President's wife Suvra Mukherjee passes away

New Delhi: Suvra Mukherjee, President Pranab Mukherjee's wife, died on Tuesday, Rashtrapati Bhavan announced. She was 74.

The couple had been married for 58 years and had three children - Abhijit Mukherjee, Indrajit Mukherjee and Sharmistha Mukherjee.

"It is informed with deep sorrow that First Lady Suvra Mukherjee passed away this morning (Tuesday). She (died) at 10.51 a.m.," said a statement.

She was suffering from a respiratory ailment and had suffered a cardiac arrest about a fortnight back. She was under treatment at the Army (Research and Referral) Hospital, Delhi.

"Suvra Mukherjee died after a cardiac arrest. She was on ventilator till the time of her death," hospital PRO Sanjay Kumar told IANS.

Suvra Mukherjee was born on September 17, 1940 in Jessore (now in Bangladesh) and married Pranab Mukherjee on July 13, 1957.

A graduate, Suvra Mukherjee was an ardent fan of India’s national poet, Rabindranath Tagore. She was a vocalist of Rabindra Sangeet and performed in the poet’s dance-dramas for long years not only in different parts of India, but also in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Suvra Mukherjee founded the Geetanjali Troupe, whose mission is to propagate Tagore’s philosophy as expressed through his songs and dance-dramas. She was the guiding force behind all productions of the troupe.

She was also a highly talented painter who had many group and solo exhibitions to her credit. She considered her mother who was herself a painter as the source of her creative inspiration and her works won critical acclaim.

Suvra Mukherjee has written two books: "Chokher Aloey", a personal account of her close interaction with late prime minister Indira Gandhi, and "Chena Achenai Chin", a travelogue on her visit to China.

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