Mrunal Manmay Dash

While there are quite a few centenarians who have seemingly defeated age, there is one in particular who not only conquered age but is still going strong and earning his living at the age of 105.

Anil Karmakar is a renowned blacksmith at Ramnagar under Kendrapara’s Mahakalpara block.

At the age of 105, Karmakar walks 2 km to his smithy daily. His work ethics reflect on the goodwill he has generated over 70 years as an ironsmith. Karmakar’s smithy has become synonymous with a landmark in Ramnagar which is used by travellers to identify directions and distance.

“He is 105 years old and a gentleman. I have been renting his house for the last 15 years. There are people who can swear by his name. He is a well-known figure here,” said a local, Jogesh Mohanty.

"He has defeated age. At 105, he works like a youth. He walks every day to his workshop and works more than his son,” said his neighbour Nikunja Snigdhar.

Karmakar was born in Faridpur district of Bangladesh in 1919. After the communal riots of 1954, he took shelter with his family at Choudwar in Odisha. Later the government allowed him to stay at Ramnagar in the undivided Cuttack district. Since then, he has been raising the family and earning his livelihood with this ironwork as his basic occupation.

Interestingly, he praised his food habits and the quality of foods that was available during his youth in general for his good health. “I came from Bangladesh when I was 35 because of the violence. I came to Ramnagar in 1954. I am healthy because of the food I ate growing up. There were no fertilisers or pesticides during that time. Every food we ate was organic. That is why I have lived so long,” Karmakar asserted.

His son Dilip Karmakar said, “My father left Bangladesh in 1952 and came to Ramnagar in 1954. He has been doing the blacksmith business since then. He is so efficient at his work, even we cannot keep pace with him at the smithy.”

There is no doubt that centenarian Anil Karmakar will be a source of inspiration for youngsters.