President Pranab Mukherjee's wife Suvra passes away

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 18, 2015 13:57 IST
Pranab Mukherjee with his wife, Suvra Mukherjee in 1987. The two preferred to stay at 13, Talkatora Road even though Mukherjee was entitled to a better bungalow in his capacity as the finance minister. (HT file photo)

President Pranab Mukherjee’s wife Suvra, who was in a critical condition in a military hospital in the national capital for more than a week, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 74.

“It is informed with deep sorrow that First Lady, Mrs Suvra Mukherjee, passed away this morning at 10.51am,” said a post by the President’s official Twitter handle.

The First Lady was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Army Research and Referral Hospital on August 7 after she complained of breathlessness and discomfort.

"Mrs Mukherjee was declared dead at 10.51am when her heart stopped beating," said a source in the hospital.

Mukherjee had cut short an official visit to Odisha and returned to the capital after she fell ill. At the time, authorities at the military hospital had described her condition as critical.

The First Lady was known to have a history of heart ailments and was taken to hospital after she developed a respiratory problem and reportedly collapsed.

Suvra Mukherjee was born on September 17, 1940 in Jessore (now in Bangladesh) and married Pranab Mukherjee on July 13, 1957.

She was an ardent fan of India’s national poet, Rabindranath Tagore, and an exponent of Rabindra Sangeet. She performed in the poet’s dance-dramas for long years in different parts of India, Asia, Europe and Africa.

Suvra founded the Geetanjali Troupe, whose mission is to propagate Tagore’s philosophy as expressed through his songs and dance-dramas. She was the guiding force behind the troupe’s productions.

She was also a talented painter with many group and solo exhibitions to her credit. She considered her mother, who was herself a painter, the source of her creative inspiration and her works won critical acclaim.

Suvra wrote two books - Chokher Aloey, a personal account of her close interaction with late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and Chena Achenai Chin, a travelogue recounting her visit to China.

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