boy from Bhopal, India, was born with two genetic disorders: Polydactyly, which causes a person to have extra fingers or toes; and syndactyly, which means some fingers and/or toes are fused together.
Saxena has 13 fingers and and 12 toes. He was born with 14 fingers, but lost one in an accident when he was 2.
‘He was out playing when he injured one of his fingers, and it just sort of came off,’ his father, Anil Saxena, told the Daily Mail.
Though many people have offered to foot the bill for surgery, the boy’s parents say their son is just fine the way he is.
‘Arpan is famous all over Bhopal and we like it that way,” said his mother, Tanu Saxena. “I am apprehensive about how an operation might affect him at this age.”
Arpan is a local celebrity in his home city. The youngster says he enjoys the attention when people come to take pictures of him, though he notes that the lack of properly fitting shoes keeps him from walking much.
Arpan’s parents aren’t the only ones to see some benefits of polydactyly. Cuban man Yoandri ‘Twenty-Four’ Hernandez Garrido says his extra fingers and toes are a blessing. Not only do they allow him to expertly climb trees, he says, but he also makes a significant amount of money charging tourists to pose for pictures with him.