Prime Minister Modi’s hometown, Vadnagar in north Gujarat’s Mehsana district, hosted a prayer meet in memory of Heerba. The centenarian passed away on Thursday at Ahmedabad’s U.N. Mehta Hospital. She was admitted on Wednesday morning.
Traders in Vadnagar had, earlier on Thursday, called for a three-day self-imposed market bandh as a mark of tribute to the departed soul.
On Sunday, Gujarat Assembly Speaker Shankar Chaudhary, Union minister Parshottam Rupala, former state deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, MLAs Purnesh Modi and Jetha Bharwad and others attended the prayer meet held at Jawahar Navoday Vidyalay Hall in Vadnagar from 9 am to 12 noon.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sanjay Joshi, former Speaker Nima Acharya and ex-MLA Maya Kodnani were also among those present at the prayer meet organised by Hiraben’s family members. The family’s well-wishers from different parts of Gujarat, their relatives and residents of Vadnagar, where Heeraben spent the most part of her life, also queued up in the morning as a mark of respect.
Briefing scribes, Kodnani said: “She gave birth to vishwa ratna Narendra Bhai, who in turn is working hard to make India a Vishwa guru. We will miss her ever calm presence in the face of all odds.”
Born in Visnagar near Vadnagar, Mehsana in 1923, she has always been described by all who knew her, as “simple and affectionate.”
According to Modi’s social posts, Heeraba lost her mother to the Spanish flu as a child. “She does not even remember my grandmother’s face or the comfort of her lap. She spent her entire childhood without her mother. She could not throw tantrums at her mother, as we all do. She could not rest in her mother’s lap like we all do,” read his blog.
Heeraba never went to school and amid a childhood of “poverty and deprivation”, she would “wash utensils at a few houses to help meet the household expenses,” he penned earlier.
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