KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — He has never worked outside the home or seen a doctor, and until Wednesday, he had never left his remote mountain village in western Nepal. So 72-year-old Chandra Bahadur Dangi only recently learned he might be the world’s shortest man.
Dangi says he’s only 22 inches (56 centimeters) tall — about the size of a toddler — and he’s hoping to claim the title. Guinness World Records said in an email Wednesday that its officials would arrive in Nepal’s capital Sunday to measure Dangi.
Dangi took his first trip outside his village and his first trip on a plane to reach Katmandu on Wednesday.
“I am very happy to be in Katmandu for the first time in my life. I am here so I can take the Guinness title,” Dangi told reporters at the airport.
Dangi, who has never been married, lives with his eldest brother and his family in Rhimkholi village, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) west of Katmandu. Because of his height, he has never worked outside the house, doing only household chores. His five brothers are of average size.
His family is not sure when he stopped growing, and Dangi said he has never been checked by a medical doctor. He attended a few classes in the village school, but soon dropped out.
Dangi eats mainly rice and vegetables, and occasionally meat, but in small portions.
Since the village is so remote, it was only recently that Dangi gained notice. A forest contractor cutting timber in the village met him and informed local media after Dangi’s height was measured.
Dangi’s nephew, Dolak Dangi, said that before the contractor’s visit, the family did not know his uncle’s exact height, and that he was shorter than the world’s shortest man.
Guinness currently recognizes Junrey Balawing of the Philippines, who is 23.5 inches (60 centimeters) tall.
Another Nepalese man, Khagendra Thapa Magar, was known as the world’s shortest man, at 26.4 inches (67 centimeters), before Balawing took over the title on his 18th birthday in June.
In December, Guinness recognized an Indian teenager as the world’s shortest woman. Jyoti Amge is 24.7 inches (62.8 centimeters) tall and wants to attend university and become a Bollywood star.
Aside from a Guinness certificate, the titles not come with any cash award.