Padma Shri Prabhaben Shah Dies At 92

| Updated: January 19, 2023 3:06 pm

Prabhaben Shah, a social worker from the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman, and Diu, passed away on Wednesday at the government hospital in Daman. She was a recipient of the Padma Shri award. She was 92.

The last rites will be performed at Daman on Thursday afternoon. On Wednesday morning, Prabhaben was rushed to the government hospital after experiencing respiratory problems and heart-related ailments. However, she passed away in the afternoon as a result of age-related illnesses and heart difficulties.

Prabhaben’s daughter Varsha Shah, said, “Due to her old age and heart complications she did not respond to the treatment and Dr Tapan and his team at the government hospital in Daman declared her dead in the late afternoon. We have planned to carry out final rites on Thursday morning and her body will be taken from our house in Moti Daman to Nani Daman covering a distance of around 5 kilometres. We have presently kept her body in the morgue in the government hospital. All our relatives from Gujarat and Mumbai will reach Daman by Thursday morning.”

In January 2022, Prabhaben received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in the social work category for her altruistic services. At a ceremony in Delhi, Ramnath Kovind, who was the President at the time, presented Prabhaben Shah with an award. For the last 60 years, she has advocated for environmental problems and the empowerment of women.

Prabhaben was born in 1930 in the Surat district’s Bardoli town and moved to Daman in 1963. She had a connection to the Swaraj Ashram in Bardoli and was raised under the Gandhian philosophy. Prabhaben began teaching sewing to women in Daman in 1969. Additionally, she founded the Women Credit Society and the Women Cooperative Society.

She also established a library for pupils from economically disadvantaged areas as well as a Balwadi (nursery) with Gujarati and English as the second language. Prabhaben had also fought to end the use of dowries. Her work area included Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Goa in addition to Daman & Diu and DNH.

She is survived by her two daughters, Varsha and Kiran Shah, and a son, Sanjay Shah, who is settled in the USA. Prabhaben Shah’s husband, Sobhag Shah, died 15 years ago. In Daman, Varsha Shah resided with her mother.

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