Lakshmi Sehgal, a close associate of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and the first head of the women’s wing of the Azad Hind Fauj, died around 11.20 am on Monday at a private hospital in Kanpur, her family said. She was 97. She was in coma for the past three days after suffering a massive heart attack. The family announced that Sehgal had donated her body for medical research.
Subhashini Ali, Sehgal’s daughter said that since she had donated her body to GSVM Medical College in Kanpur her eyes were taken by them. Ali, a former member of parliament, said that the family had decided to switch off the ventilator after doctors advised that her revival was impossible.
“We switched off the ventilator at around 11 am and she passed away at around 11.20 am,” Ali said. The body would be kept for people to pay their respects at her house in Mac Robertsganj and would be taken in a procession on Tuesday to the SN Medical College, Ali said.
Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the death of Captain Lakshmi saying that the nation has lost an icon of selfless service.
Ansari described her as a noted freedom fighter and tireless campaigner for women’s rights and social causes. CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat remembered Captain Lakshmi as a motivated human being who fought injustice wherever she saw it.