rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » In PHOTOS: World's largest family in India

In PHOTOS: World's largest family in India

Last updated on: November 3, 2011 09:02 IST

In PHOTOS: World's largest family in India

     Next

Next

Did you know that the world's largest family resides in India?

Residing in a 100-room four story mansion outside of Baktawang in Mizoram, Ziona Chana is married to 39 women with whom he has 94 children, 14-daughters-in-law, and 33 grandchildren.

Click on NEXT to see more PHOTOS of the Chana family...

 


Image: Family members of Ziona (Right) pose for a group photograph outside their residence in Baktawng village in Mizoram
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
     Next

In PHOTOS: World's largest family in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Chana first married at age 17.

His oldest wife is 70, and the youngest is 31. The wives sleep in communal dormitories with the youngest women sleeping closest to Chana and a rotation system for visitations. Chana once married ten women in one year.

Click on NEXT to see more PHOTOS...



Image: A combination picture shows 28 of the wives of Ziona
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Prev     Next

In PHOTOS: World's largest family in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The family is organised with almost military discipline, with the oldest wife Zathiangi organising her fellow partners to perform household chores such as cleaning, washing and preparing meals.

Click on NEXT to see more PHOTOS...



Image: A view of Ziona's 4 storey house in Baktawng village
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Prev     Next

In PHOTOS: World's largest family in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

It takes 30 chickens, one "giant" pig, 55 lbs of rice and 88 lbs of potatoes for every meal cooked for the entire family.

The family grows its own crops and keeps its own livestock.

Click on NEXT to see more PHOTOS...


Image: A wife of Ziona prepares breakfast at their residence
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Prev     Next

In PHOTOS: World's largest family in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Chana keeps the youngest women near to his bedroom with the older members of the family sleeping further away and there is a rotation system for who visits Chana's bedroom.

Click on NEXT to see more PHOTOS...


Image: Zuali, 37, twentieth wife of Ziona, adjusts his shirt as his sons and driver (Left) watch before heading towards the construction site of a church in Baktawng village
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Prev     Next

In PHOTOS: World's largest family in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Rinkmini, one of Chana's wives, said, "We stay around him as he is the most important person in the house. He is the most handsome person in the village."

She said Chana noticed her on a morning walk in the village 18 years ago and wrote her a letter asking for her hand in marriage.

Click on NEXT to see more PHOTOS...



Image: Engi, 5, youngest child of Ziona, poses with other children of the family at their residence
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Prev     Next

In PHOTOS: World's largest family in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Ziona heads a local Christian religious sect, called the "Chana", which allows polygamy. Formed in June 1942, the sect believes it will soon be ruling the world with Christ and has a membership of around 400 families.

Click on NEXT to see more PHOTOS...



Image: Ziona's family members wave from a vehicle on their way to a church construction site
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Prev     Next

In PHOTOS: World's largest family in India

Prev     More
Prev

More

But Ziona doesn't appear fazed by the size of his apparently happy family -- and doesn't claim any benefits for their upkeep.

'I feel like God's special child. He's given me so many people to look after,' he said, adding, 'I consider myself a lucky man to be the husband of 39 women and head of the world's largest family.'

Click on MORE to see another PHOTO feature...


Image: Ziona, 67, takes a break at the construction site of a church in Baktawng village
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Prev     More