Peeyush Khandelwal, Hindustan Times
Muradnagar, August 03, 2010
Sanjay Kumar (42) is already nicknamed as ‘Shravan Kumar of Kalyug’ by the villagers of localities surrounding the NH-58 area, ever since he started his ‘Kanwar’ journey, carrying his parents over his shoulders, over a stretch of around 216 kilometres to his house in Seelampur area of Delhi.
A small time electrician told Hindustan Times that his parents were god for him and he has devoted his entire life to their service. “Many of the youngsters don’t understand the meaning of parents in ones life. Carrying my parents over my shoulders is a mark of respect to them as they brought me in this world. They are God for me,” Kumar told Hindustan Times.
95 year old Lala Ram and his 80 year old wife Savitri Devi are equally thankful to their son for fulfilling their wish for a bath in the holy Ganges in Haridwar during the Kanwar procession.
“My son is married. From the day one after his marriage, his wife was bent on living separate from us. But Sanjay never gave up to her demands and she preferred to get separated and stay with her parents,” a white beard clad Sanjay’s father said.
Sanjay was inspired by the childhood tales narrated to him by his grandmother. “He surprised us when he told us about his plans to carry us over his shoulders. We tried to pacify his about the uphill task but he was adamant and touched our feet instead to allow the journey,” Savitri Devi said.
Notwithstanding the heavy rains, pebble ridden roads, boils/scratches over the back of his neck and shoulders, Kumar covers a distance of around 25-30 kilometres a day carrying his parents’ weight of around 115 kg.
“The only stoppages are for daily meals which are prepared and contributed by the villagers surrounding the NH 58 area,” a fellow Kanwaria said.
After every meal, the family members stop along the road side, have a bath and continue to their onward journey to Delhi. But, beginning each stopover, Sanjay touches his parents’ feet and seek their blessings.
Thousands of locals throng the NH-58 to seek blessings of the Kumar’s parents in the holy month of ‘Shravan’ as the news of their arrival spreads like fire from one village to the other.
Ghaziabad Police was equal to the task. Senior police officials have made police arrangements and also greeted Kumar and his parents on their arrival in the district.