A woman thought to be Nepal’s shortest woman – a 19-year-old who is just 2 ft 8 inc (81 cm) tall – has been promised medical help to investigate her short stature.
Malati Rishidev’s family revealed she stopped growing at one year old but they were too poor to take her to see a doctor to find out what is wrong with her.
Officials did not believe her age until her mother showed her daughter’s birth certificate when she visited municipal councillors with a request of her citizenship.
Miss Rishidev, who comes from a village in Morang district, suffers health problems and has become a recluse, her father said.
Malati Rishidev has the appearance of a child and weighs just 30 pounds. She has since become a hit on social media, according to local reports.
Miss Rishidev will be now be given a monthly allowance of 2,000 rupees (£13.91) a month and the Nobel Medical College of Biratnagar has decided to conduct a one-year study to find out why she stopped growing.
Malati Rishidev has the appearance of a child and weighs just 30 pounds
She struggles to walk and has become a recluse, her father has revealed (pictured with him and her sister Anita)
Ms Rishidev was born to Mina Devi, 45, and her husband Ramesh Rishidev, 50, an impoverished couple and she is the eldest of four siblings.
She was born a healthy yet tiny baby and when her growth problems became apparent the poor couple, who make a meagre £3 a day, did not take her to see a doctor.
The family are from the Musahar community who are greatly marginalised as they are considered one of the lowest of the Dalit groups in India and other South Asian countries.
She has since become a hit on social media, according to local reports
Her family are part of the ‘rat catcher’ community – making a meagre £3 a day – and could not afford to see a doctor
The teenager was born a healthy yet tiny baby but stopped growing after she was one
‘She is conscious of herself and does not like to come out of house,’ said her father
Their name is derived from two words meaning ‘rat catcher’ and is believed to be attributed to them because of the historical tendency to eat rodents in times of dire need.
For all her life, Ms Rishidev has lived like a recluse in the squatter’s settlement at Biratchowk.
Her father said: ‘Her short height was a always a worry for us. She is conscious of herself and does not like to come out of house. She does not eat much and also doesn’t like to play.
‘She has problems in walking and is very weak. But we have had no money to take her to doctors.’
WHO ARE THE WORLD’S SHORTEST WOMAN AND MAN?
The shortest living woman is Jyoti Amge, a 24-year-old from Nagpur, India, who is 62.8 cm (24.7 inches) tall, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
She was measured at the Wockhardt Superspeciality Hospital in Nagpur India on her 18th birthday in 2011.
The shortest living man is Khagendra Thapa Magar from Nepal, now aged 25, who measures 67.08 cm (2 ft 2.41 in) tall as verified at Fewa City Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal, on 14 October 2010.
Ms Rishidev has been told she will now have a yearly medical examination for free.
She will also be given an allowance of 2,000 rupees (£13.91) every month.
Shiv Prasad Dhakal, mayor of Sundarharaicha in Morang, confirmed her age had been verified and is planning to send her documents to the Government so she can be officially recognised as the country’s shortest woman.
Mr Dhakal said: ‘We came to know about her after the chief of ward 4 Shailendra Shreshta shared her case on Facebook.
‘We were certainly shocked. but after meeting her and going through her case, we are sure that Malati is the country’s shortest woman.
‘We plan to provide Malati a motivation allowance of 2,000 rupees per month that we provide to senior citizens. We are also making efforts to fix their shelter. It is in tatters.
‘Other than that Nobel Medical College of Biratnagar has decided to conduct a one-year study to find out why Malati’s height did not increase.’