Rifle champ turns 100

Former national shooting champion Laxman Ganesh Dinkar who turns 100 today, will be felicitated at hands of Mayor Vaishali Bankar at his residence.

On asked what were his plans to celebrate the day, Dinkar said he would be going out for lunch with his daughters Madhura and Leelawati, and grandchildren.

living legend: The group picture of Laxman Dinkar with Rajiv Gandhi (stripped t-shirt) and late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1956

“My father doesn’t want any gifts from us. Therefore his birthday will be a low-key, family affair. We might conduct a social programme after Ganeshotsav,” Madhura said.

Dinkar at the 23rd Pune International Marathon in 2008

Dinkar had won the first-ever national-level .303 rifle shooting competition in Delhi in 1956, wherein he had participated on behalf of the City Home Guard. Country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had felicitated him. Dinkar said he also witnessed Lokmanya Tilak sow the seeds of Ganeshotsav.

“I have also seen Rajiv Gandhi during his childhood days and took a group photo with him in 1956,” Dinkar said. Apart from being a former shooting champ, Dinkar is a known writer and a Sanskrit scholar.

His other hobbies include swimming, wrestling, mallakhamb and translating yoga scriptures written in Sanskrit into simple Marathi. An ardent lover of outdoors, Dinkar climbed the Sinhagad Fort at the age of 95 and has scaled Parvati on numerous occasions.

Dinkar said he believed in leading a healthy lifestyle. “As per my horoscope, I may have five more years to live a healthy and an active life,” Dinkar said.

He is also a member of the Century Club, formed by senior citizens who are at their advanced age. “We’ll be celebrating Dinkar’s 100th birthday in the presence of a few stalwarts from various walks of life on October 1, which happens to be International Senior Citizens Day, at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch.”

Some of the personalities attending the event are veteran Marathi actors like Dr Shriram Lagoo, Ramesh and Seema Deo, historian Babasaheb Purandare, environmentalist Mohan Dhariya and Social Justice Minister Shivajirao Moghe, among others.

“As per our knowledge, Dinkar is the only known senior-most citizen in the city. Though he lives alone, he has a positive mindset.

He lost his wife Shushil and son Shashikumar year ago, but he didn’t allow this loss to dampen his spirit. We are proud to have such a down-to-earth person among us, who has aptly set the example of ‘live life king-size’ for each one of us,” Janseva Foundation President Dr Vinod Shah said.
The foundation works for senior citizens in the city. 

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