Sunday, March 14, 2010

A village of Twins - Kodinhi - Kerala

The world has begun to pay serious attention to the large concentration of twins in Kodinhi here. A National Geographic team is in the village, studying and documenting the phenomenon. Kodinhi, comprising seven wards of Nannambra panchayat, has 250-odd twin pairs, nearly 10 times the national average of twins in the country. The global average of twins is eight in 1,000, and the twin presence in India is four in 1,000. But, nearly 35 out of 1,000 people in Kodinhi are twins.

The National Geographic is planning an hour-long documentary with a working title 'Twin Town.' Paul Nelson, producer-director of the documentary, says it will be a genuine attempt to get to the bottom of the matter.

Mr. Nelson, winner of several awards for documentaries, says the intent is not to portray how it is growing up within a twin community. "It will be an investigation as well, joining hands with experts," he says. Mr. Nelson and producer Camilla Banks came from London after studying in depth similar twin phenomena all over the world. "This will be a unique story for India," says Mr. Nelson, who himself has been subject to several studies along with his identical twin brother James Nelson.

Eating of a particular yam is reportedly leading to a high number of twins in a Nigerian village. Similarly, a high concentration of twins has been reported from Brazil. "We will look at the zygosity to determine the bona fide identical twins," Mr. Nelson says. According to him, the study may have world-wide ramifications, especially in the treatment for infertility.

Environmental factors of Kodinhi will be subjected to a study. Attention will be given to water sources of the village, he says. The National Geographic will conduct a medical camp for the twin community and their parents in Kodinhi. Books and study materials will be distributed.