Manipur’s political activist Irom Sharila, known across thew world for her 16 years of hunger strike against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state, gave birth to twin girls on May 12, Mother’s Day at Bengaluru’s Cloudnine hospital.
The delivery happened through C-section, and the babies were born a minute apart in the 35th week of pregnancy, and according to hospital authorities, both the mother and babies are in good health.
Irom and her husband Desmond Coutinho named their twins Nix Shakhi and Autumn Tara.
Obstetrician-gynaecologist Sripada Vinekar from Cloudnine Group of Hospitals said, “Both the babies and mother are doing extremely well. It was a coincidence that she gave birth on Mother’s Day, we were expecting her to deliver next week, but she suddenly came in with labour pain. It was an overwhelming experience for me to have delivered her babies, she is a strong and a very humble lady.”
She said that Irom was recovering and may prefer to talk to the media when she’s a little better.
“This is a new life, a new beginning for me. I am very happy. Neither Desmond nor I had any preference, we just wanted healthy children,” Sharmila was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
She added that her happiness doubled on realising that her daughters were born on Mother’s Day.
Irom Sharmila is known to have been on the longest hunger strike of 16 years from 2000, in protest against India imposing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Manipur. She vowed to fast until AFSPA was repealed, and ended it in 2016 after the Supreme Court judgment questioning the immunity enjoyed by security personnel.