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Jyoti Amge, Smallest Teenage Girl in the World

Updated on February 6, 2019
ethel smith profile image

With a keen interest in British politics this writer is never afraid to share her opinion


Jyoti’s schoolfriends tower over her but never look down in her
Jyoti’s schoolfriends tower over her but never look down in her


Jyoti Amge is so tiny that I had to take a second look at the TV just to make sure that I was watching a program about a 15 year old girl. It appears that Jyoti was born by Cesarean section when her mother was 10 months pregnant. The parents and medical team had assumed that the baby was not alive but they were in for a shock.

Weighing a mere three pounds Jyoti may have been small but she was perfectly formed and healthy, or so it seemed. Initially Jyoti gained weight and grew but only a little. This meant that as the years rolled by Jyoti stayed the same size.

Jyoti's Mum showed the family photograph albums which held photographs of Jyoti aged 2, then 3, 4, then 5 and so on. Jyoti looked a little different in the photos as she matured but her size, both height and width, did not change much at all. Now at 16 years old, Indian years that is, she is about 23 inches tall and weighs just 12 pounds.

Yes you read that right. It is hard to comprehend I know.


Jyoti has never been officially diagnosed with any particular condition which may explain her lack of growth. It would seem that she is not a primordial dwarf but rather that she probably has an endocrine problem, possibly it is her pituitary gland that does not produce enough of its valuable growth hormone.


Jyoti was taken to a specialist doctor recently in the hope of solving some of her health issues. She is easily injured and for a while she has been struggling with walking even a short distance, due to leg fractures in both her legs.These occurred when she slipped on ice whilst visiting another town.

Her special friends at school try to ensure that Jyoti does not suffer any more harm. The girls carry Jyoti in their arms in order to protect her and also because she cannot walk far these days. The playground at break time could be dangerous for Jyoti as boys and girls run around and bounce balls. Jyoti's school friends make sure that she is not harmed and sometimes she has to stay indoors to protect herself.

Jyoti's parents took her to see the specialist doctor in the hope of her receiving treatment that would mend her bones, possibly discover just what has caused her growth problems and just maybe secure treatment for Jyoti which may help her grow. In India medical treatment is expensive but the overriding decision about her treatment has been the family not wanting Jyoti to suffer unnecessarily.

At the hospital Jyoti's parents agonized over whether to let the doctor take X Rays of Jyoti. With Jyoti being so small her parents worried about the damaging effects of radiation. In the end it was decided to take the minimum amount of X Rays and Jyoti's mum stayed close by, at her side, throughout the tests. Her Mum had to wear a heavy protective jacket but was determined to stay with her daughter.

The doctor also attempted to take blood from Jyoti so that he could check her hormone levels. However the amount that he needed in order to accurately test was too much for such a tiny person. Jyoti had never had such a procedure done before and cried in pain all of the time. It was upsetting to see and one can only imagine how painful it must have been for such a tiny arm. Jyoti's arm was painful even days later.

In the end the hospital investigations only went so far. The orthopaedic surgeon could not guarantee Jyoti's parents that she would come through any surgical procedure alive and well. After all no doctor can do that for any of us but, I suppose, especially in one so fragile. Jyoti's parents decided to take her home and to visit one of the town's natural healers instead.

He supplied them with a paste to apply to Jyoti's legs and showed the parents how to bandage them in order to aid recovery. However as the orthopaedic surgeon stated this type of bandaging will help bones heal and realign but not permanently so and not in Jyoti's case. However the alternative healer assured Jyoti's parents that her legs would be cured in a matter of weeks and I guess you never know.

After all Jyoti is a little miracle in so many other ways,

Bodyshock Channel 4

Looking around the Internet it would seem that Jyoti Amge's story is already somewhat known.

However, for me it was totally unknown when I came across her on Channel 4’s Bodyshock on U.K. TV.

I was very impressed by this teenager and her story and so, for those who as yet have not heard anything about Jyoti, here is a little of her story.

