96-year-old Ramjit Raghav is reportedly the world's oldest father. (NTDTV/YouTube)Most people can only dream of living for 100 years, let alone fathering a child nearly a century after being born themselves. But that is apparently a reality today, as a 96-year-old Indian man claims to have fathered a child, his second in recent years.
Ramajit Raghav and his 52-year-old wife, Shakuntala Devi, reportedly gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Ranjeet, on Oct. 5, according to the Times of India.
Just two years ago, Raghav set the world record when he and Devi gave birth to their first son, Vikramajeet.
"I didn't take any performance enhancers. … I just prayed to God to complete my family, either a boy or a girl," Raghav told the paper.
India is often the source of unusual stories about a person's age. However, the life expectancy of the average Indian actually falls into the lower-third of U.N. global statistics (139 out of 194 counties), at 64.7 years. The average Indian man lives 63.2 years. By comparison, Japan has the longest worldwide life expectancy, with its residents living an average of 82.7 years. The U.S. comes in at No. 38, with Americans living an average of 79.2 years. You can view the U.N.'s most recent life expectancy charts here.
While male fertility rates are not as directly correlated to age as are women's, male fertility rates do decline with age, according to a study published in the 2004 issue of Human Reproduction Update.
Raghav tells The Sun that he credits his diet of butter, milk and almonds for his longevity, along with abstaining from drugs and alcohol. He also claims to have remained "mostly" celibate until meeting Devi 10 years ago.
"I feel lucky to have two healthy sons. It will be tough, but I'm a happy man," he said.
Interestingly, the previous record holder for world's oldest dad was also Indian: Nanu Ram Jog, who reportedly fathered his 21st at the age of 90.
For his part, Raghav doesn't plan to set anymore paternal records.
"I have asked my wife to be sterilized now," he said. "I don't want more children, we can't afford it."
You can watch an interview with Raghav below: