A one-man village on Delhi's outskirts

New Delhi: In a city with about 1.67 crore population and, evidently, scarce land, it’s hard to imagine that a man has a village unto himself. Meet 73-year-old Hari Nath — Delhi’s own Robinson Crusoe — living a loner’s life on the edge of south-west Delhi.

Located about 15 km away from Najafgarh, this village is known to very few people. According to the official records of the Delhi government, the village is called Sherpur Dairy, but ask for directions from anybody in Najafgarh for the village and they will be clueless about the existence of this place. Old residents know this place as Ujaar Khera or Mandir Wala Gaon.

Hari Nath has been a resident of this secluded village, which is completely cut off from the main villages of Najafgarh, for the last 15 years. People in the nearby villages know him by the name of ‘Baba Hari Nath’. The only people to give him company during daytime are some of his patients, who come to him for consultations as he practices ayurveda. On lucky days, he sees an influx of devotees visiting the temple or paying obeisance at Sayyed baba ’s majar on Thursdays.

Hari Nath has a voter’s identity card issued to him on the address of this village. He has built a small two-room house for himself, which is between the shrine and the temple on a 3,000 square metre plot. Narrating his life story, Hari Nath told MAIL TODAY, “My family was based near Pataudi in Haryana. I lost all my family members some 20 years ago and I started to stay with my guru in Shri Ganga Nagar, Rajasthan. After his death 15 years ago, I left Ganga Nagar and came to this village. When I came here, this village was empty except for the fields, a shrine and a temple. I decided to stay here and take care of the majar and temple.”

“Initially, it was very difficult for me to arrange things of basic needs. I used to walk to the nearby villages and ask for food from the residents. Later, I started to cook. Initially, I used to sleep inside the shrine, but when people started to notice me, they helped me build a two-room house on the land, which had the shrine and temple, says Hari Nath.

Shiv Kumar (name changed on request), who comes to help Hari Nath from a nearby village, said, “I have been with him for the last 15 years and he is a true Samaritan."

"He regularly visits places in Rajasthan to collect ayurvedic medicines and give them to people for free.”

The shrine near which Hari Nath stays is called shrine of ‘Sayyed’, which dates back to the times of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The temple is known as Gorakhnath ka Mandir. The village dates back to Mughal era. The irony is that Asia’s largest Ayurvedic hospital, Brahma Prakash Hospital, is situated some 500 metres away from Sherpur Dairy. The village is at no. 55 in deputy commissioner’s list of villages in Najafgarh subdivision, south-west district.

Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.


Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.