The only politician who has won President’s Jeevanraksha Medal
In the age of selfishness and disregard for humanity, it is seldom that we find a person who is selfless and public-spirited. When it comes to the world of Indian politics it’s indeed very rare that someone achieves paramount success and yet is rooted and selfless. Maybe it is this selflessness that escalates such persons on the ladder of success.
One such person who comes to mind is Babanrao Pachpute fondly called “Dada” a famous personality from Shrigonda taluka of Ahmednagar, Maharashtra who has been leading an idealistic life being in the field of politics since decades.
He belongs to an agrarian family who has been into farming and allied activities since generations. It was his father’s insight and influence which encouraged him to lead a public life. Living up to his father’s words, Babanrao started contributing extensively in the socio-economic and cultural upliftment of Shrigodna. It was during this time he realized that he needs to breach into the political system and lead from the front, which shall enable him to accomplish his dream of transforming Shrigonda into an upscale flourished town.
While unfolding this unglorified side of his life which is rarely discussed, we can talk about an incident which happened in 1980, the survival from which seemed nearly impossible. Baban Dada had been elected as an MLA of The Janata Party. He had gone for attending a Legistlative session in Mumbai. Those were the days, when travelling was a time-consuming affair. One day he got a call from his home informing about a severe flood in his village, Kashti. Without frittering away any time he left for the village by train.
As soon as he reached his home, he went to his farm to check on the crops and his brothers. His farm was adjacent to a river. He heard cries for help from the river. He rushed towards cries he saw a terrible sight, a boat carrying religious belongings was severely damaged and had turned upside down due to the rainstorm and five people who were on board had fell into the water and were struggling for their lives.
Without giving it a second thought Babandada hurled himself into the water with the intention of saving them. The raw village life had enabled him to sharpen his skills of swimming in a river. But this time it was the angst of Mother Nature that he stood up against and was literally “swimming against the tide”. With all his exertion he was able to save the drowning people and bought them back to safety.
For this act of bravery in crucial times, he was recognized and honored by the President’s Jeevanraksha medal which is given on every 26th of January, for his selfless deed which saved five precious lives.
But as they say, good people lead a path full of thorns and often have to struggle to prove their worth. There were a few rivals who frowned on this humanitarian act of Baban Dada. There was a meager opposition to this award. Attempts were made to dismiss Dada from receiving the award. A committee was set up to verify the facts of the incident. The committee made the necessary investigation and came to the conclusion that the incident was authentic. With certainty the committee reported that dada indeed was the person behind this courageous act and would receive the award from the president himself.
Due to the unavailability of the President of India, Dada received the award he deserved at the behest of the then Governor, Hon’ble I.S Latif.
Dada has appeared in a total of eight elections with eight different symbols. In 2014 he joined BJP and has secured election tickets for the upcoming assembly elections 2019. Being a motivation for all the Indian politicians, Dada is striving hard for the socio-economic betterment of the society. Let’s tune in and unveil the inspiring life of Babanrao Pachpute.