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New Delhi: Shanti Devi, social worker and Padma Shri awardee, passed away late on Sunday (January 16). She was 88. She breathed her last at her residence in Gunupur in Odisha's Raygada district.
According to a report by Odisha TV, Shanti Devi suffered chest pain last night and subsequently fell unconscious. She was immediately rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital where she was declared brought dead by the doctors.
Shanti Devi, also known as Lugdi Devi, was felicitated with India’s third highest civilian honour, Padma Shri, on November 9, 2021, for her contribution for the upliftment of tribal girls and women in the then undivided Koraput district.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, joined others in offering condolences and tributes to Shanti Devi.
"Saddened by the demise of noted social worker, Smt. Shanti Devi Ji. She will be remembered for her untiring efforts for the empowerment of tribal girls through education. My deepest condolences to her family. Om Shanti!" tweeted the Vice President.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "pained" by the demise of Shanti Devi. He wrote, "Shanti Devi Ji will be remembered as a voice of the poor and underprivileged. She worked selflessly to remove suffering and create a healthier as well as just society. Pained by her demise. My thoughts are with her family and countless admirers. Om Shanti."
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also expressed his grief at her death. In a tweet in Odia, the Chief Minister wrote, "Saddened to learn of the death of Padma Shri Award-winning social worker Shanti Devi. Her lifelong efforts to help the needy and tribal have always been inspiring. Her contribution to social work is invaluable. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and wish them well."
Born on April 18, 1934, Shanti Devi started a small Ashram in Koraput and later she had set up Seva Samaj at Rayagada.
The Seva Samaj came into being for the overall development of girl child. Later, Shanti Devi started another ashram at Gunpur which aimed towards the education, rehabilitation, vocational training of orphans and destitute children.
Shanti Devi is also remembered for her selfless contribution towards the upliftment of tribal girls.
Apart from Padma Shri, Shanti Devi is also recipient of Jamunalal Bazaz Award and Radhanath Rath Peace Award.