Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called up 99-year-old Ratnabhai Thummar, a former MLA from Gujarat, and hailed him for donating his savings for the fight against coronavirus pandemic.
In his conversation that lasted for just over three minutes, the PM recalled that he had once visited Thummar in Bilkha town in Junagadh district in Gujarat.
"I have called you for that (donation). You are doing good work at this age. Take care of your health," PM Modi told Mr Thummar, as per a release issued by the state government.
PM Modi asked Mr Thummar whether the latter remembers him, to which he replied in affirmative, it stated.
The prime minister enquired about health of Mr Thummar who cannot hear properly and was helped by a relative.
"Thummar advised PM Modi to fight the battle against coronavirus with all his might," the relative said.
The relative said that the nonagenarian had mentioned many times that PM Modi had once met him at his residence in Bilkha town along with former Gujarat CM Shankarsinh Vaghela.
The relative said that he told PM Modi that Mr Thummar had expressed his desire to donate his savings at a time when the nation is fighting the battle against coronaviurs.
Subsequently, Mr Thummar visited the office of Junagadh district collector on April 17 and handed over a cheque of Rs 51,000 to the state government.
"I decided to donate my savings to the government as I cannot do anything physically to help the nation due to my age," Mr Thummar had told reporters.
He had served as the MLA of Mendarda-Maniya constituency in Junagadh constituency during 1975-1980.
He had reportedly not taken salary entitled to him as an MLA at that time. Mr Thummar reportedly doesn't take the pension he is entitled to as a former legislator.
It is said that Mr Thummar vowed not to eat food once on Mondays on the appeal made by the then PM Lal Bahudar Shashtri in view of shoprtage of grains. It is said that Mr Thummar still follows that routine.