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Veteran freedom fighter Saraswathi Gora dies

Written by: Staff

Vijayawada, Aug 19: Veteran freedom fighter Saraswathi Gora, 94, died here today after a lung infection.

She is survived by nine children.

Ms Gora was a social revolutionary. A veteran freedom fighter, crusader against untouchability and the caste system, she championed inter-caste and inter-religion marriages.

She was imprisoned for her involvement in the Quit India movement and her commitment to the cause of Independence was so strong that she went to jailwith her two-and-half-year old son, Niyanta.

Ms Gora was arrested in 1953 in the Karivena Eenam Satyagraha in Kurnool District for championing the cause of land reforms.

Born on September 28, 1912 at Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh, she got married at the young age of ten. Her eldest daughter Manorama's wedding with Arjun Rao was scheduled in Mahatma Gandhi's presence and the first country's Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and others blessed the couple in 1960.

She headed the activities of the Atheist Centre here from 1975 and within two decades expanded its activities.

She actively participated in the Sarvodaya movement and joined Vinoba Bhave's Bhoodan Padayatra in Andhra Pradesh.

Among the national and international recognition she received was the G D Birla International Award for Humanism, 2000, which was given to her in New Delhi by Vice-President Krishna Kant on July 21, 2001.

The first Basava National Award 2000 of the Karnataka Government was presented to her in Bangalore on July 26, 2001. She was also awarded the Jamnalal Bajaj National Award in 1999 in Mumbai for her outstanding contribution to women's welfare and rural development.

Earlier, the Janki Devi Bajaj National Award was bestowed on her by the Indian Merchants Chamber Ladies Wing in Mumbai in 1997.

Other awards were Challagalla Award, Potti Sriramulu Telugu University Award for promotion of rationalism, Malladi Subbamma award and Viswadata Kasinadhuni Nageswara Rao award.

Her autobiography 'Gora to naa jivitham' (My Life With Gora), a 250-page work in Telugu was published in 1992 coinciding with her 80th birth anniversary.

The cremation would take place tomorrow, family sources told sources
Her eyes were donated to the Swetcha Gora eye-bank.


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