In the Hindi movie ‘Om Shanti Om’ Shah Rukh Khan had said a dialogue that ‘Agar Kisi Cheez Ko Dil Se Chaho to Puri kaynat bhi Use Tumse Milne Ki Koshish Mein Lag Jati Hai’. It is true indeed. If pathos are elevated then no trouble could become obstacles in our journey. No matter how difficult your path is, you will definitely reach towards your destination. Few days back, a 94 year old woman has proved these proverbs and dialogues are right once again after winning in the Sarpanch’s election. People are coming from neighbouring villages to greet her. Usually addressed as ‘Aaji’ by people, Gangubai Nivrutti Bhambure is probably the oldest sarpanch of the Pune district and also the country. Interestingly, at an age when people get inclined towards spiritual activities Aaji surprises everyone when she says ‘now it’s time to work’. The desire to do something better for her village, supporters and common citizens is enough to make anyone a fan of her. In fact, Gangubai is illiterate and has never attended school but today she wants to talk as a literate woman and speak like a teacher. This is not the first instance when she had emerged victorious in elections as she had won polls on earlier occasions too.
India has the world’s largest youth population. But when veterans like Gangubai stand in front of us, they make us believe that we have committed a mistake in judging elderly person’s determination and strength. On the other hand, late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was a huge inspiration for the youth. Kalam sahab, in his last days remained active and interacted with the youth. Even during old age he remained dedicated towards work. Perhaps, these were the reasons which made him the most popular President of the country. Pratibha Patil was the first woman president of India. Ms Patil surprised everyone when she flew in fighter jet Sukhoi MKI (SB139) in Pune at the age of 74.
Besides this, there are many stories of common elderly people in our country who made contribution towards the society. In this category, who can forget Dasharath Manjhi, a Mountain Man from Bihar, who constructed a road by breaking the rocks of the mountain? The mountain’s height, length and also the long interval of 22 years became short in front of his hammer’s strike and determination. Nation is proud of Fauja Singh who is known as the oldest marathon runner. He had crossed all the barriers of age when he ran the race at the age of hundred. Moreover, Mahatma Gandhi and Anna Hazare started revolution by following the principles of non-violence.
All these personalities are just a few examples whom we know, but there are many elderly persons in our country who remain out of limelight. The life of these people inspires everyone as they overcome every obstacle through hardwork and dedication. Age is just a number it cannot become the symbol of hopelessness. Such people are not only role model for elderly persons but they are also a source of inspiration for the youngsters.
Vivekanand V. Vimarya
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)