City family claims to be world's oldest

City family claims to be world's oldest

 A 13-member Kannadiga family has entered the race to be declared the oldest family in the world with the cumulative age of its siblings touching 880 years.

The Guinness World Records recently announced that a family of 11 living siblings in the United Kingdom, with a cumulative age of 855 years, was the oldest family in the world.

However, Ramakrishna Manja, 68, a retired professor from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, claims his family betters those statistics. Ramakrishna says his family’s combined age of his 13 living members adds up to over 880 years.

Ramakrishna said he had sent in an application to the Guinness World Records for his family to be considered for the honour. “We are the oldest family. I have also sent my application to the Guinness World Record on February 12 claiming the world record for longevity, taking the highest title for the combined age of our living siblings,” he told Deccan Herald.

“I have filled the forms and submitted it, we now have to give them a family photograph of all of us, with each ones date of birth and address proof, signed by the notary. After this the application will be processed and the whole procedure will take around two months.”

But Ramakrishna explains that not everyone lives under one roof. Some members are abroad. “I am planning to bring all of us together, but some are in Shimoga, Chitradurga, the US and the UK. So for all to come together will take time.”

He added: “We are 13 of us- eight brothers and five sisters. My present family strength is 101 [including spouses, children and grandchildren]. My mother had 16 children, one died soon after birth, one within a year of birth and my eldest sister expired last year. Had they been alive, the total age would have been over 950 years. My eldest brother is Srinivasa Manja (79 years) and my youngest brother is Sridhara Manja (56 years).”

Ramakrishna said they are natives of Jog Falls in Shimoga district. Despite their financial constraints they all achieved several academic feats, which include PhDs and post graduate degrees in science, engineering and accounting.

“My father died in 1986. Then my family strength was 65 and it was then we had taken a full family photograph,”he said, adding, “Now bringing all 101 together will take some time.”

He said there were probably other families that were larger than his, but till that time he’s planning on taking the title.

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