59-year old Ramrao Vitthalrao Sherikar from Bhagyanagar ( Hyderabad ) in Telangana, had vowed not to wear any footwear until a grand Ram mandir is built in Ayodhya and a statue of Chattrapati Sivaji Maharaj is erected in Bhagyanagar’s Puranapul area. Ram Rao runs a tea stall a Bhagyanagar.
The struggle for Ayodhya Shri Ram Mandir proves that if human will and determination are strong, divine blessings would always follow. The 500-year old struggle and sacrifices of Hindus has finally borne fruit; thousands have given the supreme sacrifice of their lives and crores of devotees have offered Pujas and Deekshas, many have performed fasting and upavasa deekshas to pray for their dream of Sriram Mandir to come true.
The Deeksha of Telangana’s Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad) resident, 59-year old Ramrao Vitthalrao Sherikar, a tea-seller by profession, shows that fervent steadfast devotion is the cornerstone of his life. His family hails from Bidar and has settled in the city for 45 years. He is devoted to Ayodhya Sriramachandra Murthy and Pune’s Matha Tuljabhavani, he frequently visits Tuljabhavani temple for fulfillment of his wishes.
However his prayers are not for his business or personal riches. His devotion is for a magnificent solemn Sriram temple in Rama’s birthplace Ayodhya. His second wish was for establishing Chattrapati Sivaji Maharaj statue in Bhagyanagar’s Puranapul area (Gowliguda), and he vowed that he would go without chappals or footwear till both his prayers were fulfilled.
Ramrao narrates his experience. In the year 1990, then a newly married Ramrao set out for Ayodhya on the call of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, after convincing his family that he is going on a divine mission for Bhagwan Srirama and that they shouldn’t regret if anything happens to him. His team was arrested as soon as they stepped foot in Uttar Pradesh.
Somehow some of them managed to escape from police and chanting Srirama’s name, they walked on foot for 20 days to reach Ayodhya. On their way through several villages, ordinary people provided them food, water and other amenities. None demanded any payment for providing food. The then Mulayam Singh Govt in UP which boasted that they “won’t even allow a single bird to fly across to Ayodhya”, and had taken all measures to lock-in the holy town, was stunned to see thousands of Karsevaks suddenly appearing in Ayodhya.
The UP Govt ruthlessly fired upon thousands of unarmed Karsevaks. Ramrao painfully recollects that several localities like Lal bungalow have reddened with the blood of Karsevaks. Somehow, the few who managed to survive that day, reached Delhi despite tremendous difficulties, participated in a protest meeting and then returned to Bhagyanagar. He recalled that only two members from their team managed to stay together throughout the protest, and all others got scattered after police brutalities.
Within two years of his return, Ramrao managed to complete the construction and establishment of the Sivaji Maharaj statue. He joyfully went to Tuljabhavani matha temple and started wearing chappals, forgetting his vow of the Ayodhya Srirama temple. Within a short time, he developed unbearable pain and cracks in his legs, no doctor was able to treat his condition. Matha Tuljabhavani herself appeared in his dream one night and reminded him of his vow for construction of Ayodhya Sriram temple, and directed him to continue his Deeksha.
As per Maatha’s directions, when he stopped wearing chappals, the pain in his legs disappeared miraculously. Ramrao is overjoyed that today, 5th August 2020, the karsevaks’ devotion and sacrifices as well as crores of Srirama’s devotees’ prayers have been answered.
(With Inputs from Team NijamToday)