It was a special moment for 72-year-old Rajamma Vavathil, a retired nurse, when Congress President Rahul Gandhi hugged her and held her hand in Kerala on Sunday, 9 June, 49 years after she carried him in her arms as a newborn at a Delhi hospital.
Vavathil could not contain her happiness and excitement at meeting Gandhi, whose birth she had witnessed, as a grown man and the Member of Parliament from her Wayanad constituency in Kerala.
The Gandhi scion met her when Vavathil and her family came to meet him at a guest house in Kozhikode in the morning.
Gandhi, who is on a thanksgiving visit to Wayanad for sending him to Parliament this time with a massive victory margin of 4.31 lakh votes, spent some time with Vavathil's family amid his busy schedule.
Besides, the Congress chief obliged some party workers and their kin by posing for photographs with them.
As a trainee nurse, Vavathil had taken care of Gandhi at Delhi's Holy Family Hospital after his birth on 19 June 1970.
Gandhi was seen listening to Vavathil with a smile as she recalled witnessing his birth and taking him in her arms as a newborn.
Before leaving, Vavathil gifted him home-made jackfruit chips and sweets, who, in turn, promised to meet her again.
An excited Vavathil later said she was really happy to meet Gandhi after all these years.
“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.
"I felt I should give him some gift. That is why I gave him sweets and chips made by me," the retired nurse said.
When a controversy over Gandhi's citizenship came up during the Lok Sabha election campaign, Vavathil had said she was one of those who were on duty at the Holy Family Hospital on 19 June 1970 when the Congress chief was born.
Vavathil, who completed her nursing course from the Holy Family Hospital, later joined the military as a nurse.
After taking voluntary retirement from service, she returned to Kerala in 1987 and is now settled in Kalloor, near Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad.
(This piece has been edited for clarity.)
. Read more on India by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsICC World Cup: India Opt to Bat vs Australia, Both Sides Unchanged . Read more on India by The Quint.