On many occasions, I had read about Prof. G.D. Agarwal (PhD from Univ. of Berkely), since my college days about his austere lifestyle. Later I got to know about his love for saving Ganga as Swami Sanand.
I had visited Sewa Kunj Ashram innumerable times, but my desire to visit Vanawasi Ashram didn’t materialized till 2012. I had been longing to meet Dr. Ragini (now she is also no more) wife of Late Prembhai, both disciple of Vinoba Bhave, the spiritual heir of Gandhiji and finally one day I moved to Ashram while returning to Rihand. She showered a lot of affection towards me and gave some insight of Gandhian ideology and also offered tilkoot to eat. Next time, while going to IIT Delhi, I just stopped at Ashram More near Myorepur and went Ashram again. This time I didn’t find Shobha Di, but people told that Swamy Sanand was there. It was a great moment for me. I just met him and introduced myself. He took interest in me and talked with me for one hour and discussed about his development plans for Sonebhadra district. He even expressed anger that IIT Profs. are so obsessed with comfort that they are not leaving college campus and visit these places for doing research, relevant for local area development.
After some month, I again got opportunity to visit him. That time he seemed very pessimistic about human behaviour and recounted that people were availed benefits from Ashram, but they were not paying back. But he seemed very fond of environment and asked for working for saving environment. He was even suspicious about digitalization as this will force things towards centralization.
To heard about his death, gave a great shock for us. He was true Ganga Putra, who didn’t died at Kurukshetra, but for advocating and saving Ganga Maiya.
Source of Pic.: https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/sonbhadra-9799425.html
(Sharing my personal experiences)