LEGEND has it an elderly pir stopped at a village handpump in Shikarpur district to prepare for prayer. Two pregnant women passing by were mortified to see he had only one finger on each hand and sniggered at him. The pir looked up and said to the women: you are snickering now but when you deliver the babies you are carrying don’t forget to laugh at home too.
That was six generations ago. Till today, children in Mahmood Panhwar village near the town of Rustum, about 15 kilometres from Shikarpur city, are often born with either one or two fingers on each hand and deformed feet as well.
People in the village said only the children of women in the lineage are afflicted with the condition. When men have married outside the Panhwar clan, their children have been born normal. Not a single woman from the family has married outside. According to the legend, when villagers sought mercy after the first children were born deformed, the pir deigned that only the children of women from the clan would be born this way while he would spare the kids of Panhwar men.