Meet 87 yr old Shila Ghosh, who toils hard to earn a living but scorns media hype

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image courtesy: Madanmohan Samanta

Image Courtesy: Madanmohan Samanta

By Arnab Mitra

Upon reaching a senile age, everyone wants to lead a peaceful and relaxed life at home, surrounded by family. However Shila Ghosh, who’s almost 87 years old, has a different story to tell.

At such a decrepit age, Shila has to sell homemade chips at a busy Exide crossing to support the meager income of her family.

In 2012, a Facebook post by college girl Sufia Khatoon brought the hard life of Shila Ghosh into the limelight. This led to various media outlets, from regional to national, covering her story.

The media, in a bid to serve their self-interests, presented different stories about her and started chasing her everywhere.

Shila wanted to earn her living with respect and lead a peaceful life, even by earning a pittance. But all the media coverage, instead of helping her, created havoc in her life.

In an interaction with NewsGram, Shila Ghosh expressed her dissatisfaction with the media and talked about her daily struggle for sustenance.

AM: Why are you frustrated with the media?

Shila Ghosh: I don’t know how I came into the limelight. I just wanted to live my life with respect, and that is the only reason why I chose to work even at this age. But suddenly, the media started following me and made different types of stories. From morning to night, I found people were clicking my photos. All of this brought a new misery to my life. I had to leave my rented home as the landowner didn’t like this media nonsense. I have now shifted to my new rented home in Bally.

AM: Do you blame that college girl Sufia Khatoon for your miseries?

SG: No, she helps me a lot through her NGO. She is a young girl, I have never blamed her.

AM: Do you still have contact with her?

SG: No, she met me last December. After that, I haven’t had any contact with her.

AM: But after the media coverage many people might have helped you.

SG: I don’t want anyone’s help. I want to earn respectfully, not by sympathy.

AM: From where do you get your mental strength?

SG: In the Gita it is written, “Work is life. Do your work, never think of the result.” This has been my source of mental strength.

AM: What made you sell chips at this age?

SG: I don’t know, maybe it was written in my fate. I was born into a feudal family, my father was a doctor, my husband was a station master, and my son worked as an Upper-Division clerk at the Eastern Railways. After my son’s death in 2010, everything changed. My grandson was jobless, my daughter-in-law was a kidney patient, and I had to work to feed them.

AM: But your grandson should get his father’s job, according to the Government’s policies.

SG: I wrote a letter to the former Railway Minister Mamata Bannerjee, and she gave my grandson a job. But the locals felt jealous and my grandson was forced to leave his job on a court order.

AM: Can you give any details about that court order?

SG: I don’t know the details, maybe he did not have the requisite educational qualifications for that post.

AM: You are soon going to enter into the 90s club, for how long will you continue with your struggle?

SG: I want to work till my last breath. I have already got a chance to act in an upcoming Bengali film ‘Panther Panchali.’ I will play the role of Harihar’s mother in the film.

  • Kush

    awesome. salute you grand-maa. actually you are not woman, you are a Man.

    • Suhaana H Khan

      a man with a “wo”mb called “wo”man .. 🙂

      • Kush

        true.. 🙂

    • Priya

      I appreciate u acknowledging her strength 🙂 but I was a little offended as a woman myself that u measured her strength on a scale of gender. She is a woman, strength personified. We all hope and pray for her well being. God bless.

      • Kush

        then you have not read it carefully…I said “grand-maa”. Obviously it does not make sense whether it’s he or she. but in our society where men are responsible to bring livelihood for his families, she is doing it alone for her daughter-in-law ( patient) and grand son (jobless because of our society – again another story). Instead of blaming others she is continued to her work. that’s why.
        However, every one has feelings and expressions. and you are not the exception – “she is a woman, strength personified” !! You are feeling proud because she is a “woman” and I am because of the part of the same society where she is. Yes, she is a …

  • Tej Vedula

    Superrr Nanii!!!

