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Days after her Lathi-Kathi performance on Pune streets went viral, ‘Warrior Aaji’ flooded with offers of help & support

State home minister and city MLA visit her in Pune, give her Rs 1 lakh

Written by Ruchika Goswamy | Pune | Updated: July 25, 2020 10:30:45 pm
Pune warrior aaji, une stick fighter viral video, Pune shantabai pawar stickfighter, anil deshmukh, pune news, indian express The 85-year-old stick fighter, Shanta Balu Pawar. (Photo: Screengrab/Twitter @ Riteish Deshmukh)

After a video of her “warrior” skills went viral on social media two days ago, 85-year-old Shanta Balu Pawar has not only received an overwhelming amount of help and support, she is also hopeful of a better future for herself and her grandchildren.

State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, along with city MLA Chetan Tupe, visited Pawar, known as ‘Warrior Aaji’ on social media, at her residence in Hadapsar on Saturday, gave her Rs 1 lakh and also gifted her traditional sari-choli and bangles.

Since a video of her performing Lathi-Kathi was posted by Marathi actor Aishwarya Kale on social media, the Pawar family has received a slew of visitors and phone calls.

“I am so moved by the help I have received so far. All this help is going to benefit my grandchildren and shape their future. So many people came by and visited me. Deshmukh sir offered me Rs 1 lakh as monetary help. The minister and the local MLA had spoken to me and also offered to provide help in getting my house constructed,” she said.

Pawar said she will use the money to repair her house, and for her grandchildren’s education.

In his tweet about the meeting, Deshmukh said, “I had the privilege to meet 85 year old Shantabai Pawar, the #WarriorAaji from #Pune, at her home. I heard from many people about the way she has been exercising for her livelihood. Felt inspired and refreshed upon meeting her and gifted her Nawari saree and Rs 1 lakh on party’s behalf,”

Actors Sonu Sood and Riteish Deshmukh have also extended their help, while social groups like Nirmitee and Shivneri Trust have offered to bear the educational and medical expenses of Pawar and her family.

“Sonu Sood had approached me regarding a school where I can teach the performing art of Lathi-Kathi and self defence to children. While I will be more than happy to do so, as I will no longer have to go out to work, I would want it to be closer to home, as I am old,” she said.

Her family members, meanwhile, are getting used to Pawar’s new-found fame. “We didn’t even know that our Aaji went viral online… we got to know after the TV people showed the video to us. So many people have come to our aid, but mostly it is because of Aishwarya ma’am, who took the video and helped us,” said Prabhu Jadhav (18), one of her grandsons.

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