Even though she spent her entire life begging for alms, 85-year-old Laxmibai Pokharkar shocked people when she generously donated a handsome sum of Rs1 lakh to build a Ram temple in Pimpalgaon in Ambegaon tehsil.
Pimpalgaon locals claim that after the death of her husband around 15 years ago, Laxmibai started begging. She visits every traders’ shops in Manchar town to collect alms from them and lives in a small room at one end of the village. After collecting the money, she deposits it into her bank account.
A month ago, during the gram panchayat meeting, the members discussed about the construction of a new temple in the village.
Mathaji Pokharkar, zilla parishad member and resident of the village, said, “Around 11am, Laxmibai came to our office and told us that she had come to know about the new temple being built in the village and wanted to contribute for it. We thought she would donate Rs100 or Rs200. But she wanted donate money for the temple decor. We told her that it would cost around Rs50,000. She immediately told us she would donate the entire amount. We were shocked. She then asked us to come to her house where she gave us the money.”
“After a few days, the panchayat members met to discuss the progress of the temple work. Laxmibai came to us again and donated Rs50,000 more to install cupolas for the temple. Initially, we refused but she insisted that we take the money. She said she does not have a child and the money means little to her. Instead, she said the villagers will remember her for this noble cause even after she dies. We have mentioned her name on a board that is kept within the temple premises,” Mathaji Pokharkar added.