GUWAHATI: Assam’s noted Gandhian leader and freedom fighter Shakuntala Choudhury, who was honoured with the Padma Shri award this year, passed away in Guwahati on Sunday night. She was 102.

A Gandhian social worker and freedom fighter, Shakuntala Chaudhary was known for her social service, especially women and children.

She was popularly known as ‘Shakuntala Baideo’

Born in 1920, she was primarily associated with the Kasturba Trust and was a torch-bearer of the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi across the Northeast, particularly in Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya and spent a large part of her life at the Kasturba ashram.

Shakuntala Choudhary was also closely associated with Acharya Vinoba Bhave and had participated in one-and-a-half-years long ‘padayatra’ during the Bhooban movement.

During Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to the northeast, she used to act as an interpreter and helped Gandhiji convey his message to people in Assamese.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed grief over the passing away of Shakuntala Choudhary.

“Shakuntala Choudhary Ji will be remembered for her lifelong efforts to promote Gandhian values. Her noble work at the Sarania Ashram positively impacted many lives. Saddened by her passing away. My thoughts are with her family and countless admirers. Om Shanti”, PM Modi said.

Expressing condolence, the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in a tweet message, “Deeply anguished at the passing away of veteran Gandhian and Padma Shri Shakuntala Choudhary. Her life was devoted to selfless service, truth, simplicity and non-violence at Sarania Ashram, Guwahati where Mahatma Gandhi had stayed in 1946. My prayers for her sadgati, Om Shanti!”

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