With 39 Wives and 94 Children, This Indian Man Is Fathering the World’s Largest Family

With 39 Wives and 94 Children, This Indian Man Is Fathering the World’s Largest Family

If you come from a large family and believe nothing about communal living could surprise you anymore, keep an open mind for this Indian family. Seventy-four-year-old  Ziona Chana from Mizoram India is the head of Chana páwl, a religious Christian sect that allows him to take as many wives as he chooses. He is reported to have 39 wives, 94 children, 14 daughters-in-law, and 33 grandchildren (and counting). [1] They all live in a massive 100-room four-story house located on the hills of Baktawng village in Mizoram State, India. Chana is popularly known for fathering the world’s largest known family — although population experts say larger families may exist in other parts of the world.

Mr. Chana and his family first went viral in 2011 and while speaking in an interview, the father of dozens said he’s “blessed” to have so many people under his care. 

Today I feel like God’s special child,” Chana said. [2] “He’s given me so many people to look after. I consider myself a lucky man to be the husband of 39 women and head of the world’s largest family.”

In his condo-like mansion, Chana sleeps in an exclusive bed-chamber fitted with a double bed, while his wives share communal dormitories and take turns spending the night with him. They have a rational system that works so everyone can get adequate time with their husband. Also, the younger wives sleep in dormitories closer to Chana while the older women stay farther away. The children live with their own families in separate rooms located elsewhere in the mansion.

Military-like coordination

Life at the Chana home, with so many people, can only go smoothly if activities are kept orderly. Under the strict supervision of the oldest wife Zathiangi, 71, the other wives follow an orderly schedule for cooking and cleaning. The daughters clean and handle laundry, while the boys go out to do farmwork and feed the livestock. 

Chana’s compound could pass for a mini-village of its own as it’s complete with a school, several carpentry corners, a playground, countless pig and poultry farms, and a vegetable garden large enough to supply the whole family. Feeding is not a problem as most people would assume as Chana makes sure his family is well-fed. They grow their own crops, manage their resources, and accept occasional donations.

A regular evening meal in the family could require as much as 30 chickens, 132lb of potatoes, and 220lb of rice. 

How does each wife feel about sharing her man with 38 other women?

One could easily assume that Chana’s home would be rife with bickering, jealousy, and countless catfights. The women might even go as far as sabotaging each other to be blessed with their husband’s favors. However, according to wife number-something, Huntharnghanki, the family gets along nicely because it was built on a solid foundation of “mutual respect and love.”

Another wife Rinkmini, 35, who seems besotted with her husband, explained that he met her walking in the village when she was 17 and wrote a letter asking for her hand. “We stay around him as he is the most important person in the house. He is the most handsome person in the village.

According to one of Chana’s sons, his grandfather (Chana’s father) was also a father of nations who married several women and had countless children. He was known for taking in women from poor families as his wives so he could take care of them. Chana is only following in his father’s footsteps and doing a pretty good job of upholding the legacy.

Well, as long as he treats them well and they are happy.

Chana’s Christian sect, Chana páwl, is said to have about 4,000 members, including his entire family, and he’s willing to do anything to expand his religious group.

To expand my sect, I am willing to go even to the U.S. to marry,” he said. That’s one dedicated General Overseer, right?

India’s overpopulation problem 

With a population of 1.38 billion people as of July 2020, India is the second most populated country in the world, following China’s 1.43 billion. [3] While some activists insist that a national child-policy to limit birth might be the best option for India, the country’s government is reportedly learning from China’s mistakes. China’s one-child policy was implemented in 1979 and was increased to two kids per family in 2015. Now, as the country struggles with an exploding aging population and a dropping birth rate, they are considering removing these restrictions entirely. [4]

Although birth rates in India dropped to an average of 2.3 births per woman in 2019, compared to 3.2 in 2000, the country’s population has remained a major cause for concern. Overpopulation continues to fuel unemployment, extreme poverty, and a poor literacy rate. A 2018 report from the Robin Hood Army states that “190.7 million people are undernourished in India and nearly 3,000 children die every day from hunger.

Despite the efforts of local health authorities and non-governmental organizations to promote family planning and use of contraceptives, the numbers continue to increase steadily. It’s only a matter of time before India takes China’s place as the world’s most populated country.

As of January 2020, some members of the Indian parliament have been clamoring for the implementation of a two-child policy for all Indian citizens — at a national level. [5] The politicians argue that Indians are multiplying every day with limited housing, feeding, health, and educational resources. There has to be some sort regulation of reproduction.

However, the bill hasn’t come to vote as it was immediately deemed “unrealistic” and “unacceptable” by other notable voices and a majority of the public. 

“No government can bring any such strong policy in India. People will reject it. The two-child policy is not possible with the socio-economic condition of the country,” said B. Paswan, head of the department of population policies and programs at the International Institute for Population Sciences. “The change will come with development. It is heading that way already.”

References

  1. Indian politicians court man with ‘world’s biggest family:’ 39 wives, 127 offspring.” The Washington Post. Terrence McCoy. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  2. World’s Biggest Family: Indian man sets record with 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren all living in one roof in Mizoram.” India. Zeeshan Shaikh. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  3. India Population.” Worldometer. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  4. Can China recover from its disastrous one-child policy?” The Guardian. Lily Kuo and Xueying Wang. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  5. A two-child policy in overpopulated India? It won’t work, say experts.” CNN. Swati Gupta. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  6. ““In India, 3000 Children Die of Hunger Every Day And This Is How They Can Be Saved!” – Founder Of Robin Hood Army.” Thrive Global. Ayswarrya G.
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