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Mahatma walked 79,000 km during freedom movement, equal to walking earth twice
Mahatma Gandhi had a body mass index of 17.1, which under modern definitions qualified him as underweight.

Mahatma walked 79,000 km during freedom movement, equal to walking earth twice

Health records released25 Mar 2019 | 6:37 PM

NEW DELHI: Mahatma Gandhi’s health records published for the first time by the government show he was underweight, but healthy enough to walk 79,000 km during his movement for India’s independence.

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Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, March 25

Mahatma Gandhi’s health records published for the first time by the government show he was underweight, but healthy enough to walk 79,000 km during his movement for India’s independence.

“Gandhi and Health @ 150" unveiled today by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) documents the health statistics of the Father and the Nation who, according to the journal, stayed clear of allopathy and experimented on his body using earth and water materials.

“Mahatma Gandhi was a quintessential naturopath,” says Dr VK Paul, member, health, NITI Ayog who launched the journal today.

What’s interesting is that Mahatma Gandhi weighed a mere 46.7 kg, as recorded in 1939, was 5 feet 5 inches tall and had a body mass index of 17.1 which under modern definitions qualified him as underweight.

Gandhi also suffered from high blood pressure starting 1927 and reported the highest hypertension data of 220/110 in 1939.

The journal attributes his healthy life despite hypertension to the fact that he was an avid walker and walked 18 km a day.

“During campaigning from 1913 to 1948, he walked around 79,000 kilometres, which is the equivalent to walking around the Earth twice," says the journal published under the guidance of ICMR Chief Dr Balram Bhargava, a cardiologist, who says Gandhi’s heart was healthy and his ECG records show that his cardiac degeneration was arrested even though he experimented with natural elements on his body.

The records were accessed from the National Gandhi Museum and published as a collector’s item to mark 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the Mahatma.

The journal reports on Gandhi’s health and shows that he struggled with three bouts of malaria, was operated for piles and appendicitis and also had inflammation of the tissues.

The experts who contributed to the journal also add that Gandhi’s frequent fasts were often extremely hard on his body and drive him occasionally to the point of “near death”.

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