Do you want good health for your child? Meet 93-year-old Srinivas Deshpande of Hubballi, Karnataka, who reads newspaper without glasses and all his teeth are intact. Read on to get inspired.
By Team ParentCircle
Are you struggling as a parent to discipline your child? Take tips from this nonagenarian who, along with his wife raised four successful kids. In a candid interview with ParentCircle, Srinivas Deshpande shares the secret behind his fit body and agile mind. He also talked about his mantra on successful parenting.
Age is just a number and Srinivas Deshpande is a living proof of that. He is full of energy and his mind is active even at the ripe age of 93. Srinivas Deshpande is the patriarch of the whole community in Hubballi. He has a complete life. All his sons and daughters are doing well in their respective fields.
A staunch Gandhian, Deshpande is still involved in social service. Known for his honest ways during his tenure as Labour Commissioner, Deshpande dedicated himself in social service after retirement. He mainly focused on the education sector. He worked with the Chinmaya mission for many years and was instrumental in establishing Chinmaya Vidyalaya in Hubballi in 1990.
Deshpande is the epitome of humbleness. People from nearby areas come to him with their problems. He listens patiently to people’s problems and help them with his advice and financially too.
“To maintain good health, one has to just adopt simple living and keep the ego at the bay and be content in whatever you are doing.” Says Deshpande.
To keep himself fit, Deshpande goes for walks regularly and practices breathing exercises.
“Giving up or forgetting one’s cultural values does not make anyone modern,” says Srinivas Deshpande.
He believes that parents play the biggest role in teaching values and the right attitude to their children. “Preach what you teach to your children,” he says.
“Teach them the value and importance of the things that they get from parents and family. They will grow up to be a responsible human being” Srinivas says.
“I believe the whole family should come together to pray or connect on a spiritual level. Families who practice some sort of religious rituals together can achieve inner calmness. Never forget the culture you grew up with,” he explains.
Since Srinivas Deshpande loves to cook, we asked him, who is a better cook in his opinion, men or women? he says jovially, “In my opinion, women are better cooks any day, as they think of monthly budget too while using oil and masalas, while men are liberal with these two ingredients to enhance the taste, which leads to health issues.”
“I believe both boys and girls should learn cooking. I started cooking since I was eight years old as I lost my mother at that age. It is an important life skill, it sails you through during difficult times.”
“These days, youngsters are falling prey to the bad company through the net. Most of them are glued to their cell phones. Rather than interacting with family and well-wishers, they prefer to spend time on social media. Due to this, children are being isolated from the family. It leads to mental health issues and even depression. That is the sad reality today,” rues Deshpande.
“I am a little old school when it comes to parenting. We, as parent followed strict rules and regulation at home. Of course, we provided a loving atmosphere at home too. The focus was always on education and knowledge. In our times, there was no one to guide us on how to raise kids. We went by our instinct and today I can proudly say that all my four kids have right values in place and contributing towards the society in their own way," says Srinivas Deshapnde.
Deshpande recommends listening to music to calm the nerves. “I love to listen to soothing music like devotional songs, Santa Shishunala Sharifa’s poems, bhajans etc.” He reads newspapers and books to keep himself aware of the happenings.
“As a parent, it is your duty to provide foods to your child which are good for their health. You should not give in to their demands for temptations all the time as you know it is not good for them,” he says.
“My day starts at 4.30 AM. I do yoga and pranayama. I eat upma, poha or idly with some fruits for breakfast.
My lunch consists of two jowar rotis and one sabji, salads, flax seeds chutney, rice, dal, curd and a cup of buttermilk. Dinner is a bowl of fruits and a cup of milk.
Since, childhood, I am eating locally grown millets too. Sometimes, we mix millets and dal and prepare it like a kichadi. I recommend our local food to everyone, our traditional food has everything a person needs,” says Srinivas Deshpande.
“I always advise parents to be role models for their children. If parents show the right path, children are most likely to follow.
I also suggest to all parents of teenage children to spend some time to know your child. Try to talk to them about their studies, how they are faring in their studies, what are their interests, who are their friends, etc. That helps your child to open to you in case there is an issue,” says Srinivas Deshpande.
He signs off with this, “I am perfectly happy with the way my life is, I live in the present and never had or have enemies. Because I have learned the art of forgiveness. I try to help people as much as I can.”
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