107 and still going strong – what is Gants Hill great-great-grandmother’s secret?

Nandubaa Vyas was born in India in 1906

Nandubaa Vyas was born in India in 1906 - Credit: Archant

With 17 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren, 107-year-old Nandubaa Vyas certainly had a lot of well-wishers to greet at her birthday celebrations on Saturday.

Born in Mitrala in Gurajat, India, on June 12, 1906, and still going strong more than a century later, the secret of her long life has been said to be a “healthy lifestyle”.

On Saturday, family members came to the home she has shared with her daughter in Roll Gardens, Gants Hill, for more than 35 years for a religious function.

Among those there to wish her a happy birthday were her five children – including her eldest, aged 86, and her youngest, who is 70.

Two of her children are no longer alive.

Her granddaughter-in-law Zankhana Vyas said: “She thoroughly enjoyed the celebration and having her family around. She does forget things from the present but she remembers a lot from the past.

“Whenever we get together, she always says how she raised her kids and how hard her life was.

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“She will say we don’t have a hard life nowadays.”

Mother-of-one Zankhana, 49, of Yoxkley Drive, Newbury Park, added: “She always eats home-made food, she doesn’t eat out.

‘In her blood’

“I think it [living a long life] must be in her blood.”

She explained that Nandubaa never worked while living in India and looked after her seven children when she came to the UK.

Her husband Amritlal died more than 20 years ago.

She has four brothers and one sister.

When she was born, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman was British prime minister, Theodore Roosevelt was America’s president and India was still 41 years away from gaining independence.