Mother of many fe­lic­i­tated on El­ders Day

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

The El­ders Sec­re­tariat last week cel­e­brated World El­ders Day by hon­our­ing 77- year- old Ro s a l y n N o n a f rom Bam­bara­gaswewa in the Galle District, a proud mom of 20 chil­dren. Ros­alyn Nona was fe­lic­i­tated at the BMICH on Oc­to­ber 1 for her in­cred­i­ble feat of giv­ing birth to all 20 chil­dren at home.

Her hus­band Ji­nadasa ( 88), a labourer, said all his chil­dren were de­liv­ered at home with the help of the vil­lage mid­wife, who was now de­ceased.

Ros­alyn Nona nar­rat­ing her life story said that she mar­ried in 1956 at the age of 21 and gave birth to her first child in 1957. The twen­ti­eth child was born in 1982. "I took no medicine other than her­bal syrups pre­pared by the mid­wife," Ros­alyn Nona said.

Her chil­dren in­clude 13 boys and 7 girls. Her hus­band pro­vided for the fam­ily by pluck­ing co­conuts or do­ing other me­nial work. Back then, his in­come was around Rs. 7.50 a day. "My chil­dren have un­der­gone im­mense hard­ships but they never com­plained. They love us," the proud mother said.

Ji­nadasa, speak­ing to the t he Sun­day Times points out that in the present day even vil­lage fam­i­lies opt to have one or two chil­dren. Both Ros­alyn and Ji­nadasa be­lieve that chil­dren are an as­set if prop­erly brought up. "Chil­dren are never a bur­den," they say.

The old cou­ple speak proudly of their gen­er­a­tion who are healthy and strong. "I am now 88, but my hair is not grey. We have never gone to hos­pi­tals for any sick­ness. We have fed our chil­dren with yams and fresh veg­eta­bles," Ji­nadasa said.

He said that he was 23 when they mar­ried and now they have 153 grand chil­dren. "We are de­lighted to be recog­nised by the state."

"Sim­ply bring­ing chil­dren into the world is of no use un­less good life prac­tices are in­stilled in them. I have never hurt my par­ents and al­ways did their bid­ding. My chil­dren do the same and they look af­ter us. It will be good to have them around at our deathbeds," he said.

Ros­alyn Nona with hus­band and chil­dren

Ros­alyn Nona Pix and text by M. Buhard­een

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