The image of the Rani Laxmibai riding a horse with her 8-year-old son Damador Rao tied on her back with a cloth battling Britishers is sketched in everyone’s mind. Sadly, after Independence no government ever tried to seek an answer to the question …..What happened to the minor Prince of Jhansi after Laxmibai’s martyrdom?
Only a handful are aware that the Queen’s son Damador Rao and his next 5 generations lived an anonymous life in Indore that prides itself for being called Ahilya Nagari.
With no government or public help forthcoming, the first two generations of Queen’s descendants spent their life in a rented house in abject poverty. No effort was ever made to locate them.
In fact, the Queen’s descendants were staying in the city till 2021. Later, they shifted to Nagpur, where the sixth generation descendant now works in a software company and prefers to lead an anonymous life. They have kept their association with Jhansi alive by attaching the moniker Jhansiwale in their name.
Software engineer Yogesh Arun Rao Jhansiwale (44) is the sixth generation member of Queen Laxmibai’s family. He currently lives in Nagpur with his wife Preet and two kids Preeyesh and Dhanika. His father Arun Rao Jhansiwale too lives with him. Arun Rao, who retired as an assistant engineer in the then MP Electricity Board (MPEB), owns a house in Dhanwantri Nagar in Indore.
Damador Rao breathed his last on May 20, 1906 at the age of 57, leaving behind his son Laxman Rao Jhansiwale, who was given a pension of Rs 200 per month by the Britishers. After the country attained independence on August 15, 1947, the then government asked Laxman Rao to vacate the house in the Residency area. The descendants of Rani Laxmibai had no option but to shift to a rented house in Peergali area of Rajwada, Indore.
Queen of Jhansi’s grandson worked as a freelance typist in the district court. As penury struck, the family often slept on an empty stomach. He left this world in extreme poverty in 1959 leaving behind son Krishna Rao Jhansiwale and daughter Chandrakanta Bai. Krishna Rao, the great grandson of the Queen, worked as a steno-typist in Hukumchand Mill in Indore. He used to receive a pension of Rs 100 per month from the Central and UP government. After spending his entire life in the same rented house, Krishna Rao died in 1967. After his demise, the Central and the UP government discontinued the pension of the descendants of the Queen.
His son Arun Rao Jhansiwale was an engineer and joined MPEB. In 1994, he purchased a house in Dhanwantari Nagar in Indore. In fact, after Queen left Jhansi with son Damodar Rao, the family had to wait for five generations to own a house.
Arun Rao Jhansiwala (blue kurta) with his son Yogesh Rao Jhansiwala (red kurta) his daughter-in-law Preet and her two kids Preeyesh and Dhanika Rao Jhansiwala.