Renowned Gandhian thinker, recipient of Padma Vibhushan award and former Union Minister Mohan Dharia passed away yesterday in a private hospital following prolonged illness. He was 89 and is survived by wife Shashikala, sons Sushil, Ravindra, and daughter Sadhana Shroff.
Dharia was admitted to a hospital in Sadashivpeth for treatment of a kidney ailment on Saturday, but failed to recover. He breathed his last in the morning yesterday. Dharia was cremated with full state honour later in the day.
A lawyer by profession, Dharia was also an environmentalist and ran a non-government organisation called Vanrai. He served as a minister of state under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1971, but left the Congress party after the imposition of the Emergency in 1975.
He was also elected to the Lok Sabha twice from Pune Lok Sabha constituency and remained member of the Rajya Sabha twice from the INC — first from 1964-1970 and then 1970-1971. Born on February 14, 1925, in Mahad town of Raigad district, Dharia completed his schooling there before moving to Pune and completed his law from ILS Law College. '
He was active in the politics for nearly five decades and then became an environmentalist until he breathed his last. Dharia was a member of the Pune Municipal Corporation during 1957-60 and was the Chairman of Pune Municipal Transport (PMT). Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar were among the few dignitaries who were present for Dharia’s cremation.