The world's oldest man aged 118- Premsai Patel from Madhya Pradesh has attributed his long life to his simple diet constituting of green leafy vegetables and pulses.
A retired government teacher, Patel lives in Korba district of central Chhattisgarh state where he starts each day by reciting verses from the sacred Hindu scripture 'Ramcharitmanas' which he says 'purifies one's body and the soul'.
Patel, a great grandfather, lives with a big family of sons, daughters- in- law and their children, who proudly accompany him to numerous religious ceremonies he presides over, reciting Hindu verses and religiously worshipping Indian gods and goddesses.
While speaking to media persons, Patel advocated a simple diet of fresh green vegetables and pulses from the kitchen garden in his backyard, and said that he never ate meat or fish in his whole life, which he believes invokes demonic desires.
"I eat simple food like fresh green vegetables and don't touch meat or fish. Since childhood I have eaten simple food be it anything like vegetables, pulses, Mahua, I never had anything to do with meat or fish," said Patel.
Born in 1896, the old man is a living testimony of the heydays of the country being ruled by kings and by the British Empire.
A woman relative,Ghana Bai, said that Patel believes in living a happy and contented life and therefore, eats and drinks simple food without suffering the perils of old age.
"He eats, drinks and stays happy and all his family members-sons, daughters-in-law all live here," said Ghana Bai.
The district of Korba which is blessed with lush green forest cover and a sizeable number of tribal population, has always been home to Patel who has broken the world record of 115-year- old Japanese national, Misao Okawa, for being the oldest human alive.
A relative of Patel, Santram Khedia, said he has known him since his childhood in 1967 when his family came to settle down in the village.
"We came from Nandkhera in 1967 to settle down here and we know him since then. He is my maternal uncle in relation,"said Khedia.
To back his claim, the retired school teacher showed the Aadhaar card, a key government document issued by the unique identification authority of India which mentions his date of birth as 11 May, 1896.
Khedia added that Patel is a very healthy man who does all his work by himself and spends most of his time praying and chanting verses from scriptures.
"Yes, Premsai Patel is very religious and has come to our house 17-18 times to recite the scriptures when we had a religious ceremony. He would hold a stick and dance as he used to be in a trance while chanting the verses," Khedia said
Doctors say the correct age of a person can be verified through a bone test.
According to the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks people 110 and older and validates ages for Guinness, the oldest human alive is a 115-year- old Japanese woman, Misao Okawa.