Family, friends and Jain Samaj members celebrated the 100th birthday of Mrs Prabhaben Shah at Jain Community Centre in Levenshulme, Longsight with religious talk and lunch. Asha Mehta writes
The centenarian from Cheadle Hulme was born in India. She got married at the age of 16yrs to Mr. Manilal Shah who was a successful and prominent businessman settled in Uganda. The couple was blessed with four sons and three daughters. She has lost two of her daughters. At present she has 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
She came to UK in 1972 when Idi Amin expelled all Asians under 90 day orders as two of her sons were in UK for higher education. Idi Amin the dictator ruler of Uganda decided to expel all Asians without their possessions and wealth within 90 days
Prabhaben being a very religious person devoted her life to family and then to God. She has practiced Jainism since birth and had faith in austerities and penances, practiced as rituals in Jainism. She is a disciplined person and has not consumed any food after dusk. All of this has contributed to her long life.
“My family has kept me going for 100 years,“ said Prabhaben who lost her husband when she was sixty-five years old.
“I do not need anything else, there is nothing better in life. I have a big wonderful family; they are very good to me and spoil me. She regularly visited all her sons and spent time with them giving everyone love of mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
Prabhaben’s life story is equally as interesting as many great men and women. As Mahatma Gandhi says, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you may do are in harmony” and “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver” which summarises the long journey of Prabhaben Shah.