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Ramawtee Ramdhuny : old age not for regrets but for celebration of life

“Old age is not for regrets but for celebration of life: My age is a record of my whole life. I have lived my life fully, while giving myself 100% to both my business and family at the same time. So today in my life, there are no regrets, only the celebration of my life and my achievements along with satisfaction,” states Ramawtee Ramduny from L’Avenir. The 78-year-old is also the MSK awardee in the field of social service. Mrs. Ramdhuny is the former director of family owned business Alouette Tours, the leading company in mobility sector. 

Today, when old age is becoming a big problem in Mauritius, there are a random few of older people who are still very active and Ramawtee is one of them. Known as a very active person in her social circle, she is very much respected and seen as an inspiration by youth all around her along with her own five children and 12 grandchildren. 

The socialite

While talking to Mrs. Ramdhuny, it feels that old age is far more than just white hair and wrinkles. The usual feeling that life is over hasn’t even touched this lady with an infectious smile, which conveys the message that her game of life has just started. At the ripe age of 78, Ramawtee is still very social. She is associated with the organization Arya Samaj, the Aryan Senior Citizens and few other women’s association. She proudly hosts many events at her own house or at Arya Samaj Centre at L’Avenir village near St Pierre, where she resides with her whole family. 

When asked about the old age problem in Mauritius, she seems to be extremely concerned and declares: “Yes, old age is not a cup of cake, it does come with its complications. The body is not strong enough. A rapidly aging population means there are fewer working-age people in the economy. This leads to a shortage of qualified workers, making it more difficult for businesses to fill in-demand roles. But strong determination does have a capability of overcoming a fragile body.” 

If our Mauritian society becomes more determined with active people like Ramawtee, we don’t have to worry for the old-age problem of our public in general. 

The grandchildren

Ramawtee has 12 grandchildren, out of which five are studying abroad. Some are doing their doctoral studies; others are in the field of law while a few are in business. Pursuing studies are paramount on her agenda. As she enunciates, “whatever your field of interest, it is very important to complete the studies of your selected field. You will be earning your whole life but it’s not easy to study once you enter your professional life, so I have always inspired my kids and grandkids to study. To master the art is the key to success.” 

The driving

She has been in the tour and travel business for so long, so I inquired if she herself likes to drive. She responded without the slightest hesitation. “Oh, I love driving. Before marriage, I used to drive my father and uncle’s cars. But when I got married, my mother-in-law brought my driving to a screeching halt.” Does she feel sad about the fact she was not allowed to drive? “No, not at all. I was only 19 years old when I got married. Here, we are talking about the 1960s. It was that kind of culture in those days. You can’t blame one person for the way a society treats you. Things changes only with time. But I still feel very happy when I see women driving,” reveals Ramawtee with a chuckle. 

Family time WE time

Today, when brothers tend to split on small matters, how did she manage to keep the joint business unbroken among her children? She explains that every family has its own values. There are certain habits set by elders which cultivate certain values in the coming generation. Some families like to dine together, others play together, and so on. In my case, I always make sure to talk to my kids at the end of the day. I made it a habit to ask them some simple questions, like ‘How was your day?’, ‘Did something good happen today?’. On some days, you may get detailed answers whereas at other times, I just get a ‘it was fine’. But still, those plain conversations keep the communication alive among members of the whole family. Today, my son and daughter behave the same way with their kids. It is very necessary to keep the family connected.” 

When asked about her plans for the coming years, she says, “I want to see my family grow with good values. As for me, I am living life now as it comes but at the end of the day, I am satisfied. Old age may have its limitations and challenges, but in spite of them, our later years can become some of the most rewarding and fulfilling of our lives,” concludes Ramawtee with a broad and shy smile. 

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