Games spirit beats age for this grandad of four | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Games spirit beats age for this grandad of four

delhi Updated: Oct 14, 2010 01:13 IST
Karan Choudhury

He is the youngest among thousands of youngsters though his age belies that. Wearing the official red track pants, t-shirt, fanny pack and a cap, he looks like any other Commonwealth Games volunteer at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

It takes a while to realise that the man under the cap is 78-years-old and a grandfather of four. Though being the eldest volunteer working at the Games, he has more energy than his 20-year-old counterparts who fondly call him 'Babaji'.

At 78, Om Prakash Sahdev can proudly say that he has 'been there done that'. "I feel so privileged that I have seen this country getting independence, us winning numerous wars and now I have been a part of the Games" he said.

Sahdev, a resident of Arjun Nagar in South Delhi, retired as an official with the Ministry of Food and Agricultural Department.

His day starts with getting up at 5.00 am and getting ready to go to the venue. He then makes his way to the Stadium in a DTC bus and heads to the Card Room.

After working non-stop for eight hours, he gets back home to his wife, two sons and four grandchildren. It was not easy for him to be a part of the Games. Way back in 2009, Sahdev sent his application to be a volunteer at the Games. Then came the tension filled nine months.

"I thought they might reject me considering my age but to my delight and surprise in August, I got the go ahead to be a volunteer. It was the happiest day for me."

For him the first day of volunteering was interesting. "Seeing me in their uniform these youngsters got the shock of their lives. They all gathered around me. They even politely told me that I am too old to do this and should go home and relax. I just smiled and said that I am as young as them even though in spirit."