Eminent social worker and Padma Shri awardee Shanti Devi passed away at her residence in Gunupur of Odisha's Rayagada district on Sunday night, family sources said.
According to sources, Shanti Devi suddenly fell unconscious after suffering chest pain last night. Later, a doctor of Gunupur sub-divisional hospital reached Devi's residence and declared her dead. She was 88.
Born in the Balasore district in 1934, Shanti Devi was known for her philanthropic activities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, and many senior personalities condoled her demise and prayed for the departed soul.
"Shanti Devi Ji will be remembered as a voice of the poor and underprivileged. She worked selflessly to remove suffering and create a healthier as well as just society. Pained by her demise. My thoughts are with her family and countless admirers. Om Shanti" tweeted Modi.
Extending his deepest condolences to the family of Shanti Devi, Naidu in a tweet said she will be remembered for her untiring efforts for the empowerment of tribal girls through education.
"Saddened to know about the demise of social activist and Padma Shri awardee Shanti Devi. Her lifelong efforts for the uplift of the distressed will remain as an inspiration. Her contribution to social service is incomparable. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and wish peace for the departed soul." Patnaik tweeted.