Lata Khare’s name has turned into an epitome of love, courage and commitment for those who know about her achievements.
So much so that she even featured in a Marathi film where she acted herself. The film ‘Lata Bhagwan Kare’ was directed by Naveen Deshaboina and it even received a National Award.
A sequel to the film was also planned but had to be postponed as her husband succumbed to Covid-19 in May this year.
Lata Bhagwan Khare did not do much. She only ran a marathon at the age of 65 to win the prize money of Rs. 5000/- to afford an MRI scan and other lab tests for her husband, whose life she had to save.
And at 65 she not only completed the marathon, but also came first, won the prize money and saved her husband’s life in 2014.
She belonged to rural Maharashtra and was extremely poor. She and her husband worked as daily labourers and worked hard to get three daughters married.
Once the daughters were married, they started working in nearby farms to survive.
However, their fate took a turn for the worse as her husband fell seriously ill with an infection and the doctor asked her to arrange Rs. 5000 for MRI scan and other lab tests.
That was unimaginable for her. They had never known such big money.
She begged everyone for help, but to no avail.
As luck would have it, someone suggested to her to compete in a marathon that had exactly Rs. 5000/- as prize money and was being organised only a little distance away.
She made the decision to run the marathon.
The organisers were not ready to break rules and allow her in saree and that too bare-footed or in tattered sandals.
But, she begged and pleaded to persuade them. Finally, they had to give in seeing her commitment. After all, they could not care less because she had no chance to win.
Later, some of the organisers even cheered her saying – “Go Aunty, Go!”
She ran in a saree and sandals. The sandals broke in the middle of the race. She had to run 3 km. She came first.
She earned a lot of applause from the cheering crowd, won the prize money and got her husband treated.
For a long time, she became a regular feature in all marathon circuits in Maharashtra.
She became so popular that finally a film was made based on her feat.
Her husband died in 2021 May.
She still lives in Maharashtra with a story that will never be recounted enough.
Her story is a real life story. Something on the lines of Dashrath Manjhi- the Mountain Man of Bihar.
We strongly recommend that the readers watch this extremely engaging Marathi movie – ‘Lata Bhagwan Kare’
(All credit for this compilation goes to the makers of the Marathi movie “Lata Bhagwan Kare’ and Twitter user Ankur Agarwal, as well as a few reports by other publications.)