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Tariq Saeed - Updated Mar 24, 2017 09:39am

TOBA TEK SINGH: Zainab Bibi, Pakistan’s tallest woman and a former holder of the ‘world’s tallest woman’ title in Guinness Book of World Record in 2003, has been suffering from diabetes and osteoporosis diseases.

She told reporters in her house in Rajana, 14 kilometres from Toba, that her height started increasing when she was 15. Now she is 45 years old. She said when she was 22, her height was 7’ 2.

Zainab has five sisters and belongs to a poor family. She is still single, as, according to her, her height was a hurdle in her marriage.

In 1998, she became a known figure when she appeared in PTV’s Neelam Ghar programme and in 2003 she was declared world’s tallest woman by Guinness Book of World Record. She has visited 15 countries, including the UK, France, Germany and Saudi Arabia. Through public appearances in the country and abroad, she earned money. Back in 2008, she sought asylum in the UK on political grounds, but her plea was turned down.

She said when she was in exile in Saudi Arabia, she had met Nawaz Sharif there who had promised a monthly stipend and other measures to meet her needs after coming into power. She said she was just reminding Mr Sharif of his own words.

She said she was spending her days by using insulin and was even unable to go to hospital as she cannot travel by a bus or a rickshaw due to tallness and in critical illness she was forced to hire an ambulance to reach hospital. One of her sisters sells Pakoras outside the house and she bears Zainab’s needs. She urged the prime minister and the chief minister to help her get treatment and meet expenses.

Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2017

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