62-year-old man from Bihar, India has been getting a lot of attention in his home country after it was revealed that he has not taken a bath in over two decades.
Dharamdev Ram is famous in his home village of Baikunthpur. Everybody knows that he hasn’t taken a bath or even a quick shower in 22 years, but nobody mocks him for it, on the contrary, he gets a lot of respect for his decision.
That’s because the 62-year-old man vowed to shun bathing until violence against women, land disputes among men, and the killing of innocent animals stop. That has yet to happen, so Dharamdev continues to uphold his vow.
“In 1975, I worked in a factory in Jagdal, Bengal, and got married in 1978 and was leading a normal life,” Dharamdev Ram recently told ETV Bharat. “But in 1987, I suddenly realized that land disputes, the killing of animals, and atrocities against women had started increasing. So, in search of an answer, I approached a ‘Guru’ who took me as his disciple and inspired me to follow the path of devotion. Since then, I headed on the path of devotion and started meditating for Lord Rama.”
In the year 2000, when he vowed to refrain from bathing until the above-mentioned wrongdoings stopped, Ram also quit his job at the factory he was working at, but quickly came back due to pressure from his own family. However, when spread about his unusual pledge, he was fired, and he has remained unemployed ever since.
Ram’s wife, Maya Devi, passed away in 2003, but even then, he refused to bathe. Years later, one of his sons died, but he didn’t break his vow, and he continues to do so, even though his other son perished this year. Even if it may mean never bathing until the day he dies, the 62-year-old is prepared to keep the vow he made 22 years ago, unless his noble goal is met.
Dharamdev Ram’s unusual effort to end violence against women and animals, as well as land disputes went viral in India recently, sparking a journalistic investigation. Reporters traveled to Baikunthpur, in Bihar’s Gopalganj district to interview Ram and a number of locals, all of whom confirmed that he had not taken a bath in over two decades.