She has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia and won't grow any taller than her current height.
Due to her size, Jyoti has to have clothes and jewellery made for her. She sleeps in a tiny bed and uses special plates and cutlery to eat, as normal-sized utensils are too big.
Despite this, she goes to a regular school in Nagpur, central India, where she has her own small desk and chair, and her classmates treat her like any other student.
Jyoti is a celebrity in her hometown, and will soon release a musical album. She hopes to be a Bollywood actress someday. Link -via the Presurfer
I really agree with what your saying about how the Indian culture reveres the "deformed." That was my first thought as well and I think its really great. In the west, children with untreatable deformed features are treated as monsters many times. We ccould learn a lot from India.
Jyoti Amge is not 'The Smallest Girl in the World', as the blogosphere reports.
The original article indicates she is the smallest girl in India. But even that is highly suspect. At 35 inches in height, she is already taller than most adult primordial dwarfs. Typically, and historically, little people with achondroplasia are not the smallest of people.
The use of the word 'girl' is also misleading and in no way official. Official records pertaining to height are not made until adulthood. One could easily claim the a newborn baby girl is 'The Smallest GIRL in the World.
If we are going by 'girl', I can think of five young ladies smaller than Jyoti Amge, right off the top of my head. Kenadie Jourdin-Bromley immediately comes to mind. She was featured on Neatorama some time ago.
It's likely that the 'tiny title' was used in one article to generate interest and it is now being repeated as fact,. She is not the smallest girl in the world, but is still a remarkable human being.
I find it fascinating that in India many people born with unique or rare physical qualities are practically worshipped. Here, in America, they are made fun of until their parents have no choice but to homeschool and shelter them.
Shows such as Oprah, etc. regularly celebrate the triumphs of people with physical challenges; newspapers are full of such feel-good stories. I wish this girl the best of luck.
I don't think that the west chases them down with sticks and pitchforks a la the Hunchback of Notre Dame (anymore at least.)
I do think there is more of a tendency to try and normalize them or ignore the handicap or difference. The essential difference is tolerating versus worshiping.
Working in special education, I've never seen a "normal" person harass one of my "special" students. But I can't count the number of times they've been outright ignored.
At least we let people kiss in public.
In addition, if the measurements in the article are correct (1'11"= 23 inches), she is indeed very tiny, not the nearly 3 feet that JTPednaud calculates. I am not familiar with specific heights of other very small little people (like Kenadie noted above), but the young woman is indeed among the smallest in the world is my guess, though I agree that "records" are not established until adult stature is attained.
Good for her for being so (apparently) well-adjusted to her size and life, though I'm not sure anyone can make that judgment based on a single short article in a newspaper.
In my small town in North Carolina, kids are still very mean, no matter what the media portrays. It seems that the students in the high school I teach in are nice to the students who were born with things such as down's syndrome, but if a kid has crossed eyes, orthapedic shoes, etc., they are treated horribly.
Either way, she's cute as a button and has a great attitute toward life. I'm only 5 feet tall and generally hate it. Shows how shallow I am!!!:)