Rahul Gandhi meets Kerala nurse who held him as a newborn

Mr. Gandhi met the 72-year-old nurse on his thanksgiving visit to Wayanad, Kerala.

Updated - June 09, 2019 02:31 pm IST

Published - June 09, 2019 01:39 pm IST - Kozhikode

Mr. Gandhi hugs Kerala nurse who had held him as a newborn.

Mr. Gandhi hugs Kerala nurse who had held him as a newborn.

It was a special moment for 72-year-old Rajamma Vavathil, a retired nurse, when Congress president Rahul Gandhi hugged and held her hand here on Sunday, 49 years after she took him in her hands as a newborn at a Delhi hospital.

Ms. Rajamma could not contain her happiness and excitement at meeting Mr. Gandhi, whose birth she had witnessed, as a grown-up man and the Member of Parliament from her Wayanad constituency in Kerala.

The Gandhi scion hugged her and held her hand when Ms. Rajamma and her family came to meet him at a guest house here in the morning.

Amidst his busy schedule, Mr. Gandhi, on a thanksgiving visit to Wayanad, which has sent him to Parliament this time with a massive victory margin of 4.31 lakh votes, spent some time with Ms. Rajamma’s family.

He also posed for photographs with some party workers and their kin.

As a trainee nurse, Ms. Rajamma had taken care of Mr. Gandhi at Delhi’s Holy Family Hospital after his birth on June 19, 1970.

The Congress chief also greeted Ms. Rajamma’s family members, including her husband and grandchildren, who waited for hours to meet him.

Before leaving, she gifted home-made jackfruit chips and sweets to the Congress chief, who, in turn, promised to meet her again.

“I am really happy and excited. I was the first among the few who took Rahul as a newborn in their hands. All those memories gushed though my mind when I met him again,” she told reporters.

Rahul Gandhi’s father Rajiv Gandhi and uncle Sanjay Gandhi were waiting outside the labour room of the hospital when his mother Sonia Gandhi was taken for delivery, she recounted.

“I felt, I should give him some gift. That is why I gave him sweets and chips made by myself,” the retired nurse said.

When a controversy over Mr. Gandhi’s citizenship came up during the Lok Sabha election campaign, Ms. Rajamma had said that she was one of those who were on duty at the Holy Family Hospital on June 19, 1970, when he was born.

Ms. Rajamma, who completed her nursing course from the Holy Family Hospital, later joined the military as a nurse.

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