QUETTA: A Pakistani man, 70, has claimed to have fathered 54 children with six wives, saying it was not something he planned in advance.
Abdul Majeed Mengal is a 70-year-old truck driver who lives in Nushki in southwest of Quetta, married his first wife when he was just 18 and subsequently he married five other women.
The majority of his children are under ten-years-old and his youngest child is a daughter, two-year-old Bibi Zainab. He insists that everyone in the family lives in harmony.
He said: ‘I worked hard and provided a good education to my older sons. But now I’m an old man these things are out of my hands.’
But in a series of unfortunate events, Mengal lost 12 of his children, but he still has 22 sons and 20 daughters.
Alongside the death of 12 of his children, he has lost two of his wives.
Must read: Pakistani father of 35 aims for 100 children
He says he has worked all his life as a truck driver earning between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 a month depending on the work available.
Abdul Bari Mengal, who is a 32- year-old and the oldest son of Abdul, has also followed his father’s footsteps as a truck driver to feed his family.
They live in a seven room house where the children sleep separately with their respective mothers.
He shares that at meal times the family usually eat vegetables and Dal with rice. But on special occasions, such as the Muslim festival Eid, he buys three goats and ensures there’s a feast.
He said: ‘We normally eat dal (pulses), ladyfinger and vegetables and around 100 rotis every meal time. This is the way we live. But we are managing somehow.
Underlining the hard-scrabble conditions he is living in, Mengal says he buys four to five rolls of a fabric and makes clothes of his children out of that.
Abdul says he cant afford education fees for his ten remaining children, hence they are out of schools.
‘I worked to ensure most of my kids got an education,’ he said. ’But my older boys are struggling to get a job. They have graduated but can’t find work. I provided an education but it’s useless as they are unemployed. I pray they get jobs.’
‘Father of 35, who aims 100 children’
A man from Quetta, father of 35 children, made headlines last year after he announced search for a fourth wife to romps towards his goal of 100 children.
Sardar Jan Mohammad Khilji, 46, says he believes it is his religious duty to have as many children as possible.
Jan, who claims he is a qualified medical technician, runs an unregulated clinic where he treats people for minor ailments such as headaches, adding that as he is “serving humanity” he charges just 250 rupees ($2.30) per patient while providing his services to the poor for free.