Ranjit Das may be vertically-challenged, but he loves to imitate Shah Rukh Khan.

It’s a ‘Small’ World: Shah Rukh’s ‘Zero’ Has Dwarf Village Excited

‘Amaar Gaon’ – or ‘our village’ – is a special place. It’s home to a very special group of people. And nobody here is made to feel small.

Located in Assam’s Udalguri district is a town named Tangla. This is where ‘Amaar Gaon’ is located. Around 30 people with achondroplasia – popularly called dwarfism – live here together. And they have built the village themselves.

Pabitra Rabha with the members of dwarf theatre group ‘Dapon.’

The little residents are all the more special because all of them are actors. They are part of a unique theatre movement by National School of Drama graduate Pabitra Rabha, who in 2008 brought together vertically-challenged people from different parts of Assam and formed the ‘Dapon’ theatre troupe.

The residents of ‘Aamaar Gaon’ live a self-sustainable life. 

These little men and women know 2018 is going to be a very special year for them and many others like them. After all, India’s biggest actor Shah Rukh Khan is playing the role of a dwarf in the film Zero.

I am sure Shah Rukh Khan is going to do a great job playing a dwarf. I am sure that after the film is released, people who are vertically-challenged will be seen in a different light. People will think twice before mocking them. I think this will go a long way in giving them the respect they deserve.
Pabitra Rabha, founder, Dapon

The trailer of Zero has made the little residents of ‘Aamaar Gaon’ excited. They are waiting with bated breath for 21 December 2018 when the film releases. They know Zero can bring their little world into limelight.

They, however, have only one concern.

In ‘Aamaar Gaon,’ the little men and women don’t feel vertically-challenged. 
I have just one request for Shah Rukh Khan sir. He mustn’t play a role that shows dwarfs as clowns in the circus. That’s how we are stereotyped.
Dilip Kakoty, member, Dapon

For now, these little stars of Assam have pinned their hopes on India’s biggest star. Now, it’s Shah Rukh Khan’s turn to fit into these small shoes.

Cameraperson: Tridip K Mandal

Video Editor: Kunal Mehra

(This story was first published on 12 January 2018 and has been reposted from The Quint's archives to mark the release of Zero)

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