Mrinalini Sarabhai passes away

Mrinalini Sarabhai passes away

Mrinalini Sarabhai passes away

Legendary danseuse and cultural icon Mrinalini Sarabhai breathed her last on Thursday at a hospital in Ahmedabad following age-related complications, her family said. She was 97.

“My mother Mrinalini Sarabhai has just left for her eternal dance,” her daughter and noted dancer Mallika Sarabhai posted on social media on Thursday.

A Padma Bhushan awardee, Mrinalini was fondly known as “Amma”. She was admitted to the Intensive Critical Care Unit of a private hospital in Ahmedabad on Wednesday morning. She was brought back to her home on Thursday morning, where she breathed her last.

Her last rites will be conducted at the Pethapur village in Gandhinagar district. Pethapur is the block-making industry hub of Gujarat and Mrinalini often visited there due to her keen interest in handicrafts.

Condolences poured in from various quarters, including from Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy.

Born on May 11, 1918, in Kerala, Mrinalini was a daughter of renowned barrister Dr Swaminathan. Her elder brother Govind Swaminathan was also a barrister. Her mother Ammu Swamimanathan was a freedom fighter and a member of Parliament. Mrinalini’s sister Lakshmi Sehgal was commander-in-chief of “Rani of Jhansi Regiment” in the Azad Hind Fauj set up by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

She was the founder director of the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, an institute for imparting training in dance, drama, music and puppetry. She has trained more than 18,000 students in Bharatnatyam and Kathakali.