Humanity is beyond age limits

Published on: 10th June 2014
It's even hard to imagine the pains of a much younger mother of just 19 years of age with a 10 month old son in her lap facing the problem of uncertain future; not even assured with a shelter.

This is not any film script, but nothing less than that.

The year 1947, though historic was the most troublesome year for the Sindhis, Punjabis and Hindus living in Sindh and adjoining areas of undivided India. Due to partition, these parts were going to form a new country called Pakistan.

Here is a terrific and dynamic story of Dadi Nirmala Gajwani who is 86 years old currently.

Dadi Nirmala Gajwani, a name on the lips of everyone in this region of twin township Gandhidham-Adipur, is known for her selfless service to the weaker section of the society.

She was born in Sindh on 28th of December, 1928. Early Marriage with Dr. Hassanand Gajwani proved hurdle for her education and she left academics while she was in her first year of graduation in Arts. Pains and sufferings of partition resulted in creating a desire in her for social work, especially, in making women self-sufficient.

"Education in those days was not considered as a big priority, but times have changed, and so has everything else," were her words on education. "Those were the days when on an advice of Mahatma Gandhi, Maharaja of Kutch agreed to give land for the resettlement of the Sindhis, who were forced to migrate. There were hurdles not only at social levels but also on the economic fronts," recalls Dadi. "We were homeless and had nothing to do. But, since my husband was a doctor, he started giving medical advice to the poor and the needy. Seeing the plight of people around prompted me to become a social worker," said the 86 year old Dadi with a smile.

It was her dedication and untiring efforts that, slowly and gradually, social opposition for her efforts of making women literate and skilled, started to vanish. To combat the financial problems she was soon directed help from World Health Organization and Central Social Welfare Board, Delhi.

It was the token of her efforts that she was elected unopposed for being the President of Kutch Educational Board. After being elected with huge popularity votes in 1967 for Gujarat State assembly, she was selected as the Deputy Speaker of the House.
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Kandla, Free Trade Zone and Indian Fertilizer Cooperative are the symbols for her dedication towards the care and progress of the people of her area. During the times of split in Congress she left politics and returned back to concentrate on her social works at Gandhidham and Adipur.

She is the only person from Kutch area to receive the Best Social Worker Award from the Central Social Welfare Board. Her success attributes are a much supportive husband, dynamic personality, tactful dealing, humorous nature, transparent heart and true hard work.

With tears in her eyes, she says, "the journey wasn't easy at all; we did selfless deeds for people, but among them were some, due to whom, Bhai Pratap who made this city worth living , had to go to jail. Nothing was as simple as it seems today; we worked restlessly to make not just houses but homes to live in."

During the killer earthquake, Dadi came to the help and rescue of the people who lost their shelter and belongings. Dadi drafted the Rehabilitation Plan providing for allotment of land by SRC Ltd. to NGOs and other social organizations such as Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Dubai Textile Merchants Charitable Trust, Jain Seva Samiti, Aradhna Housing Society and many others who have built and distributed more than 1000 houses to the earthquake victims.
At present, Dadi is concerned with the development of 100 acres land retained by Corporation for its own commercial activities. The development of the 100 acres land shall further strengthen the financial position of the Corporation, and to a greater extent, welfare schemes shall be implemented to make this township a very beautiful and tourist spot of Gujarat, in general, and Kutch, in particular.

Dadi is growing old in age but not in her thoughts and ideas. Even at this age, she has been planning for building a MAHAN town of Adipur-Gandhidham and establishment of best educational facilities, sports and cultural activities, medical facilities and the social security schemes for the poor and weaker sections of the society. Various schemes have already been put into practice, but we do not find that Dadi is tired of doing much more for the people.She is still full of energy and strength, and still possesses the skill to undertake and accomplish the projects of development activities.
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