In today’s world when moral values are depleting fast, Lilabai Chauhan of Chilkana village near Ratlam (M.P) has set an amazing example, difficult for others to emulate.
She got a Shiv Hanuman Temple constructed in 1993 by spending her life time savings of Rs two lakhs. Not many people would act with such generosity for a religious cause.
It is not these acts alone, which make Lilabai stand out of the crowd. Her background makes her achievements larger then life. She belongs to “banchda” community which pushes females into prostitution. Having spent about ten years of her life in flesh trade, she made the life changing firm resolve of transforming her self, and leading a normal life. Deeply influenced by religious fervor, she financed the construction of a temple.
Lilabai met Bherusingh Chauhan in her sister’s marriage ceremony, and was so impressed that the two decided to enter into wed lock in 1993. This unconventional marriage had to face the wrath of the community, but it could not weaken their resolve to tread the unbeaten path and create history. The couple has been happily married for over two decades now. They have been regularly going on pilgrimages to Kedarnath, Badrinath, Rameshesaram, Puri, Vaishnodevi,Gangasagar etc.
Lilabai believes that religion is a big motivating force which can transform lives. In a message to other women involved in flesh trade and other nefarious activities she says “if you want to live with self respect, and make a place for yourself in society, then you need to make a firm resolve and “it’s never too late to change” she adds with a smile which exudes confidence.
Her words have the conviction, because she has shown to the world that “actions speak louder than words”. Lilabai and her husband have complete faith in them selves and God. Having no children to call their own, they have risen above selfish interests and willed five “beeghas” of their land valued Rs 12 lakhs for the maintenance of the temple and the remaining five “beeghas’’ of land to their nephews.
She believes that all the material possessions belong to God and should be offered back to Him, with gratitude. Bheru Singh and Lilabai plan to spend the rest of their lives doing farming and staying in a small house near the temple. Such lives inspire many more, and give courage to people on the threshold of change.
[The above success story is based on the interview of Mrs Lilabai Chauhan by Maj Pradeep Khare]