A 85-year-old woman, who has become popular on social media for displaying stunning martial arts skills and unbelievable stunts with sticks and rods on Pune’s streets to earn a living, had an unexpected visitor on Saturday – Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
A resident of Hadapsar, Shantabai Balu Pawar was happy at the encounter with the minister near her modest home and even performed a few martial arts tricks, leaving Deshmukh visibly impressed, while a large crowd including MLA Chetan V. Tupe and others applauded her impromptu performance.
It was a couple of days ago when Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh shared a video of ‘Warrior Granny’ which instantly became viral with many celebs, including actors Sonu Sood, and Aishwarya Kale, following suit and and Pune Police Commissioner Dr. K. Venkatesham commenting: “Talent has no boundaries.”
Later, enquiries revealed that Shantabai had learnt her ‘lathi-kathi’ skills at the age of eight and continues to be an expert even after eight decades, displaying them with practised perfection on roads to earn a living, and touching scenes of her saga were recorded on social media.
Sood has offered to open a small training school where Shantabai can train and impart her skills to the youth, and others have appealed to schools to invite her to conduct workshops for students.
Many more have rushed financial and material support as the woman, who has even worked with the late actress Sridevi as a background artiste, is known to support several orphan kids as her own family members.
While Minister Deshmukh greeted her folded hands, complimented her on her talents and offered her Rs 100,000 plus a set of clothes, the Pune police’s ‘Bharosa Cell’ has also extended monetary assistance.
Kale shared Shantabai’s contact and bank details appealing to people to help ‘Warrior Granny’ with money, grocery, education materials, professional assignments, etc. to ensure the well-being of her extended family.