Himachalis I Admire The Most

5:29 AM

In this day and age of internet and social media  everyone is busy on their phones. I see the positive side of this internet revolution , there is a lot of information out there in the public domain about the great personalities who lived their lives to the fullest and inspired many people. But, my only concern is how many of us talk about inspirations, good leaders and idols these days ? How many of us read good stuff online ?And how many parents introduce their children to good books and great leaders.

It's unfortunate that we don't have enough idols to look up to these days because no one has time right ? I don't even remember when my father started giving me diaries and from then on wards it had become a habit to write. I still remember so clearly my Uncle had some magazine subscription when we were kids and there used to be books in a corner of the house. Initially, used wonder why we have books out of syllabus at home and then slowly I started reading them. I wasn't an avid reader back then but,  I was always a curious kid and my family encouraged us to find my own interests.

If I look back today, I would say I have spent my childhood right because of my family. I am writing diary since childhood, daily routine turned into bucket list and then I explored blogging. All of this happened after reading some of the wonderful writers. There are so many people whom I admire and try to learn something or the other from them but, I will talk about 3 people here  who touched my life and I always look up to them. I wish I knew about them since childhood but its better to be late than never.

3 Himachalis I admire the most-

1. Dr. Y. S Parmar

The only thing I knew about Dr. Y S Parmar was that he was the first chief minister of Himachal . When I joined college for journalism degree,  I got the opportunity to read about Y.S Parmar Ji and I fell in love with the visionary man. First chief minister of Himachal who traveled on foot when there were no roads and came out with a blue print after visiting thousands of kilometres that how we can make Himachal a self reliant state. He used to call roads lifelines and whatever we see in and around Himachal today is result of his vision. Roads, electricity, water facilities and employment you name it and he did it.

A single house on top of the hill has electricity and connectivity. He was lawyer by profession and a writer as well,  as he openly wrote about polyandry system in Himachal.  He never used his official car for personal use and walked thousands of miles right after he was elected the first chief minister of Himachal. That's how he came out with a blue print of this state which was newly formed. He didn't make policies on his own by sitting in his office. Dr. Parmar used to conduct meetings in villages and discuss with people how they want to see their village and area and what are the challenges they are facing . After walking miles and miles he did justice to his people and that's the reason Himachal is one of the prosperous states of India.

When I sat down with his daughter in law way back in 2010 , she had a cute smile on her face while talking Dr. Parmar. She told me how much he used to love Himachali cuisine and had in depth knowledge about each and every district , what are the challenges Himachal is facing and how to overcome them. Ms. Satya Parmar told me that buses used to stop near his place after retirement to greet and see him and he used to tell them " Arre chalo aap log apna kaam karo meri vajah se late ni karna bus ki timing" (please , you guys keep moving don't be late because of me). So, now you know what took me to his home. I wish we have such leader/s these days. While knowing him I learned so many things or can say took from his personality.  After meeting his daughter in law my life had a meaning. I wanted to grow and stay humble.
I wanted to explore more and know such personality be it through books or any other way. I was gifted a book by a Pandit Ji staying near to the place where he was born and whenever I feel low I still read the book.  He is my hero for life. Dr. Parmar's life inspired me not only to dream big but also to stay grounded. I want people to know him as a person and as a leader. The way he lead his life is so relevant in this day and age. I want parents to collect the books that talks about this great leader.

2. Nirmal Verma -

Nirmal Verma , this name itself is magical , I fell in love with his writing when I started traveling and reading his books. I feel as if he still talks to you through his books. He wrote his first story for student's magazine. He completed his master degree from Delhi and started writing for various literary magazines. Nirmal Verma stayed in Prague for 10 years, and during his stay there he travelled widely across Europe which resulted into 7 Travelogues including ' Chiron Pe Chandani" one of my favourites. A ordinary guy born in Shimla and moved to Delhi studied there and went abroad. His journey must have been different in many ways but yet inspiring. Like all his readers,  I am also a huge fan of his writing.  Whenever I travel I think of Nirmal Verma, how he observed people and places. In his writing everything seems so simple how someone can write so bewutifully. I really wanted to know his process of writing. Just like Y.S Parmar I admire him a lot. His books are my 'go to' when I feel low. I wish I could have met him but now to know him I read what he had written. I feel people who read Nirmal Verma are very different , they live in a different world. Moving on to the last  name in the top 3 list.

3. Kinkari Devi

A courageous woman, whom I admire the most, she was born in a place called Ghanton in Sirmour Distriict of Himachal Pradesh. She had never gone to school but fought with all her heart and soul to save the environment. Kinkari Devi is known for waging war against illegal mining but her entire life is itself an inspiration. She was 22 years old when her husband died from then on she was handling everything on her own. A  local woman Sumitra Ji told me when she used to study in school she saw Kinkari Devi visiting govt employees and collecting clothes for laundry to earn the living. She used to work as a sweeper in different govt offices and never complained about anything.  She started fight against illegal mining with a basic issue that her cows were not able to drink water from the natural source of water near by,  as it disappeared because of blasting. She started raising her voice against illegal minings in the area.
Finally,  in 1987 she filed PIL against illegal mining with the support of very active NGO People's Action For People in Need (PAPN) working in the area. When she didn't get any response after PIL,  she travelled to Shimla and did 19 days hunger strike in front of the high court. She won the case in High court as well as in supreme court. Court put a blanket ban on blasting the hills and stay on mining. Kinkari Devi was the first person to demand degree college in  Sangrah and today not only Sangrah has a degree college but also hostel for girls. While she was fighting against illegal mining in the area local people started making fun of her as she was illiterate and a dalit. I feel sorry for  sick minded people who has not grown up being after being so called 'literate'.  I can feel what she might have gone through but what surprised me is that she never gave up.  People threatened her for voicing her opinion specially mine owners and some local Thekedaars but nothing could stop her and that's what I want people especially girls to understand and learn. I personally feel we need to tell her story to coming generations.
I strongly believe that the greatest thing parents can do to their children is to inspire them know about the real heroes . In the past, there were so many people whom we should look up to but unfortunately I hear more people complaining about the idols these days. We are completely  trapped  and absolutely have no idea where to go as there are so many things going on right now (you know what I am talking about).  It is very important to have a strong foundation and an opinionated mind.
People complain about not having enough idols around these days , but I would like to argue and differ here. We chose the easiest way out , we don't put that extra effort to know about real heroes. Let's create a world where we worship real heroes. This country will be a better place to live if we start admiring real heroes.

P.S - Let's start sharing the stories of these heroes. As they say charity begins at home , let's just do this to create a nation with no hatred. Tell me who are your favorites ? 

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