Lakhimpur (Uttar Pradesh): As the nation is raising its concerns over rising population, Mohd Sharif could not care less. With three wives and 15 children, he heads what he says is the “biggest family in this district”. His entire family lives together in Baudhiyan Kalan village that has a total population of 6,000.
Sharif says he was 14 when he first got married to Jatta Begum in 1987.
He has three sons and five daughters with his first wife.
“I met Noor and married her sometime in the nineties. She has given me four daughters and one son. In 2000, I married Tarannum Begum, a Nepalese and she has given me one son and one daughter,” he says.
Interestingly, Sharif confesses that he does not remember the names of all his children.
“I go for a headcount every evening to ensure that all of them are home,” he says.
His eldest son is 24-years old and the youngest daughter is 2-years old.
“I am blessed to have such a loving family, where all stay together, even the wives. I never came across a situation where my children or wives argue with one another,” he says.
An agricultural labourer by profession, Mohd Sharif firmly believes that “If Allah sends us to earth, he ensures that no one sleeps on an empty stomach.”
Sharif says he often gets food grains instead of wages and this keeps the family going.
He has recently applied for three accommodations under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna for his three wives.
Sharif is unaware of family planning programmes and insists that children are gifts from God. “I would be happy if I had more,” he says.