I was not sure where to categorize this hub and decided on Television, eventually, as that is how I discovered Jyoti.

However, as you will see Jyoti is an inspiring character and her story is one of those that makes you feel ashamed when you complain about silly day to day problems.


Thursday June 11, 2009, had the usual dross being aired on English television. Despite the fact that we have extra Freeview channels the programming consists mainly of soaps, quiz shows, reality TV and repeats. Bodyshock is a type of reality show, as it is about ordinary, everyday people in many ways.

However these people often have extraordinary hurdles to face in life.

At home on my own I noticed there was a Bodyshock program scheduled for 9pm on Channel 4 and I thought it looked interesting.

Bodyshock and Extraordinary People have brought some interesting, sad and thought provoking stories to light. Conjoined twins, disfigurements and more.

I am not sure why I find these programs so interesting but hope it is not out of a misplaced fascination with the obscure or people's suffering. I think that because I work in a hospital I have seen many things in my life but never cease to be amazed at new and strange stories, and I do find strength and hope in people overcoming extreme challenges.

My husband is not a fan of these type of programs. I however find them fascinating and so sat down to see what was on offer tonight, in peace and on my own.

The program was called something like "Tiny Teen" and was due to last an hour. As it was on commercial television of course there were breaks for the adverts.

Was this program any good, I hear you ask?

Well for me it was riveting.

Jyoti Amge

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Jyoti has a specially made desk at schoolAs a diligent student Jyoti does her school homeworkJyoti, aged 15 with a little boy who is a mere 13 months oldTypical teenagerJyoti with her parents and familyTravelling around NagpurSo tinyThat huge schoolbag
Jyoti has a specially made desk at school
Jyoti has a specially made desk at school
As a diligent student Jyoti does her school homework
As a diligent student Jyoti does her school homework
Jyoti, aged 15 with a little boy who is a mere 13 months old
Jyoti, aged 15 with a little boy who is a mere 13 months old
Typical teenager
Typical teenager
Jyoti with her parents and family
Jyoti with her parents and family
Travelling around Nagpur
Travelling around Nagpur
So tiny
So tiny
That huge schoolbag
That huge schoolbag

An Inspiration

Jyoti is an inspiration in so many ways.

Her school bag is nearly as big as her and she struggles to lift it, but she keeps on trying. She loves all the girly things that other teenage girls do. Music, make-up and jewellery mean a lot to Jyoti. When she is confined to her home she loves to watch her passion on television, Bollywood films, and Jyoti dreams of one day becoming an actress.

Travelling around Nagpur, in India, where Jyoti was born and lives, Jyoti accepts the curious stares and attention with good grace and a good heart. At one time such attention frightened Jyoti and one can easily see why. With such a small and delicate frame much taller people could be a threat in so many ways. However Jyoti has learned to cope with her life. She sits at the front of her brother's moped, almost on the handlebars, as he helps her travel about Nagpur. Curious glances are still many, although most locals have seen Jyoti many times now. Some even think of Jyoti as a goddess.

Jyoti takes it all in her stride.

She has a squeaky little voice, a warm personality, good humour, a pretty smiling face and a sterling spirit. With her legs being so painful from the broken bones she still climbs the purpose made steps each night to go to bed and tries to be as independent as possible.

We, the audience, were privileged to see Jyoti's 16th birthday celebrations. By western standards these would have been her 15th birthday celebrations. However in India the birth-date is for the coming year, hence our 15 becomes 16 in India.

Such is Jyoti's popularity and fame these days that her birthday party was huge, colourful and seemed to be enjoyed by all, especially Jyoti. This tiny girl is an inspiration to us all. What she has to contend with on a daily basis we can never imagine. Who knows what the future may hold for her? At times she gets frightened and upset, and worries about when her parents are longer on this earth. However she is such an adorable and warm person that she will have many who will help her, hopefully.

Jyoti has already made one small step toward her dreams of becoming an actress and star, as she has appeared in a video for an Indian singing sensation, the bhangra / rap singer Mika Singh.

