‘Nagaland’s Gandhi’ Natwar Thakkar dies

‘Nagaland’s Gandhi’ Natwar Thakkar dies
Late Natwar Thakkar (File)
DIMAPUR, OCT 7 (NPN) | Publish Date: 10/7/2018 12:06:38 PM IST

Eminent Gandhian and Padma Shri awardee Natwar Thakkar, popularly known as Nagaland’s Gandhi, died at a private hospital in Guwahati Sunday morning after a brief illness, family sources said.

Born on October 9, 1932, late Thakkar is survived by his wife Lentina Ao, a son and two daughters.

The funeral service will be held at Gandhi Ashram Chuchuyimlang on October 9 at 10 a.m., his son Dr. Aotoshi informed Nagaland Post.

A brief prayer programme was held at Kasturba Gandhi Ashram at Ulubari Guwahati on Sunday evening where hundreds of well wishers came to pay their last respects. The body will be arriving Chuchuyimlang village on October 8 morning, Dr. Aotoshi said. 

Gov, CM others condole

Nagaland Governor, P.B. Acharya expressed deep pain over the demise of Padma Shri Natwar Thakkar.

In a condolence message, Acharya described late Thakkar as a good human being, freedom fighter, noted social worker and the founder of Nagaland Gandhi Ashram at Chuchuyimlang, Mokokchung in 1955. 

Acharya said late Thakkar was a personal friend and that he had a long period of association with him. He said Thakkar’s demise was a personal loss to him. Acharya recalled his visit to the Ashram in 1965, during his maiden trip to North East after the disastrous Chinese aggression in 1962. 

He said Natwar Thakkar, a Gandhian social worker and popularly known as “Natwar Bhai” was inspired by Thakkar Bapa, a social worker who worked for the uplift of tribal people. 

Late Thakkar worked hard to spread Gandhian philosophy in Nagaland and established the “Nagaland Gandhi Ashram” in the Chuchuyimlang village in Nagaland in 1955 when Nagaland was in turmoil, he said.  At the initiative and efforts of Thakkar, Acharya said an extension centre of National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology was started in Chuchuyimlang village in 2006 and also “Mahatma Gandhi Centre of Social Work (MGCSW)”.

In recognition of his selfless service and contributions towards the society, Thakkar was honoured with numerous awards including India’s fourth higher Civilian Award Padma Shri in 1999 by the then President of India, K.R. Narayan. 

His activities for all-round development of the people of Nagaland and peace-building efforts at the frontier in spite of all the odds, is known to all, the Governor added.

In his demise, Acharya said Nagaland in particular and country in general has lost a humanitarian social worker, a Gandhian and above all a patriot. 

Acharya conveyed heartfelt condolence to bereaved family and prayed to Almighty God to grant strength and solace to bear the irreparable loss and for the departed soul to rest in peace.

CM: Nagaland chief minister, Neiphiu Rio said he was pained to learn of the demise of Natwar Thakkar early Sunday at Apollo Hospital, Guwahati.

He said late Thakkar came to Nagaland in 1955 at the age of 23 and founded the Nagaland Gandhi Ashram at Chuchuyimlang village. 

Rio said Thakkar worked selflessly to spread the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and in the course of his social and humanitarian activities, he became a renowned Gandhian. 

He was also the recipient of numerous awards including the Padma Shri in 1999 in recognition of his service to the people.

In his demise, Rio said that Nagas in particular have lost a friend and guide who left the comforts of his home in Maharashtra to come to Nagaland and work for the people.

Rio conveyed deepest condolences to Mrs. Lentina and family and prayed that Almighty God bestow them with strength and solace and for the departed soul to rest in eternal peace.

LoP: Leader of Opposition (LoP), T.R. Zeliang in his condolence message to Mrs. Lentina Ao and children, expressed sadness to hear about the demise of Natwar Thakkar, popularly known as Natwar Bhai. 

Zeliang said Thakkar, born in 1932 in the coastal town of Dahanu in Maharashtra, migrated to Nagaland at the age of 23 and settled here. He worked for social causes and to uplift the locals, Zeliang said. 

Founder of the Nagaland Gandhi Ashram at Chuchuyimlang village, Zeliang said late Thakkar was instrumental in imparting various vocational training to the local youths. Due to his efforts, an extension centre of National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology was also started at Chuchuyimlang village in 2006, he added. 

Being a true follower of the Gandhian principles, Zeliang said that late Thakkar exemplified these principles through his selfless deeds throughout his life. He was also awarded Padma Shree in the year 1999, for his tireless service by the Government of India and also the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration in 1994 for his endeavor towards emotional integration through voluntary social service. 

Zeliang, along with his family extended heartfelt condolences and prayed to Almighty God to grant solace to the bereaved family and for the departed soul to rest in peace. 

State BJP: State BJP unit has expressed sadness over the sudden demise of Nagaland Gandhi Ashram founder Natwar Thakkar, father of Dr Aotoshi, who passed away Sunday morning at Guwahati.

BJP through its media cell said late Thakkar, noted social worker and known as Nagaland’s Gandhi, took the effort to spread Gandhian philosophy in Nagaland. 

BJP unit along with its president ,Temjen Imna Along extended heartfelt condolences to  the bereaved family members  and prayed for the departed soul to rest in peace.

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