Women’s rights champion Sukumari Sekhar dies

Puan Sri Sukumari Sekhar,

KUALA LUMPUR: Puan Sri Sukumari Sekhar, one of the country’s earliest champions of women’s rights, passed away on International Women’s Day.

Aged 87, she died at 11.20pm on March 8 at the Cardiac Vascular Sentral Kuala Lumpur.

Sukumari was the founding deputy president of the National Council of Women’s Organisations and a fierce advocate for the rights and welfare of children, including children born out of wedlock.

She received the Anugerah Tokoh Wanita award in conjunction with the National Women’s Day celebrations in 2012.

She was the wife of the late Tan Sri BC Sekhar, who had revolutionised the country’s rubber industry.

“It is with deep sorrow and sadness to have to inform all that our beloved mother, Puan Sri Sukumari Sekhar, passed away, ” her son, entrepreneur Datuk Dr Vinod Sekhar, said in a Facebook post.

He described her as a “beautiful, strong and incredibly loving mother”.

“She was smiling and happy during the day. She’s now with my Dad, whom she longed to be with. I guess God decided I was having too much of a good thing and took her back home. I am broken.

“She is in his warm and loving embrace now forever, ” he added.

Sukumari leaves behind three other children: Jayan, Sujatha and Gopinath; daughters-in-law Bina, Rekha and Dr Winy Sekhar; and son-in-law Dipak Naik; as well as eight grandchildren.

She was cremated at the Loke Yew Crematorium here following a wake at Shamshan Bhoomi Hall.

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