Veteran Gandhian and environmentalist B G Honnamma, who drew inspiration from the freedom struggle and continued that spirit by fighting for the city’s lung spaces, passed away on Saturday. She was 94.
“She passed away peacefully at her residence in Jayanagar,” her son Brigadier Jagadish told DH. Honnamma, who met Gandhi when she was 10, decided to contribute to the freedom struggle by heeding his call to reject foreign-made clothes. “She would make khadi thread with a spinning wheel to send it to Gandhi through the post,” Jagadish explained.
Honnamma was known for her fight to save a park from encroachment. Back in the 1980s, when an area in Jayanagar meant to be developed as a park was encroached by an association, Honnamma began a 15-year legal struggle to save it.
Today, the Pu Thi Na Park in Jayanagar 5th Block survives because of the long-drawn fight which she won, which remains a story of inspiration for environmentalists today.
“The legal struggle began in 1984 and continued for 15 years. She went all the way to the Supreme Court to save the lung space. She believed in the greater common good,” Jagadish said. A mother of 10 children, she remained active right till the end. At the age of 80, she won two national gold medals in swimming in the super-veteran category.