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Lakshmi Sehgal suffers heart attack, in critical condition
New Delhi, July 19, 2012
Captain Lakshmi Sehgal, who was part of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA), is in a critical condition in a Kanpur hospital today after suffering a cardiac arrest this morning, her family said.
Ms Sehgal, 97, who has been ill for some time, suffered a heart attack this morning at her residence in the Civil Lines area in Kanpur, her daughter and political activist Subashini Ali told journalists outside the hospital.
She said doctors were doing their best, but her mother's condition, was not very good. She said her mother, who had also suffered a brain haemorrhage, was conscious and breathing normally.
A medical doctor by profession, Capt Sehgal was honoured by the Government with the Padma Vibhushan in 1998.
Born on October 24, 1914 as Lakshmi Swaminathan, she is the daughter of Dr S Swaminathan, a lawyer at the Madras High Court and A V Ammukutty, a social worker and freedom fighter from the well-known Vadakkath family of Anakkara in Palghat, Kerala.
She took her MBBS degree from the Madras Medical College in 1938 and then completed a diploma in gynaecology and obstetrics. In 1940, she went to Singapore, where she set up a clinic for the poor, mostly migrant workers from India.
In the mid-1940s, she responded to Netaji's call for raising a women's regiment to fight for Indian independence and joined the newly set-up Rani of Jhansi regiment.
In 1971, Capt Sehgal joined the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and was elected to the Rajya Sabha. In 2002, the Left parties nominated her as a candidate in the Presidential elections and was the sole opponent of Mr A P J Abdul Kalam, who won the contest.