The entire world knows her as the Iron Lady. With her iron-alike determination, Irom Sharmila has proven herself worthy of the name. The civil rights activist was on a hunger strike for 16 years, protesting the imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of North East before she finally withdrew it in 2016. 46-year-old Sharmila has now embraced a new, beautiful phase of life as she gave birth to twin daughters on Sunday, after 35 weeks of pregnancy. The mother and the babies are doing fine.
The babies were born at a private hospital in Bengaluru through C-section delivery. Reportedly, they have been named Nix Sakhi and Autumn Tara. In 2017, Sharmila tied the knot with Goan-born British national Desmond Coutinho and settled down in Kodaikanal.
Sharmila, who began her fast when she was only 28, withdrew to contest the state elections and strengthen the movement opposing AFSPA. During the course of 16 years, several times, she was taken under medical supervision and forced to be fed but got back to fasting nevertheless.
"When she first came to me, I was a bit apprehensive, if I could help her through the whole process. Given her age, issues like diabetes or hyper-tension are common. However, Sharmila is truly an ‘iron lady’ and had no complications. They have been a very humble couple. At times, they would wait for one-two hours for me without making any fuss. Every visit was like any other doctor-patient interaction and they enjoyed every bit of the pregnancy with Desmond accompanying her for every time," Dr Sripada Vinekar, who operated Sharmila, told News18.
The mother, as well as the babies, are going to be released within a day.
Heartiest congratulations to Sharmila and Desmond on embracing parenthood. May the journey be beautiful!