Kodinhi (Malappuram district) in Kerala is not an ordinary village. This sleepy and quiet place has the distinction of having the most unusually high rate of twin births in the world.
It came to limelight when a survey by locals found unusual huge number of twins in the village. As of 2008, the town was home to around 2,000 families. and over 220 pairs of twins.
In 2008 alone, reportedly 15 pairs of twins were born in the village. The oldest known twin pair in the village was born in 1949.
The first association of twins in the country, The Twins and Kins Association, was also founded in this village.
So far, such a high rate of twins has remained a mystery, but doctors say it could be because of chemicals present in water in Kodinhi area.
However, media attention have led to villagers struggling to keep their privacy. The constant presence of outsiders is also affecting the life of children.
Locals have complained about videography and interviews of twins in school and public taken without permission.
It is reported that some time back, a group tried to shoot an ad film featuring twins in the village for a multinational company. But residents stopped it which triggered a controversy.
Parents have also complained about agents and middle men who are active in arranging meeting with twins by collecting money from study teams from other states and abroad.
Taking a serious note of the complaints, local authorities have imposed restrictions on such activities especially for the sake of children privacy.
A meeting of Nannambra grama panchayat council said:
“The complaints are of serious nature and decided to form a special committee to prevent the exploitation. Elected representatives, eminent persons from the village and parents of twins would be members of the committee.”
Interestingly, locals report interesting incidents that happen due to difficulty in identifying these twins. School teachers sometime joke that they can’t confirm if a student is really the one attending the class, or their twin.