Let's hope it is the start of a bright future and success for Jyoti. We all know that it is true that good things often come in small parcels.

In Jyoti's case the parcel is very small but she is more than good she is a marvel.

Jyoti on YouTube

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Ethel Smith


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      When i was 12 i went thru a grueling liver xplant that was painful and i think she has the courage and will to endure more pain but her parents seem a little to overprotective not letting her have her have horribly fractured legs to be fixed so she can achieve her goals now she can't walk far and is probably embarrassed by being carried all the time. I pray her parents let go and let her get fixed up right so she can achieve

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      So do I. I will have to check. Thanks for reminding me of this hub:)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What an interesting story. Looks like you wrote this almost 2 years ago, I hope that Jyoti is still doing well.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Good one Ixxy. Jyoti is awe inspiring

    • lxxy profile image


      9 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      Enlightening. The next time someone suggests the world is too large for them to tackle, I'll bring this teenager up.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I know Habee. Such an amazing girl

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Wonderful hub! She could be such an inspiration for others.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Yes upal Jyoti is amazing I think. Thanks for dropping by

    • upal19 profile image

      Ashraf Mir 

      10 years ago from Dhaka

      this is completely amazing.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks for dropping by girls. I guess we are all rooting for Jyoti as she seems one special young lady.

    • Alissa1985 profile image


      10 years ago from Arkansas

      Wow. I knew nothing of this and when I saw that first picture I to had to take a double take. She is so small. My mouth droped to the floor! So interesting.

    • li7218 profile image


      10 years ago

      hope your hub will make her more famous

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      You are welcom k@ri. I truly hope life treats her well

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      That is a very interesting story! I had never heard of her before. What strength she displays! Thanks for sharing this. :D

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks to all. I must check out this hubnugget business :) It's good to know that there are still such determined people as Jyoti in this world.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Ethel, what a touching and moving tribute to a lovely miracle in the name of Jyoti! As ProCW said, this hub is a Hubnugget Wannabe!! Congratulations! And thumbs up to Jyoti too. 

      Check out the Hubnugget Fun and where you can cast your vote:

      Enjoy the nuggets...

    • ProCW profile image


      10 years ago from South Carolina

      Hi ethel smith.

      Just letting you know that this hub has been nominated as an official HubNugget wanna-be.


      Best of luck to you.

      ProCW & the HubNuggets Team

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      10 years ago from United States

      Quite an amazing young woman and story. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    • RedElf profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much for sharing this amazing story.

    • Montana Farm Girl profile image

      Montana Farm Girl 

      10 years ago from Northwestern Montana much we don't know or haven't a clue about!! thanks for sharing her story!

    • jim10 profile image


      10 years ago from ma

      She is amazing. Thanks for sharing the story. It is sad that doctors can't even test her blood. Through it all she appears to be smiling and happy in every picture. The story of Thumbelina isn't too far fetched after all.

    • KCC Big Country profile image


      10 years ago from Central Texas

      i had not heard about Jyoti either. Thanks for sharing this story, Ethel. She's such a beautiful girl. She certainly appears to be one that will make the most of her misfortune and become all she wants to be and more. She is definitely an inspiration.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      You are welcome guys. It just made such an impact on me and I work in a hospital and have seen many strange and troublesome conditions.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      10 years ago from USA

      Hi Ethel, I hadn't known about Jyoti either. A very amazing and inspiring story indeed. Thanks for sharing this hub.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      10 years ago from Chicago

      I had not heard about this until your Hub brought it to my attention. I am amazed by this story. It has rendered me speechless. Thank you.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      10 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Very interesting Ethel. I had missed reading or seeing anything about her. She is very inspiring. Hope that Jyoti's dreams become reality.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thnaks Christine She seemed so inspiring

    • christine almaraz profile image

      christine almaraz 

      10 years ago from colorado springs

      She's so cute. great article about something nice.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I too hope that the publicity the programme brought is beneficial. They are certainly a lovely family.

    • nms profile image


      10 years ago from Cochin

      hope your hub will make her more famous


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