Kaybie Chongloi, Manipur
Though not officially verified and recognized by the Guinness World Records, Jamkhopao Singson, aged 116, a resident of Tuinom village in Manipur’s Churachandpur district could have become world’s oldest man before he breathed his last on August 24.
Currently, 118-year-old Japanese woman Kane Tanaka is the oldest person living and the oldest person living (female). Before Kane, the oldest living person (female) was fellow Japanese woman Chiyo Miyako who was 117 years and 81 days old, as verified on 22 July 2018.
Puerto Rico’s Emilio Flores Márquez had officially been confirmed by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest person living (male) with a confirmed age of 112 years and 326 days. But after his death on 12 August 2021, 112-year-old Saturnino de la Fuente García of Spain, born 8 February 1909, is the world’s oldest known living man.
Born in 1905 at Dailon village in Thanlon Sub Division of Churachandpur district, Jamkhopao Singson grew up to be very introverted since he became an orphan after both his parents passed away at an early age. He lived in nine different places during his fruitful life viz. 3 years at Dailon village, 10 years at Jeikhang village in Pherzawl, 40 years at Torbung, Churachandpur, 3 years at Henglep, Churachandpur, 4 years at Koite, Churchandpur, 2 years at Jalenphai, Saikul Kangpokpi District, 1 year at Gamphazol in Saitu, Kangpokpi District, 24 years at Thenjol, in Henglep Churachandpur and 29 years at Tuinom, Churchandpur where he breathes his last.
Jamkhopao Singson and his wife Tingkhochong, whom he married in 1940, had four daughters and six sons, most of them are still alive, except one daughter and one son had already died. He has seventy grandchildren and few great-grandchildren. His wife died in 2010, after 70 years of marriage.
He was a non-alcoholic, non-smoker. His favorite food was pork meat. He loved listening to Christmas songs and his favorite Bible verse is Matthew 11:28. His favorite pass time was mingling with his grandchildren and others and he loved playing football that he used to play football with his sons in a local football match.
He was a hardworking man, who could harvest 1000 tins of paddy rice in a traditional jhum paddy field. He has celebrated his harvest thrice with his community which traditionally is called ‘Chang-Ai’ in the local dialect on every occasion he managed to harvest 1000 tins of paddy rice when he was at T.Thenjol in Henglep Sub Division of Churachandpur District.
Mary Singson, one of his granddaughters, the present Vice President of Thadou Youth Association and District Youth Congress Sadar Hills General Secretary(Organization) said that my grandpa is an early raiser who used to get up early and walked around, talking with everyone while adding that he always taught us to be a good human and share with others and to be good to others.
She said that he [her grandpa] had not a single record of fighting, confrontation, verbally and physically, with anyone till his death but believe in peace and cordial relationship.
“I believe his longevity is because of his peaceful attitude and happiness”, she said while adding that he needs no special treatment on fooding, clothing, and others as he lived a very simple life.
She also believes his longevity that all his children and grandchildren loved him so dearly that he could always remain happy with his children and grandchildren while adding that many people failed to love and respect aged people which hurt them and could not live a happy life which could eventually lead to the short life.
” We feel blessed that our grandpa could live up to the aged of 116 as we could seek blessings and he cold always prayer and blessed us”, Mary added.
According to a video shared by his granddaughter Mary, the late Jamkhopao was seen walking with the support of a stick even at the age of 116 which testifys that he was a healthy man.
He loved dancing during Christmas time but he could no longer dance at his last Christmas last year since the Christmas celebration was not encouraged much owing to the lockdown.
According to Mary, he died peacefully on August 24 at around 11:15 am without even having the last word to his children and grandchildren.