On Wednesday, Rehtee Begum—a resident of the Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir, India—got her first ever coronavirus jab. She was one of the 9000 people who got inoculated by the door-to-door vaccination campaign in the area. According to local reports, the Indian grandmother took the decision to get jabbed to show the hesitant youth of the community that it was both safe and necessary.
Discovering Rehtee Begum’s age
When health workers showed up at Begum’s doorstep and asked her for her ration card, it was only then that they realised they might be vaccinating the world’s oldest person alive. The ration card, which is an official Indian government document, revealed that the the grandmother was actually 124 years old. Abdul Rashid Ganie, the block development officer of the area, said:
We saw the ration card of the family which listed her as 124 years old. Well, she surely seems to be 100-plus, but I cannot certify her real age.
The grandmother was also unable to confirm her exact age, but she’s certain that she’s lived for more than a century. And if the information on her ration card is true, then that makes her the oldest person alive, and the oldest recorded person to have lived!
Who holds the official records?
Officially, the oldest person alive is 118-year-old Kane Tanaka from Japan and the oldest person to have ever lived is Jeanna Calment, a French woman who died at the age of 122 years and 164 days. Both women have been included in the Guinness Book of World Records, but if authorities are able to verify Begum’s real age, it might be time to make a few changes.
Begum has been feeling better than ever after getting the first jab and she’s eagerly waiting for her second, which she will receive in seven weeks.