#DwarfismAwarenessMonth- Diagnosed with dwarfism, these youngsters want an inclusive society
On Dwarfism awareness month in October, youngsters with the condition talks about the need for larger sensitization in society. Even today, there are numerous stigmas attached to dwarfism. Society needs to be more inclusive so that people with dwarfism gets to lead a normal life.
October is observed as dwarfism awareness month across the globe. A condition that leads to shortness in height, dwarfism is one amongst the disabilities added to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWD) in India. Though laws are introduced, harassment faced by people with dwarfism still prevails. Youngsters talks to NewzHook about their daily struggles living in a society that lacks any awareness about the disability. Most importantly, they hope to see a sensitized world where they are given equal opportunities.
What is dwarfism?
Dwarfism is often caused genetically or can be a medical condition. When the size of an adult man or woman is less than 147 centimeters- 4 feet 10 inches, dwarfism is often the cause. According to experts, more than 300 conditions can cause dwarfism. Some of the common ones include Achondroplasia, Turner syndrome, Growth hormone deficiency, Hypothyroidism and Intrauterine growth retardation.
The two types of dwarfism are proportionate and disproportionate dwarfism. There are many health complications associated along with the disability. Some of it are arthritis, bowed legs and hunching of the back, sleep apnea, pressure on spinal cord, delay in motor skills as a baby and weight gain.
Sometimes, serious medical complications can eve pose a threat to the person’s life.
Lack of sensitization and need for awareness
31-year-old Arpan Arora from Delhi was diagnosed with dwarfism soon after birth. Currently a DJ, Arpan has underwent many struggles to mark his place in a society that lacks any awareness about the disability.
“It is high time that people are educated about dwarfism. We are also normal human beings. Even today, when I go out for a movie, wedding or any public gathering, people stare at me and most of them even mock me. This includes the so called educated adults as well. It obviously makes me conscious”, says Arpan adding, “What is more unfortunate is that I’am not able to find a job in any companies due to stigma attached to my disability. When it comes to clothes, people with dwarfism are unable to find clothes that fit us perfectly. We are adults, but are forced to buy clothes from the kids section at textile shops. Bollywood often portrays disabilities, but they fail to portray the struggles that we undergo every day”.
26-year-old Sonal Kashyap is a motivational speaker and fitness enthusiast. She was diagnosed with dwarfism at the age of four.
“Dwarfism is not a disease, it is a syndrome. Even today people think that the condition is curable or it is a disease. People need better sensitization. Having a baby with the condition is there for any average couple. But for those who already have the condition, chances are high. People must be aware more about differences between syndrome and disease. I also hope someday society will accept the fact that people with dwarfism are not any lesser than an average person”, she says.
Need for an inclusive world
Love is set to bloom for couple Payal Thawani and Kapil. Diagnosed with dwarfism, both of them are going to tie the knot in November.
“When you see another little person in the future, we would encourage you to smile and say hi. Come talk to us rather than pointing fingers at us and laughing. Our life is already hard and we would appreciate it if you don’t make it harder”, they say together.
Fitness enthusiast and body-builder Prateek Vitthal Mohite, 24 years old, hails from a small town in Maharashtra. He was diagnosed with dwarfism at the age of seven. According to Pratik, he decided to take up body-building so that he could make his body proud. “Everyone targets my body, so I decided to make my body proud. I started my professional journey towards fitness since the year 2011. It has been a great ride since then”, he says.
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