India tourism boss offers cash, trophy to guy who can have most kids


Despite their rank as the world’s second-most populous country, Indian officials in the state of Mizoram are launching a race to encourage population growth by promising a cash prize to the family with the most children.

To boost their declining economy, Mizoram’s sports, youth affairs and tourism minister Robert Romawia Royte announced on Sunday that the North East Consultancy Services, an agency run by Royte’s family, would award a trophy and cash prize of 100,000 Rupee ($1,345) to the most prolific household in the state, according to The Hindu’s report.

Royte hopes to increase population in the northeastern Indian state where fertility and population have declined for decades. It’s India’s next-to-lowest state in population density with an average of 52 persons per square kilometer — compared to the national average at 382 persons per square kilometer.

More people are needed to help support the local economy, the minister said, which is predominantly rural and agrarian.

Ziona Chana's family
Ziona Chana, who died at 76 this month, helped produce (at least) 89 children with 38 women during his lifetime — many of whom are pictured here.

There might already have been a clear frontrunner had the contest been announced before last week’s death of Mizoram resident Ziona Chana. The patriarch of the “world’s largest family” famously fathered a total of at least 89 children in his lifetime with 38 wives, an achievement that earned his family two appearances on the TV series “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” showcasing his 100-room compound in Baktawng Tlangnuam where 118 of his brood resides.

Unfortunately, Chana died just last week at 76, likely due to complications from diabetes and hypertension, said local reports.

Ziona Chana's 100-room home in Mizoram
The late Ziona Chana’s 100-room home he shared with his 89 children and 38 wives.

Nevertheless, Royte might be on to something with the promotion, as Mizoram’s chief minister PU Zoramthanga has agreed that the attention Chana received for his outsized clan was a boon to their community.

Said Zoramthanga on Twitter last week, “Mizoram and his village at Baktawng Tlangnuam has become a major tourist attraction in the state because of the family. Rest in Peace Sir!”


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