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Friday, 16 December 2011

Jyoti stands tall as world's shortest woman

So does size matter? For Jyoti Amge, it certainly does. All the recognition and accolades that have come her way are because of her unique size. Standing at just over two feet, Jyoti celebrated her 18th birthday on Friday with what she calls was the 'best gift possible'.

Jyoti was declared the world's shortest living woman by the Guinness World Records (GWR), beating the current record holder by a huge margin. Rob Molloy, adjudicator for GWR, said, "Jyoti was measured by an accreditated medical doctor under GWR supervision and her height has been noted at 62.8 cm. The record was held by Bridgette Jordan, an American, who stands at 69cm. Today Jyoti also became an adult legally, on account of her turning 18, hence we declare her as the shortest living woman in the world."

The process of measuring Jyoti's height was a complex one. GWR gave the charge to Wockhardt Hospital in Nagpur. The entire process was conducted in presence of Molloy. According to GWR rules, Jyoti had to be measured thrice within a 24-hour period in both standing and lying down position leading to total six results being presented for consideration. The average of all readings was then counted as official figure.

Dr Manoj Pahukar, consulting orthopaedician at Wockhardt Hospitals who conducted the measurements, said, "There is a medical logic to measuring a candidate thrice. After a night's sleep, a person's height increases marginally due to the spine being in a straight position for a long time. It goes back to normal after a while. Also, any human error is ruled out when you repeat the process more than once."

As Jyoti was handed the GWR certificate mentioning her latest record, she could not help but cry with joy. "This is the best birthday gift for me. I am very happy that I have now become the holder of a new world record," said Jyoti trying hard to hold back tears. Jyoti and GWR go a long way back as the Nagpurian was holding another record until just 24 hours ago.

Amarilis Whitty, senior PR manager for GWR, told TOI in an email that "Jyoti was the current holder for shortest living teenager. Now that she is 18, she is the shortest living woman." The GWR website documents Jyoti's previous record by mentioning she "was measured by a team of doctors in Japan and found to be 61.95 cm on 6 September 2009." What this also means is that Jyoti's height has increased by 0.85cm since then.

Whitty said, "The smallest living man in the world is Junrey Balawing at 59.93 cm. After him, Jyoti is the second shortest person in the world. To our knowledge, this is the first time an Indian woman has held the title for 'shortest woman'. There have been other unconfirmed reports but not verified by GWR."

However, Jyoti fell 'short' of being declared the shortest woman in history by 1.8 cm. According to the GWR, the shortest woman in history was Pauline Musters (1876-1895) who measured 61cm. However, there is still an Indian connection to the shortest-ever records. GWR mentions that Gul Mohammed (1957-1997) was examined in July 1990 at New Delhi and measured 57cm, thus making him the shortest adult person ever in history.

Jyoti has already had a great year and is now clearly ending it with a bang. Earlier this year she appeared for her SSC exam and secured 73% marks. She is now taking a break from studies for sometime due to her hectic work schedule. Her father Kisanji said, "Jyoti has been booked for shooting for a Kannada movie in Mysore. Also, she will be in Europe for two months coming summer."

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