113-year-old pledges to donate eyes

The word 'Living Legend' is not mere metaphor when it comes to Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi, who today pledged his eyes for research, as his age and health proving to be no bar for this noble cause.

Chaturvedi, who worked with Mahatma Gandhi, took the pledge at a function where he was bestowed the Living Legend Award by IDL, a non-profit organisation working for the betterment of the visually and physically disabled.

Though sceptical about the utility of his eyes, he agreed to donate the organ after being convinced that it would serve the cause of research.

"By donating my eyes,I hope to inspire many more",he said.

The 1897-born Chaturvedi, a Vedic scholar, who still reads newspapers and discusses reports with visitors, said he is happy to donate his eyes for a noble cause.

He is the 50,000th person to donate his eyes during the campaign organised by the IDL.

Popularly known as Postman to Gandhi, Chaturvedi breaks into a toothless smile while explaining that he earned the adage because it was he who took on the task of taking down the letters dictated by the Mahatma and handing them over to the Viceroys and other Governor Generals.

"I knew the Viceroys, Governor Generals and met most of them", he said.
Chaturvedi, who participated in the Jallianwallah Bagh protests and was arrested 31 times during the freedom struggle, said he still works for eight hours every day.

"Age is not a state of body, it is a state of mind", said the centenarian. According to Vedas, a pure man could live to be 300 and I desire to live that long", the centenarian, who teaches Vedanta, said.

"There are no short cuts in life", he said.

To those seeking recognition and appreciation, Chaturvedi said instead of looking for some patting on the back, one should go out and appreciate others.

The eye-donation event also saw 26/11 hero Sandeep Krishnan's parents renewing their pledge to donate their eyes.

"Sandeep had pledged to donate his eyes and all parts of his body and had made us pledge our eyes. Today we have renewed that pledge", Sandeep's father said.

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