For Kisan Baburao Hazare a.k.a. Anna Hazare, fasting is a mere extension of his frugal diet cultivated over the years. Hazare’s fitness and strong voice on the eighth day of indefinite fast at the Ramlila Maidan surprised all except those who know him well.
The former soldier’s day starts at around 6am with an hour of exercise. “For the past six years or so, he has incorporated yogasana and pranayama,” said Vijay Hazare, his nephew.
A decade ago, Anna developed backache and knee-joint pain. “Experts from Pune advised knee-joint replacement, but he said no,” added Dr Sunil Gandhe, who has worked with Anna for 16-18 years.
Work begins at 9am, with Anna attending meetings, visiting various on-going projects and meeting visitors. His village Ralegan Siddhi has been acknowledged as a model village.
At around 2pm, he has a simple lunch comprising bhakari (thick roti made of jowar) with milk and sometimes, daal, subzi and roti. At night, he has a glass of juice or cow’s milk.
Vijay shared another secret. “Before he starts a fast, Annaji slowly starts decreasing food intake four days ahead. Also, when he ends his fast, he does not have solid food but has rice paste for two days,” he said.
Anna’s schedule includes reading Marathi newspapers, Gandhian and Swami Vivekananda literature and documents related to rural development projects. He also draws inspiration comes from local saint Yadav Baba’s temple.