  • Amit Pal Singh

    BIG SALUTE TO NANI , I M FROM DELHI , AND I WANT TO EAT THIS NANI’S CHIPS , IF I GOT THESE , THATS LIKE BLESSING FROM GOD . BUT SHE’S LOOKING LIKE BIGGER THAN GOD NOW

  • himanshu chaudhary

    I love uu dadi …lekkin mein..apke liye kuch nahi ..kar sakta sorry…. but i love uuu…

  • Ananda Kulal

    Any one can get contact numbers of her grandson or Shila Ghosh? so that one can try to help her. please send it to annuk9@gmail.com

  • Dr Jolly

    Attention,

    Welcome to Abuja Kidney foundation center

    Are you interested in selling your kidney to overcome all your financial problem, Welcome to Abuja Kidney foundation center. We offer free, no obligation assistance to international patients to find world class medical treatment.

    Do you want to buy a Kidney or you want to sell your kidney? Are you seeking for an opportunity to sell your kidney for money due to financial break down and you don’t know what to do, then contact us today and we shall offer you good amount of money for your Kidney we specialize for top class medical treatment like Heart Surgery, Cancer Care, Spinal fusion surgery , sleeve mastectomy surgery , and other major surgeries. contact us now via: abujakidneyfoundationcenter@gmail.com . Good luck Good luck to you.

    Best Regard

    Dr Jolly…

  • Johnson Anderson

    We are urgently in need of kidney donors in Apollo
    Hospital for the sum of $309,000.00 USD, Contact us
    now on email for more details..Email:drraymondb67@gmail.com
    Call Line: 91-7337879870
    WhatsAPP Number : 91-7406570913
    Doctor Raymond

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  • Kush

    awesome. salute you grand-maa. actually you are not woman, you are a Man.

    • Suhaana H Khan

      a man with a “wo”mb called “wo”man .. 🙂

      • Kush

        true.. 🙂

    • Priya

      I appreciate u acknowledging her strength 🙂 but I was a little offended as a woman myself that u measured her strength on a scale of gender. She is a woman, strength personified. We all hope and pray for her well being. God bless.

      • Kush

        then you have not read it carefully…I said “grand-maa”. Obviously it does not make sense whether it’s he or she. but in our society where men are responsible to bring livelihood for his families, she is doing it alone for her daughter-in-law ( patient) and grand son (jobless because of our society – again another story). Instead of blaming others she is continued to her work. that’s why.
        However, every one has feelings and expressions. and you are not the exception – “she is a woman, strength personified” !! You are feeling proud because she is a “woman” and I am because of the part of the same society where she is. Yes, she is a …

  • Tej Vedula

    Superrr Nanii!!!

  • Amit Pal Singh

    BIG SALUTE TO NANI , I M FROM DELHI , AND I WANT TO EAT THIS NANI’S CHIPS , IF I GOT THESE , THATS LIKE BLESSING FROM GOD . BUT SHE’S LOOKING LIKE BIGGER THAN GOD NOW

  • himanshu chaudhary

    I love uu dadi …lekkin mein..apke liye kuch nahi ..kar sakta sorry…. but i love uuu…

  • Ananda Kulal

    Any one can get contact numbers of her grandson or Shila Ghosh? so that one can try to help her. please send it to annuk9@gmail.com

  • Dr Jolly

    Attention,

    Welcome to Abuja Kidney foundation center

    Are you interested in selling your kidney to overcome all your financial problem, Welcome to Abuja Kidney foundation center. We offer free, no obligation assistance to international patients to find world class medical treatment.

    Do you want to buy a Kidney or you want to sell your kidney? Are you seeking for an opportunity to sell your kidney for money due to financial break down and you don’t know what to do, then contact us today and we shall offer you good amount of money for your Kidney we specialize for top class medical treatment like Heart Surgery, Cancer Care, Spinal fusion surgery , sleeve mastectomy surgery , and other major surgeries. contact us now via: abujakidneyfoundationcenter@gmail.com . Good luck Good luck to you.

    Best Regard

    Dr Jolly…

  • Johnson Anderson

    We are urgently in need of kidney donors in Apollo
    Hospital for the sum of $309,000.00 USD, Contact us
    now on email for more details..Email:drraymondb67@gmail.com
    Call Line: 91-7337879870
    WhatsAPP Number : 91-7406570913
    Doctor Raymond