Noted writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi passes away in Kolkata

Veteran writer and social activist breathed her last in Kolkata on Thursday. She was 90.

Mumbai: Veteran writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi breathed her last in Kolkata on Thursday. She was 90.

The writer, who was honoured with the Jnanpith Award in 1996 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2006, had been undergoing treatment at a hospital for about two months.

P. Tandon, CEO of Belle Vue nursing home, where she was admitted since May 22, said she was suffering from multi-organ failure and died at 3.16 PM. She suffered a cardiac arrest following the multi-organ failure.

"Her condition deteriorated at 3 PM. We tried our level best, but suddenly her condition became very bad and at 3.16 PM she passed away," he said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled her death and said the country has lost a great writer.

"India has lost a great writer. Bengal has lost a glorious mother. I have lost a personal guide. Mahashweta Di rest in peace", she tweeted.

Mahasweta's writings focused on the marginalised communities in the country and served as the voice of the oppressed. ‘Hajar Churashir Maa’, ‘Rudali’, ‘Jhansir Rani’, ‘Agnigarbha’ are some of her most famous works. Awarded the Sahitya Akademi and Jnanpith awards for literary excellence, Devi helped tribals and the rural dispossessed in organising themselves in groups so that they could take up development activities in their own areas. She founded several grassroot level societies for the welfare of tribals. 

She is survived by her daughter-in-law and grandchild. Mahasweta Devi`s son pre-deceased her two years ago.

(With agency inputs)

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