End of an era: Capt Lakshmi Sahgal diesJul 23, 2012 | Pratirodh Bureau
Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, who was part of the first woman contingent of Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army, passed away on Monday at a Kanpur Hospital.
Captain Laskhmi, 97, suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday morning and was admitted to a hospital in Kanpur.
The revolutionary had been ailing for some time.
She was born in Madras and qualified as a doctor from the Madras medical college in 1938.
In 1942, during the surrender of Singapore by the British to the Japanese, Sahgal aided wounded prisoners of war, many of whom who were interested in forming an Indian liberation army.
Indian revolutionary Subhas Chandra Bose arrived in Singapore on July 2, 1943. Sahgal joined the new regiment, called the Rani Jhansi Regiment, and was given the rank of colonel.
This women\\\’s army unit was the first of its kind in Asia. The army fought on the side of the Axis powers against the British. She also served as the minister of women affairs in the Azad Hind government.
Sahgal married Colonel Prem Kumar Sahgal in March 1947 in Lahore, British India. After their marriage, they settled in Kanpur, where she continued with her medical practice and aided the refugees who were arriving in large numbers following the Partition of India.
The Sahgals\\\’ daughter, Subhashini Ali, is a prominent Communist politician and labour activist
In 1971, Sahgal joined the CPM and represented it in the Rajya Sabha. During the 1971 India-Pakistan war, she organized relief camps and medical aid in Calcutta for refugees from Bangladesh.
She was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1998.
Sehgal was the Left Front candidate in the 2002 presidential election, but she lost to APJ Abdul Kalam.