In the Indian city of Hyderabad there’s one family that always stands out from the crowd – as 9 of the 11 family members have dwarfism.
The family has a genetic condition called Achondroplasia, which causes short-limbed dwarfism. This strain of dwarfism means that the family has normal sized torsos but short limbs.
Although the family has come to terms with their condition, which has in total affected 18 out of the 21 family members, it has not been without its difficulties.
52-year-old dad Ram Raj Chauhan explains, ‘we don’t see it as a problem, but you can’t walk properly, you can’t travel too far and you have to stay near your home. And if you go out people crowd around us and people ask us strange questions like, ‘why are you short?’ ‘why are you like this?’ and ‘where are you from?’’
‘So many people have teased me – from children to young and old people. Everyone teases us but over time we’ve become used to it.’
‘When people say bad things about us, it touches our hearts and we get upset.’
In addition to being teased, their condition has made it tough for Ram Raj and his family to get jobs. Since his wife’s passing in 1993, Ram Raj does what he can to support his family by helping out in a relative’s shop and welcoming guests at weddings.
But for the female members of his family, it hasn’t been so easy to find work.
Ram Raj explains, ‘for male kids, it’s OK but for female kids it’s very, very difficult.’
‘I have two daughters. I try to make them understand by saying this is their duty, ‘you can make it work, God is with you and what will happen will happen.’ We give them willpower.’
His daughter Ambika Chauhan adds, ‘in the future I want to become an accountant but this will only be possible if I am able to get a job.’
‘People tell me that because I’m short, that’s why I’m unable to get a job.’
Despite the many struggles they have faced, this very special family is determined to stay positive.
Ambika says, ‘Facing difficulties is not a big issue. Everyone faces difficulties – we also face them.’
Ram Raj adds, ‘if God has made us like this then we shouldn’t feel bitter about those who are normal. What we have is a gift from God and there is nothing more to think about it.’
We wish them all plenty of luck for a bright and happy future!