Eminent Malayalam poet and activist Sugathakumari, who left an indelible mark in the socio-cultural life in Kerala for the past several decades, is no more. She breathed her last at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital where she was undergoing treatment for Covid-19. She was on ventilator support for the past few days.
Fondly called ‘Sugatha Teacher’, Sugathakumari passed away at the age of 86. A celebrated Malayalam poet, her works were rich with compassion and philosophical quest. A fierce environmentalist, the Padma Shri awardee spearheaded the environmental campaign against the hydel project in the Western Ghats’ Silent Valley and was also in the forefront in the protest against the construction of an airport at Aranmula. She also established Abhaya, a home for deprived women and children.
Meanwhile, social media is flooded with tributes to the doyenne of Malayalam literature from politicians to celebrities to people whose hearts and lives she has touched.
Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh in a tweet shared that the poet-activist had influenced him hugely. In his to Sugathakumari author and politician Shashi Tharoor wrote "The tragic end has come. As I bow my head in tribute to the departed soul, I recall many moments at her side, from felicitating her Saraswati Samman, to addressing environmentalists alongside her..."