Vertical challenge: 113-year-old woman claims she is the world’s oldest dwarf – 12 years older than the current record holder
An Indian woman claims to be the world’s most elderly dwarf – at 113 years-old.
Zeenat Bi, a resident of Bhopal, India, has government pension records stating she is 101 – but the feisty pensioner claims she is twelve years older.
The current record holder, according to Guinness World Records, is Lowell Deforest Mason, who was 74 years-old as of February this year.
Big claim: Zeenat Bi – who is just three feet tall – claims to be the world’s oldest dwarf. Ms Bi, of Bhopal, India, is pictured here with Prof Amir Mehboob (left) and Dr Raza Durani (right)
Ms Bi, who stands just three feet tall, has revealed a wish list of things she wants to do before she dies – including meeting Bollywood star Salman Khan and taking part in the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.
The tiny woman said she remembers life in India under British rule and when Nawab’s (Indian Princes) still held a major influence over daily life.
If her age is correct, she would have been born during the reign of Queen Victoria, who held the title ‘Empress of India.’
She said: ‘I am so old that I have seen this city grow up with me. I remember during the British times, this entire city was almost a jungle. There were trees as far as the eye could see.
Tiny: Ms Bi’s small stature is highlighted as she poses for a picture from above with Nazish and Usra, daughters of her guardian Abrar Muhammad Khan (pictured with her, down), at their house in Bhopal
Proof of age: Ms Bi holds out her official age certificate issued by the State Medical Department. She is so old, she remembers life in India under British rule
‘I even remember when the British introduced English bread in the city for the first time. It was such a sensation, it was nothing like people had eaten before.’
Ms Bi has survived all of her family and never married. Despite suffering from cataracts and a calcium deficiency, she manages to survive on her only source of income, a government pension of 275 rupees per month (£3.19).
She said: ‘I have been living alone for almost 50 years now. I never married and never had kids.
‘All I have got is a small bed that was gifted to me by the former Chief Minister of the state, Uma Bharti. She used to send me 2500 rupees (£30) every month. But no one remembers me now.’
Her guardian, Abrar Muhammad Khan, said: ‘No one in the Government even cares for her. All people use her for is exhibition purposes, but no one really cares for her.’
Health: Even though her hair is still black, Ms Bi has undergone a cataract operation for her eyes and suffers from severe calcium deficiency
Even though her hair is still black, Ms Bi has undergone a cataract operation for her eyes and suffers from severe calcium deficiency.
‘I only have three teeth left now in my mouth. Once I used to have a beautiful set.’
She has been living rent-free with Mr Khan and his family for 20 years.
‘She is like my mother and a part of my family,’ he said, ‘we don’t let her do any work around the house,’ he says.
Ms Bi says her one love in life is eating ‘paan’, a preparation of Betel leaf with Areca nut and tobacco. ‘I can live without food, but not without my paan,’ she said.
Wish list: Ms Bi, again pictured here with Nazish and Usra Khan, says one of her ambitions is to go on the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca – known as the Haj
One of her ambitions is to meet Indian movie star and philanthropist, Salman Khan. She said: ‘I am [a] huge fan of his. I have seen all his films.
‘It would be nice if I can meet him because he is a nice [man] and helps people who are in need.’
But her greatest wish is to take part in the Haj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca before she dies.
She said: ‘I want to visit Mecca for [the] Haj, but it’s too expensive for me. It costs too much money and I have no one who can accompany me and take care of me.’