By Taniya Dutta
Nepal is abuzz with the news of finding its shortest woman- Malati Rishidev.
The 19-year-old girl stands just 32-inch-tall and weighs barely 30 pounds.
The teenager suddenly became talk of the town after she surprised the municipal councillors when she came in with the request of her own citizenship.
Malati, who hails from a nondescript village in Morang district, first passed off as a tiny tot but startled the councillors when her mother Mina Devi, 45, furnished her birth certificate to make her case strong.
The adorable teen has since become a hit on social media and is being touted as the Himalayan country’s shortest woman.
Shiv Prasad Dhakal, Mayor of Sundarharaicha in Morang, is now making every effort to urge the government to declare Malati as the shortest woman of the country.
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. She could even be the world’s shortest woman.”
Mr Dhakal is now hoping to send her documents to the government so she can be globally recognised.
Born to Mina Devi and her husband Ramesh Rishidev, 50, an impoverished couple from Musahar or rat-catcher community, Malati is the eldest of four siblings.
Two of her younger sisters have already got married.
Malati was born a healthy yet tiny baby and stopped growing a year after her birth. But the poor couple, who manage to make a meagre £3 a day, never took her to see a doctor.
For all her life, Malati has lived a recluse in the squatter’s settlement at Biratchowk.
Ramesh Rishidev 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.”
Malati will however, be now taken to Nobel Medical College for a yearly medical examination free of cost.
She will also be given a motivation allowance of Rs 2000 every month.
Mr Dhakal said: “We have announced to provide Malati a motivation allowance of Rs 2,000 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.”
Earlier, two Nepalis, Chandra Bahadur Dangi and Khagendra Thapa Magar, who measured 54.6 cm and 67 cm, respectively, had earned global recognition after the Guinness World Records declared them the shortest man of the world at different times.