I was witness to Rahul’s birth, says thrilled ex-nurse

Rajamma Vavathil, a retired nurse in Wayanad. (Screengrab from MediaOne TV)

Rajamma Vavathil, a retired nurse in Wayanad, believes no one should contest Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship status. After all, she says, she was one of those on duty at Delhi’s Holy Family Hospital on June 19, 1970 when he was born.

The 72-year-old, who was then training to be a nurse, said she was among the first to take the infant Rahul in her hands.

“I was lucky as I was first among the few who took the newborn baby in my hands. He was so cute. I was a witness to his birth. I was thrilled... we all were thrilled to see the grandson of prime minister Indira Gandhi,” Vavathil said. 

Forty-nine years later, the “cute baby” is Congress president and a contestant from Wayanad. And Rajamma, who now describes herself as “nearly a housewife”, said she couldn’t be happier.

Rajamma remembers the day of Rahul’s birth in detail. His father Rajiv Gandhi and uncle Sanjay Gandhi were waiting outside the labour room of the hospital when Sonia Gandhi was taken in for delivery, she recounts.

The retired nurse says she is saddened by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s complaint questioning Rahul’s citizenship status. According to her, no one can question Rahul Gandhi’s identity as an Indian citizen and Swamy’s complaint about his citizenship is “baseless”.

All records about Rahul Gandhi’s birth would be there at the hospital, she said.

Vavathil, who completed her nursing course from Delhi’s Holy Family Hospital, later joined the Indian military as a nurse.

After taking VRS from service, she returned to Kerala in 1987 and is now settled in Kalloor near Sulthan Bathery.

Vavathil expressed hope that she would be able to meet Rahul when he visits Wayanad next time.

The issue of the Congress president’s citizenship is back in the news with the Home Ministry sending him a notice following a complaint from Swamy that a British company’s annual returns declares his nationality as British.

Indian laws prohibit dual citizenship. 

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