Omkari Singh is thought to be the oldest mother in the world after she gave birth to twins at the age of 70, Uttar Pradesh, northern India. Now, six years later Omkari Singh reveals the struggles and joys of being an elderly parent. As it turned out one of the twins Barsaat, the girl, died at the age of four. Meanwhile the woman’s son Akashvani is an ordinary healthy and playful boy who goes to school.
The world’s oldest mother Omkari Singh, 76, says she finds it hard to keep up with her six-year-old son at times, but that she could not be more happy Speaking about her unusual life the 76-year-old who is married to Charan, 89, says she could not be more happy than now. “Many people ask me, “Is he your grandson?” I tell them “No. He is my son”.’I am very happy that I am a mother of a six-year-old son. It is an unexplainable feeling,” Mrs Singh said.
Mrs Singh and her husband Charan, 89, made headlines in 2008 after their twins Akashvani and Barsaat – who has sadly died – were born, Already parents to two daughters and grandparents to five, the couple were desperate to have a boy – they buffalos, mortgaged their land, spent their life savings and took out a credit card loan to pay for IVF treatment.
Six-year-old Akashvani is a handful like any other young, energetic boy, with Mrs Singh struggling to keep up at times Omkari and Charna eventually succeeded when their eldest daughter was 50 years old. Nevertheless, an elderly mother knows that age is not on her side as she is struggling to keep up with her restless son.
The mother (centre) hopes to be alive when her son gets married, but says she is not worried about death as her daughter Kamla, 50, will care for Akashvani if she dies
“I am not able to bath him properly. I have problems getting him dressed. It is hard to run around and feed him. Old age is like this.” The 76-year-old hopes to live long enough to see Akashvani getting married and says, “I am not worried. After my death my daughter will take care of my son.”
She spoke of the issues of dealing with an energetic six-year-old: ‘I am not able to bathe him properly, I have problems getting him dressed. ‘It is hard to run around and feed him, old age is like this.’ When the record breaking birth hit global headlines, she received much criticism online and within her local community.However, she has said that other mothers in the area have offered her comfort and support without judging her due to her age. Considering the few years she has left with her son, she said: ‘I am not worried, after my death my daughter will take care of my son. ‘I wish my son gets married very quickly and we both can be present at his wedding.’
She was utterly determined to have a son. The fact that to do so would make 70-year-old Omkari Panwar the world’s oldest mother didn’t even cross her mind. Her resolve was matched by her husband Charan Singh Panwar, 77.
To pay for the IVF treatment vital to producing a male heir to the family’s smallholdings, the retired farmer sold his buffalos, mortgaged his land, spent his life savings and took out a credit card loan. And it all paid off when Mrs Panwar gave birth to twins – a boy and girl – by emergency Caesarean section in hospital in Muzaffarnagar, seven hours drive north of the Indian capital New Delhi.
The twins, born a month premature and weighing 2lb each, are healthy, according to doctors. The Panwars already have two adult daughters, and five grandchildren, but the latest arrivals are what they have been waiting for – not least because a son will benefit from a dowry when he marries and will be able to work their land. Mrs Panwar said: ‘For eight months the pregnancy was hectic and painful. But I have given birth before, so I knew what to expect. Sometimes, you have to face the pain if you want something good.