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Seven-foot tall woman draws crowds in Bengal

Standing at over seven feet and weighing nearly 120 kg, 25-year-old Siddika Parvin from West Bengal\'s South Dinajpur district is hogging the limelight, specially after being hospitalised following a respiratory disorder.

Published: 03rd July 2012 05:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2012 05:35 PM   |  A+A-

Standing at over seven feet and weighing nearly 120 kg, 25-year-old Siddika Parvin from West Bengal's South Dinajpur district is hogging the limelight, specially after being hospitalised following a respiratory disorder.

After she was admitted to the Balurghat district hospital late Monday night, people have been thronging the hospital to see the "giant".

Unable to control the crowds, hospital authorities had to call police to disperse them.

Resident of Srirampur village under Banshihari block in the district which is some 462 km from Kolkata, Siddika's daily intake of food consists of nearly six kgs of rice, besides a big basket of puffed rice.

At the hospital, Siddika is being served with six bananas, four pounds of bread and two litres of milk as breakfast, two kg of boiled rice along with vegetables and fish for lunch and dinner.

The eldest of three daughters of daily wagers Afasuddin Mandal and Mansura Bibi, Siddika started growing abnormally since the age of 10, before which she was like any other girl going to school and doing regular chores.

Ever since her abnormal growth, she had to skip school as people started making fun of her, making it difficult to continue her studies, says her mother.

Sarthak Sensharma, the doctor treating Siddika, said a tumour in her pituitary gland has caused higher secretion of hormones resulting in her abnormal growth in height and weight which in medical parlance is called "gigantism".

"Gigantism refers to abnormally high linear growth due to excessive action of insulin-like growth factor while the epiphyseal growth plates are open during childhood," said Sensharma adding that she needs to go for an immediate surgery as her obesity was leading to other health problems including a respiratory disorder.

Contrary to reports that her daily wager parents were unable to feed her resulting to her hospitalisation, district magistrate Durga Das Goswami as well as Sensharma claimed Siddika was admitted due to health problems caused by her obesity.

"Though she has not been admitted due to starvation or lack of food, but if the administration is approached seeking help for her, we may provide it under any of the food schemes," Goswami said.

The most remarkable example of a person with gigantism was Robert Wadlow from the USA called the "Alton Giant" who stood 8 feet 11 inches tall and weighed almost 200 kg at the time of his death in 1940.

In India, Sharad Kulkarni stands at over 7 feet 1.5 inches and his wife Sanjot is 6 feet 2.6 inches tall. Their daughters Mruga and Sanya are 6 feet 1 inch and 6 feet 4 inches respectively.

The family's combined height is a staggering 26 feet. The couple was crowned India's tallest couple by Limca Book of Records after they married in 1989.

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