He may be the oldest man alive in India. If Parasram Gurjar's
family tree is to be believed, he is a good 125 years old.
He is a resident of Talkesri village in Hoshangabad district, 70
km from here.
His family has no scientific proof of his age, but his 45-year-old
grandson Hakam Singh Gurjar claimed that their 'vanshawali' or
family tree mentioned Parasram's age as 22 years in 1908.
According to that, he was born in 1886.
On World Elders' Day Oct 1 the Madhya Pradesh government conferred
on the old man the Shatayu Samman. He was among eight people
felicitated for attaining the age of more than 100 years.
"The medical Board of Madhya Pradesh has certified he is more than
90 years old. However, it could not provide a certificate for his
age exceeding 90 years," Hakam told IANS.
"We have written to union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for
making arrangements for verification of age of older people.
Besides, we have applied to the Guinness World Records," he said.
Parasram is an agriculturist by profession.
"He is perfectly healthy though he is a little hard of hearing.
Except for being affected by pneumonia recently, he has never
fallen ill. He has no ailments. He is physically capable and does
most of his daily chores by himself," Hakam said.
Parasram moves comfortably with the help of a stick and can eat
just about everything. The day the IANS correspondent met him, he
was eating kachoris with youngsters at Coffee House in Bhopal.
His only surviving son Mohanlal is now 75 years old. His three
other sons and a younger daughter are no more. His family consists
now of 14 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Assuming a date, on Aug 10 every year Parasram's birthday is
celebrated by his family. He does not take old age pension from
the government as he feels the amount is too meagre.
The self-claimed supercentenarian said about his longevity: "Apart
from a proper diet, the only thing that has kept me going is hard
work. I am really saddened that today's generation is much weaker
and is not hardworking."
There may be a confusion regarding his actual age, but even now
Parasram is clear on what he wishes to do.
"I want to have an organisation to make people aware and stop
female foeticide," he said.
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