Twenty years back, the city witnessed the making of a Guinness Book of World Record, but for a social cause. Milind Deshmukh, a Maharashtra Andhashrdha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS) activist walked a distance of 65 km balancing a half litre milk bottle on his head. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of his record, Milind has become more active in creating public awareness about black magic and superstitions.
On March 22,1990 Milind walked from Pune to Lonavala with a milk bottle balanced on his head. The record was broken by an American the next year. So he again successfully attempted a second record on May 13,1993, when he walked a distance of 104.2 km. Is it the greed of being famous made Milind to experiment with such an exercise? Off course not. The record feat was meant for conveying the message- ‘Do not connect the usual happenings with the super natural powers. Any miracle can be achieved by hard work and practice.”
Recalling the record-making day, Milind, who is the acting secretary of MANS, told Sakaal Times, “In late 80s, after reading Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s book on superstitions, I started thinking rationally. While chit-chatting with my colleagues at Bajaj Auto, I used to explain the logic and scientific phenomenon behind any miracle. Once accepting a challenge made by one of colleagues, I walked 300 meters carrying a handa (water-container) on my head. I was confident because I was champion in balancing objects since childhood.”
The practice of carrying water- containers on his head since childhood, made him perfect in balancing. This practice was converted into a world record, when he came across a book on Guinness Book of World Records. He read about a record of walking 38.6 km with a milk bottle balanced on the head. Very much ambitious, Milind contacted the London office of Guinness Book of world Record and thus he held the world record by walking non-stop for 13 hours. Milind, viewed the feat as an eye opener for people having blind faith in God, customs or even in an individual. “I was born and brought up in a religious family. But when I observed contrast happening around me, I rebelled and started analysing every thing,” he said. The strong will to emphasise that ordinary people, like me, also can achieve great things, just by acquiring skills and techniques, motivated me to set the record, he said, further adding that now he is not interested in holding another record, as he has no time to practice.
After taking voluntary retirement from Bajaj Auto two years back, the record-maker is busy full time in the activities of MANS. “There is a lot of work to do in this context. Marking the 20th anniversary of the record, MANS has planned to reach out to 20,000 youths across the state and connect them to the anti-superstition movement. We would Focus on selecting 2000 odd students of D Ed, for our foundation course on this topic. It will help in inculcating scientific values among schoolchildren,” he said.
Courtesy: Sakal Times