Focus: They do what...? Byways of the charity world - Restricted Growth Association

Indira Das-Gupta

Irvine Welsh's play Babylon Heights, about the actors who played the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz, has unexpectedly thrown the Restricted Growth Association into the media spotlight. The Independent called the charity for a comment on the play, which reportedly contains material on wild Munchkin orgies and drunken behaviour.

"The article claimed we were going to picket the play, but that's simply not true," said Ruth Morgan, manager of the association.

The RGA provides information and support. It has approximately 3,000 members, a third of whom have restricted growth conditions. There are about 6,000 people in the UK with restricted growth and 75 per cent are born to parents of average height. The association uses the term 'people of short stature' rather than 'midgets' or 'dwarves'.

"We would also prefer it if people didn't refer to us as Munchkins," said Morgan. "They are fictional characters in a book."

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