Poet Sugathakumari passes away due to Covid-19

She was under treatment at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital over the last few days
Last Updated 23 December 2020, 16:14 IST

Noted Malayalam poet and environmentalist Sugathakumari passed away on Wednesday due to Covid-19. She was 86.

She was under treatment at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital over the last few days. She was suffering from respiratory problems and kidney ailments. Her condition worsened by Tuesday after she suffered a heart attack and was under ventilator support.

Though Sugathakumari, who is Padma Shri recipient in 2006, shot to the limelight in 1960s through her award winning Malayalam poems, she was later known for her environmental activities, especially the Save Silent Valley movement initiated to save forest from getting destroyed owing to hydel power project. Her social welfare initiatives included 'Abhaya', also known as 'Athani', a home for destitute women and children, and the mentally ill. She had also served as the chairperson of Kerala Women's Commission.

Sugathakumari, who hails from Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district, started her literary works In 1955 after attaining a master's degree in Philosophy. She won over a dozen prestigious awards starting with the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1968 to the Ezhuthachan Award, the highest literary honour of Kerala in 2009 for her works. 'Rathrimazha', 'Ambalamani' and 'Manalezhuthu' were among her popular works. Most of her poems had the message of nature and environmental protection.

Sugathakumari's husband Velayudhan Nair died earlier. She leaves behind her daughter Lakshmi. Sugathakumari had earlier expressed her wish that her funeral should be performed without any formal ceremonies.

Her funeral was held in Thiruvananthapuram by evening with state honours. Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the death of Sugathakumari.

(Published 23 December 2020, 07:17 IST)

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