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Indian freedom fighter Harichandrai passes away in Dubai at 98
Since their grandfather did not remember the exact date of his birth, the family celebrated his birthday every January 1
Harichandrai Jasumal Sahityani, a 98-year-old Indian freedom fighter, passed away in Dubai on Thursday, where he had lived with his grandchildren since 2008.
Harichandrai was born in 1923 in the village of Kambleema in Sindh, undivided India, his two grandsons Vinod and Vimal Sahityani told Gulf News.
The cremation of Harichandrai will be held in Jebel Ali on Friday.
Gulf News could not confirm Harichandrai participation in the independence struggle. However, the family has a certificate acknowledging Harichandrai as a freedom fighter by the government of Madhya Pradesh in 1997. They also has photos and videos of villagers honoring him during India’s Independence Day celebrations.
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The grandsons of Harichandrai run Duke International in Jebel Ali Free Zone, which supplies structural steel and building material in the region.
Since their grandfather did not remember the exact date of his birth, the family celebrated his birthday every January 1, said the brothers, who grew up together with their cousins Naresh, Prem and Bharat, hearing that their grandfather took part in the freedom struggle in India.
Vinod, who documented his grandfather’s life as part of his project and compiled stories about the partition of India, said he learned more about his grandfather after interviewing for the project which they recorded in the video.
Vinod said, “Although I could not find the full story of his entire life, I was able to record stories related to his childhood and freedom struggle and some important milestones in his life.”
Harichandrai lost his father six months after being born the youngest of five children. Apparently, He lost his sight in his right eye when he was six or seven years old after being pushed into a well by a mischievous child. The villagers saved him. However, the pulley injured his head, causing him to lose sight in his right eye. He remembered being bitten by a snake in later years, but fortunately escaped death.