Army cel­e­brates Joshi Aunty’s life jour­ney

EX­EM­PLARY The oc­to­ge­nar­ian war widow has beaten the dreaded can­cer and emerged a leg­end among mil­i­tary per­son­nel and civil­ians

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - METRO - Av­inash Ku­mar

DANA­PUR: Meet Joshi Aunty, 86.

She will cut her birthday cake on Satur­day, cour­tesy the Bi­har Reg­i­men­tal Cen­tre and Jhark­hand and Bi­har Sub Area.

Beat­ing her age de­spite en­coun­ter­ing huge odds throughout life, she has over­come the worst, even beat­ing a dreaded dis­ease like can­cer a few years ago. To­day, she has emerged as a leg­end among mil­i­tary per­son­nel as well as civil­ians.

A war widow, Ur­mila Joshi, lov­ingly called Joshi Aunty, hails from Ch­hat­tis­garh but has iden­ti­fied her­self as a Bi­hari for over four decades. In the course of her life’s jour­ney, she has found a place in the heart of thou­sands of un­der-priv­i­leged and poor per­sons in and around the state cap­i­tal whom she has served with ut­most ded­i­ca­tion all these years.

Af­ter los­ing her hus­band, Ma­jor Har­ish Chan­dra Joshi, an of­fi­cer of the 2nd Bi­har Bat­tal­ion in 1973, she opted to lead a life in the ser­vice of the des­ti­tute and the de­prived. Thanks to the JB sub area, she was al­lot­ted an of­fi­cial quar­ter where she con­tin­ues to live even to­day.

Joshi Aunty has a unique hobby of col­lect­ing old clothes and mak­ing them avail­able to the poor. For the pur­pose, she of­ten walks miles on foot, un­mind­ful of her age , when most peo­ple would usu­ally pre­fer rest at home.

Talk­ing to HT, she said, “I wish to breathe my last at Dana­pur, the place that gave me life”. Watch­ing Lata Mangeshkar’s birthday cel­e­bra­tion on Fri­day over TV, she fondly re­marked, “I am three years older than Lata but still look younger to her”.

It is her love-all and feel-forall out­look that has made Joshi Aunty a fa­mil­iar face in the en­tire sub area sta­tion head­quar­ters area.

JOSHI AUNTY HAS A UNIQUE HOBBY OF COL­LECT­ING OLD CLOTHES AND MAK­ING THEM AVAIL­ABLE TO THE POOR. SHE OF­TEN WALKS MILES, UN­MIND­FUL OF HER AGE, WHEN MOST PEO­PLE WOULD USU­ALLY PRE­FER REST AT HOME

Even the then BRC Com­man­dant, Bri­gadier Sa­gar Singh, who has known her for over 27 years, said he al­ways found her a source of in­spi­ra­tion.

“Even when I took charge as the BRC Com­man­dant on Au­gust 12, 2010, I first met the lady and sought her bless­ings,” he re­called.

“She is a leg­end, a role model for Army women. She in­spires peo­ple to en­joy life de­spite the tragedies, that may have over­taken them. They re­spond too with hope,” said GOC of JB sub area Maj Gen Pankaj Sachdeva. Army Wibes Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent, Anu­radha Sachdeva, said that even at the age of 86, Joshi Aunty has a heart of a teenager - vi­brant, hope­ful, full of life and colour.

Ur­mila Joshi

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