Photo: Northeast Now

Nagaland’s revered social activist and Gandhian Natwar Thakkar passed away at the Apollo Hospital in Guwahati on Sunday morning at around 7:10 am.

Thakkar was 86 years of age at the time of his demise.

Thakkar, popularly known as Natwar bhai, who works in Nagaland, was rushed to Apollo Hospital in Guwahati on September 19 last after he complained of uneasiness following high fever. He was kept in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital.

Though he showed signs of improvement initially, his health condition started declining from Saturday morning when his blood pressure started going down and both his kidneys stopped functioning.

The veteran Gandhian leaves behind his wife Lentina Ao Thakkar, who is also a Padma Shri award in social work, a son and two daughters.

All of them were beside him when he breathed his last on Sunday morning.

According to family sources, the mortal remains will be taken to his workplace in Nagaland’s Chuchuyimlang later in the evening.

Notably, a Padma Shri award winner, Thakkar originally hailed from Maharashtra, who migrated to Nagaland for social work at the age of 23 way back in the year 1955 and made Nagaland his home. He founded the Nagaland Gandhi Ashram at Chuchuyimlang village in Mokokchung district of Nagaland.

Thakkar was christened Gandhi of Nagaland by his admirers for his relentless endeavour to spread Gandhian philosophy and principles of peace in the north-eastern State.

His 62-year-old ashram at Chuchuyimlang village now draws visitors from across the country and occasionally from abroad.

Thakkar forged close relationships with people like Kaka Kalelkar, Jayaprakash Narayan, Verrier Elwin, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai and Manmohan Singh.

One such relationship has helped build a unique library in a remote Naga village.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio tweeted, “I’m saddened to hear about the demise of Padma Shree Natwar Thakkar, founder of Gandhi Ashram. He made significant contributions towards the betterment of society. May Almighty give strength to his family, friends & loved ones & may his soul rest in peace.”


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