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Odisha: Shanti Devi Dies at 88, Worked to Uplift Tribal Girls, Known for Peace Efforts in Maoist-hit Areas

Born in Odisha's Balasore district in 1934, Shanti Devi was known for her philanthropic activities. (Image: News18)

Born in Odisha's Balasore district in 1934, Shanti Devi was known for her philanthropic activities. (Image: News18)

The noted social worker received Padma Shri last year. Her death was condoled by PM Narendra Modi, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik among others.

Renowned social worker and Padma Shri awardee Shanti Devi passed away at his residence in Gunupur of Odisha’s Rayagada district, last night. She was 88. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, and several other personalities on Monday condoled the death of the noted social worker from Odisha.

“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,” tweeted PM Modi.

Extending his deepest condolences to the family of Shanti Devi, vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu in a tweet said she will be remembered for her untiring efforts for the empowerment of tribal girls through education.

Patnaik tweeted in Odia: “Saddened to know about the demise of social activist and Padma Shri awardee Shanti Devi. Her lifelong efforts for the uplift of the distressed will remain as an inspiration. Her contribution to social service is incomparable. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and wish peace for the departed soul.”

According to reports, Shanti Devi complained of chest pain and fell unconscious. Later, a doctor of a local hospital reached her residence and declared her dead.

She had an immense contribution towards restoring peace in Maoist-affected areas of the state. She was also spearheading the voluntary organisation Seva Samaj. At the age of 17, she got married to Ratan Das, a Gandhian, and shifted to Koraput. She started her social work by founding an ashram at Gobarapalli in Rayagada district and worked for the development and education of tribal girls. Later, she shifted to Gunupur and founded Seva Samaj ashram in 1964 to provide education to tribal girls.

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first published:January 17, 2022, 19:10 IST