The world’s oldest mum has hit back at critics who blasted her for giving birth at 70 – claiming it has actually helped her live LONGER.
Rajo Devi Lohan hit the headlines in 2008 when she gave birth to daughter Naveen following controversial IVF treatment.
Now 74, Rajo, who nearly died as a result of complications following her pregnancy, has vowed to live long enough to see her five-year-old girl marry.
“The only reason I am still alive in spite of my illness is Naveen,” she said.
“She is a gift to me from God and until I get her married I cannot afford to die. I will get her married when she turns 15-years-old, but until then I simply cannot die.”
Rajo, who lives with Naveen in the remote village of Hissar, India, her husband Ballo and his second, younger wife Umi, was so desperate to have a child she took out loans to pay for the £2,000 IVF treatment.
When the baby was born, many questioned whether it was morally right for a pensioner to have children, while also suggesting it is detrimental to the health of an OAP.
And their doubts appeared to be justified when Rajo fell gravely ill, almost dying from post-birth complications related to her IVF treatment.
But after battling back, Rajo has even outlived her doctor who guided her through the process, and she puts it all down to having something to live for – daughter Naveen.
Rajo said: “When Naveen was born the Doctor had asked me to take complete bed rest but I did not listen to him and that?s why my health got so bad.
“I am not used to resting and that?s why I could not help myself but work even after she was born. For me work is what I have done all my life.
“But I am feeling much better now. The doctor took very good care of me, but unfortunately he has since died. He spent a lot of money on my medical expenditure, to help me get a child.
“When I used to look around and see children, my heart felt sad that I couldn’t have one – I desperately wanted to have a child of my own.
“Every one celebrated when she was born. The villagers were very happy and every one came to see her.”
Despite entering her twighlight years, Rajo isn’t worried about Naveen’s future when she dies, adding: “Naveen does not need to worry about her future, she has her other mother, Umi, her uncles, relatives and father to look after her.
“As Naveen is the my only child she will inherit all my property which includes 566,280 sq ft of land. Her future will be secure.”
Naveen’s step-mum Umi, who is Rajo’s sister and married Ballo when he thought Rajo was unable to bear him a child, added: “Naveen is very dear to me, I can?t have her away from me for long.
“If she asks me later in life about her mother, I will tell her that she became sick after her birth and that that sickness took her away from us.
“I will make sure that after her mother passes away, she will not miss out on that love and affection Rajo provides her. Rajo is still the one who prepares her for the school in the morning – Naveen does not let me do it, she insists her mother will do it. She is very proud of Rajo and loves her dearly.”
Energetic Naveen, who has begun attending the local village primary school, has grown fond of her mum – despite her evident struggle to keep up at times.
Naveen said: “I love my mother very much. I also love my father but I love my mother more than him.”