New Delhi, Nov 15 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has condoled the passing away of noted Gandhian and economist Dr. Lakshmi Chand Jain, who breathed his last on Sunday afternoon at the age of 85 after a courageous battle against cancer.
Dr Singh in condolence message to Devaki Jain, wife of the departed leader said he had lost a dear friend and a valued colleague and said his ideas left a lasting imprint on formulation of public policy in our country.
"It is with a sense of profound sadness and loss that I learnt about the passing away of your husband Dr. Lakshmi Chand Jain," said Dr Singh.
"I had the privilege of knowing Lakshmi for a very long time. He was a great patriot, and a strong believer in Gandhian values and decentralization of power. His ideas left a lasting imprint on formulation of public policy in our country," he added in his condolence message.
The Prime Minister is his message further said that as a young graduate, Lakshmi was actively involved in the Quit India movement.
"Soon after independence, he worked to organize relief for refugees of the partition. He helped introduce cottage industries into rehabilitation camps. He later campaigned for farm cooperative societies and became a volunteer with the Indian Cooperative Union (ICU)," said Dr Singh.
"As Secretary of the All-India Handicrafts Board, he promoted decentralized production, introduced direct training and loans to self employed weavers and carpenters, and organized the Central Cottage Industries Emporium," he added.
Further remembering Dr Jain, who spent more than six decades of his life as an impassioned crusader for what Gandhi called India's second freedom struggle, the Prime Minister said: "As a Member of the Planning Commission, he took interest in the development of the North Eastern Region and Khadi and Village Industries. He was honoured with the Magsaysay award in 1988."
"In Lakshmi's passing away, the country has lost one of our most distinguished social; policy analysts, who was deeply committed to the welfare of our people," he added.
Dr Singh said that he had lost a dear friend and would cherish his long association with Dr Lakshmi Chand Jain.
"On a personal note, I have lost a dear friend and a valued colleague. I will always cherish my long association with Lakshmi. On this sad occasion, I convey my heartfelt condolences to you and other members of the family, and Lakshmi's friends, colleagues, and admirers," he said.
Dr Lakshmi Chand Jain was known as a fierce opponent of overwhelming state control, and an equally fierce advocate for social action.
His efforts to keep alive the legacy of the freedom struggle through the intervention of civil society led to him being awarded the Magsaysay Award in 1988.
He subsequently became a member of the Planning Commission where he served from 1989 to 1990.
The last years of his life were spent in documenting some of the struggles he had been associated with in a book called 'Civil Disobedience', which will be released on December 13. (ANI)