Dhingakhedi, a forest hamlet in Madhya Pradesh’s Sehore district may be a small town, but its claim to fame is certainly big. As per the reports in a leading daily, in this town of 500 people, almost 70 people are over 100 years of age. The oldest centenarian, Hamir Singh, is 107-years-old and still going strong with his 102-year-old wife, Paari Bai. They have been married for 100 years.

What makes this village and its people unique? Well, certainly a lot of things. It is interesting to note that most of the villagers don’t own any phones. The ones who do, hardly use them. They believe in simple and sustainable living. The village is surrounded by lush green mountains and hence there is no sign of pollution, perhaps the reason for long lives.

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So what else can be the magic potion that makes the people in this village live long? Jitendra, grandson of 102-year-old Kanchan Bai says it’s the Plain dal-roti or doodh-roti diet that they follow. Their needs are simple, says Jitendra.

At their age, they have seen it all. It has only made them humbler and accommodating. They enjoy their walks across their fields, their long chats with their friends and nothing makes them happier than going home to their family for a simple meal full of love.

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The people of this village pride themselves on casting votes. Some of the centenarians have been voting for almost 80 years now. Come rain or shine, they can be found at the polling booth every election. Earlier, they would have to visit Katla, a nearby village, for voting. Now there is a polling booth in Dhingakhedi so that the villagers can cast their votes at ease. Even the villagers who cannot walk till the polling booth want to be put on a motorcycle so that they can vote. The village currently has seven centenarian voters.

While the rest of the world is embracing lifestyles that are only hindering health, the villagers of Dhingakhedi sure seem like a breath of fresh air. Their secret to long life is right in front of us if only we are willing to embrace it.

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