Hema Sane- Woman who lives without electricity!
Can you imagine a life without electricity? Living with no electronic appliances that makes our life so easy? Probably not. Retired academic and author has proved it, who has been living without electricity her entire life. Hema Sane at 78 does all her household chores by herself and is challenging the stereotypes like a boss. At the time when energy is a vulnerable resource which is depleting past every minute, none of us actually batts an eye on it. On the same hand this old women doesn’t even uses a single watt!
What made her do so?
A professor in botany, a head of a department and a masters in science- one who can afford all the luxuries choses to live a life which no one dreams of. She had graduated from Fergusson College, Pune in 1960 and went on to study further which includes getting a doctorate. She studied under oil lamps at home. That’s how she has spent her childhood. She is independent and does everything by her own. She has taught at Pune’s Garware College from 1962 to 2000 and also headed the department of Botany for some time. But her decision isn’t driven by any environment love or so called being an activist but just by the life she was always familiar with. Her parents and grandparents has lived without electricity and even her childhood is spent in similar manner. Thus she finds her living condition extremely comfortable. Her house is full of books spread even on the floor and along her bed on which she use to sleep at night. She says books are her best friend. She doesn’t really care about what people think about her and her lifestyle, she chose this life and she is proud of it. Her house is nothing less than a garden full of trees and flowers such as Ashoka and Sweet Tamarind trees. In her little cottage she has books and only needed furniture. Beside the door is an old well which she has been using since her childhood. Though the water in it is clean, it isn’t fit for drinking anymore but Sane uses it for other purposes such as cleaning and bathing. Another hit on water conservation! She lives with a dog and her two cats. Dr. Sane has written books on subjects ranging from Botany to Indian History. Some of her books on Botany are part of the curriculum for graduate students in the University of Pune as well. She has written many academic books centric to education only. Surprisingly, Sane being a professor hasn’t used internet at all! She has been doing her research and studies only through books. She has gained knowledge from hand written notes rather that digital ones. She starts her day at 6 and spend it long by doing household chores, reading books, writing and of course listening to her favourite All India Radio. Dr. Sane’s only companion was his brother with whom she use to live with. He passed four years back and since then she has been living all by herself. But when asked whether she feels lonely or not- she replied with a big ‘NO’. She doesn’t find herself lonely at all. In fact she says there are frequent visitors at her home. Her students still pays her visit from time to time. Whereas her neighbors and doctors keep coming to keep a check on her health. An ex-colleague of Sane’s lives nearby and drops in almost every afternoon with some home-cooked food. They spend some good time together by reading and learning. That’s how she lives her life- completely driven off electricity.
While leaning on sticks and mopping her floor- Dr. Sane is an inspiration for people who thinks there life has been tough. She chose a lifestyle which challenges our so called activist to be that way. Her decision whether a step or a choice today gives a message that life can be satisfying even without electricity. We have been dependent upon the electric appliances that makes our life so easy that we have forgotten what we are betting on it. Electricity comes from resources which take millions of years to form and yet we are wasting it like surplus. Coal, petroleum, water and every possible resource we have- today is facing a crises of extinction. And if we can’t fix it then at least we shouldn’t break it.