A Soldier on a Mission to Make this World a Better Place to Live

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My name is Shashikant Ganpatrao Dalvi, and I am a 70+ retired Colonel from the Indian Army. I basically belong to Kolhapur but post retirement I have settled in Pune which is a beautiful and peaceful city.

An Army Man

Joining the army was a big achievement for me because among the large number of boys from Kolhapur who had applied for the army at that time only I got selected which made both me and my family proud.

collage for army lifeAfter completing my Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, one day, I came across an advertisement for the Short Service Commission in the Indian Army. I was always inspired by the heroic deeds of our soldiers so I immediately decided to apply there and went through the selection process. I was selected and I joined the army infantry division as a proud soldier in 1969. Later, because of my technical background I was transferred to the Electronics and Mechanical Engineering Department of the army. Along with doing my job I also pursued B.E. and M.E. from army colleges and later did a MBA from Pune University.

I saw the war from the frontline. I fought in the India Pakistan war of 1971 as a Lieutenant and witnessed many cases of patriotism and bravery during that time. I remember one incidence where a Subedaar in our team told me that his daughter was getting married next month and he was very excited about it. I was amazed to see that he fought in the war with the same vigour, without any fear that he may not be able to attend his daughter’s wedding if he loses his life in the war. This is the spirit of a soldier. A soldier loves his family a lot but when it comes to his motherland he sacrifices anything for it.

An Environmentalist

Collage for EnvironmentalistI am a true environmentalist at heart and can do anything to conserve our environment and protect it from any kind of pollution or harm. My journey as an environmentalist started after my retirement in 2002 when I settled in Pune. I was made the chairman of my residential society. Due to the scarcity of water, everyday 3 tankers of water came to our society to be used by the residents. It turned out to be a costly affair.  This encouraged me to think about rain water harvesting in our society. Since, I had no background in this field, I initially did a lot of research on Google on this topic. Once I had explored the various ways of doing it, I formed a team from my society and successfully designed and implemented ROOF TOP RAIN WATER HARVESTING (RWH) project in my own society. Because of this effort, since 2003 we haven’t felt a need for any water tanker in our society.

The RWH project in our society was one of its kinds in Pune, and was appreciated by all the citizens in and around Pune. Later, my team and I started training other residential societies and institutions in rain water harvesting and water conservation which helped them in handling their problems of water shortage.  Many engineers from all over India have visited my society and have benefited from our project.

 

Collage for general 1Since 2003, more than 150 RWH projects have been successfully implemented by me and my team. In 2014, International Longevity Centre- Pune, invited me as a resource person to teach and train other seniors from Pune and nearby areas to do rain water harvesting in their area. Many seniors and their residential societies have benefited from this project. I am still guiding them on their individual projects.

Based on the successful implementation of my RWH projects I am being invited as an expert at various workshops and conferences to give a talk on this subject and also to share my experiences related to the project.

 

Hobbies & Interests

Apart from my love for the army life and my passion for rain water harvesting, I love travelling and photography. When I was in the army I took photographs of war and created two albums but unfortunately I lost both of them. They were my precious assets. I am also fond of watching Hindi and Marathi movies.

Two great personalities who have inspired me in my life are Maharana Pratap and Shivaji. Their deeds of bravery and battle plan have influenced me a lot.

Family

Family photoI belonged to a middle class family. Both my parents were very simple and they inspired me with their simplicity. I am the eldest among my siblings. My younger brother is no more and sister is well settled with her family.

My wife worked as a computer teacher for 20 years. She worked wherever I was transferred. She is my biggest support and my best friend who always takes good care of my health and wellbeing.

We have two sons. The elder one is well-settled with his family abroad. The younger son stays with us and is a graphic designer.

 

Childhood Memories

I miss those good old days with friends in school when we used to plan simple, fun activities together, used to go out, enjoy life, and have fun. I miss those friends. These days people are more interested in clicking selfies than making true friends. I really miss those days.

Fitness Mantra

Right from my army days, I do a 7 km brisk walk everyday in the morning (6-7 days a week). After walk, I do exercise/yoga which comprises of mostly breathing exercises.

I am very particular about taking breakfast, lunch and dinner at fixed times. Though I take medicine for diabetes every day, I also keep it under control through my regular exercises.

For mental fitness I keep myself involved in some productive activities and maintain good relationships with my family.

I will rate myself 4 out of 5 as an active person because I actively contribute in the household chores like washing clothes, buying vegetables and grocery items. Every day, morning tea is made by me for the entire family. In addition to household work, my residential society work, my rain water harvesting projects and the activities of various social clubs of which I am a member keeps me involved and active.

According to me an active senior citizen is one who is involved in some activities around him/her to do something meaningful for the society and who believes that there is no age limit for learning.

Future Plans

My future plan is to keep doing meaningful work for the society like the water conservation projects  till my body permits.

Message

My message for everyone is to keep doing your work, take care of your health, don’t interrupt in other’s activities and find contentment in small-small things which is the secret to happiness in life.


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