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25 Jul, 2009 02:09

World’s smallest girl set to make it big

The world's shortest girl is set to prove that the best things come in small packages. Despite being just over half a meter tall, India’s Jyoti Amge is proving her height is no barrier to her high hopes for the future.

She's 15 years old, but only 58 cm tall. In fact, Jyoti is shorter than the average two-year-old and only weighs 5 kilos, and she's not expected to grow any taller.

Her status as the world's smallest girl is according to India's Limca Book of Records .

“When she was three years old, we wondered why she was not growing taller, so we took her to the hospital,” said Kishanji Amge, the girl’s father. “After running many tests, the doctors said she won’t grow any taller. I asked why not. They said it’s because she has a hormone deficiency, and that’s why she will remain short.”

“I was never made to feel that my height was small,” Jyoti said. “Everyone at home treats me normally, as they would a tall person.”

Jyoti insists on living as normal a life as possible in her hometown of Nagpur in central India. However, her bones are extra delicate, and fractures to both her legs have so far failed to heal, causing serious problems.

The biggest difficulty, according to Jyoti’s mother Ranjana, is that her daughter can’t walk properly.

“I have to carry her in my arms like a child when we go out. We have to be with her at all times, we can’t leave her alone anywhere,” she said.

Despite this, Jyoti goes to a regular school, where she has her own mini grey uniform and school bag, and even a miniature desk and chair. Her classmates treat her like any other pupil.

“She is our friend, so no one thinks of her short height,” said Shabana Ansari, a classmate of the smallest girl. “She talks with us, plays with us and laughs also. So no one can say that she is smaller than us. For us, she is the same size as us.”

As for her future, it’s wide open. Most people with this form of dwarfism have normal intelligence and lifespan, and Jyoti has ambition that's well-above average.

“Because of my height, I’ve become famous and I want to become even more famous,” she said. “I want to become an actress. I like acting.”

In many ways, Jyoti is just like any other Indian teenager. She may be the world’s shortest girl, but that’s not stopping her from dreaming big.