Conjoined twins Shivanath and Shivram Sahu shocked people when they were born in a village near Raipur in India, so much so that some are now worshipping them as divine incarnations.
Even though doctors have told the 12-year-old conjoined twins that it would be possible to separate them, the two boys, who share two legs and four arms, say they’d rather remain together.
“We don't wish to get separated,” the Daily Mail quoted them as saying. “We will stay like this even when we grow old. We want to live as we are.”
They are believed to share the same stomach but have independent lungs, hearts and brains.
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With practice they have learned to shower, eat, get dressed and comb each other’s hair with minimal fuss.
They can walk down the stairs of their split-level home and even run on all six limbs to play with neighboring children.
"We have taught ourselves everything. We ride to school on a bicycle and playing cricket is no problem," Shivanath said.
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Their father, Raj Kumar, 45, says they are also excellent in school and considered among the top students.
Kumar is married to Srimati and has five daughters. He is very protective of his two sons and will not let them leave the village.
“During rainy season it becomes difficult for them to walk and when one wants to sit, the other has to lie down. But they don't fight. They have similar opinions and if one says he wants to play, the other one agrees," Kumar said, according to the Mirror. "God has created them like this so they have to walk like they do. They will remain like this. I don't want anything else."
Dr. Krishan Chugh, head of pediatrics at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon, India, looked at photos of the twins. He says while it is possible to separate the twins, both legs would likely go to Shivram, while Shivanath would be left without legs and need full-time care.
Though the twins and their father may not want that scenario, Dr. Chugh believes their will may change when they get older.
"They are 12 years old now and they must see others running around as individuals and being separate mentally and physically," Chugh said. "How much they are motivated to be like the others is what we would have to try and assist."