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
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.