Women’s rights champion Sukumari Sekhar dies

KUALA LUMPUR: Puan Sri Sukumari Sekhar (pix), one of Malaysia’s earliest champions of women’s rights, died yesterday, which was International Women’s Day.

Sukumari, wife of the late Tan Sri B. C. Sekhar, who revolutionised Malaysia’s rubber industry, died at 11.20pm at the Cardiac Vascular Sentral Kuala Lumpur.

She was 87.

“It is with deep sorrow and sadness to have to inform all that our beloved mother, Puan Sri Sukumari Sekhar, passed away late evening last night,” said a Facebook post uploaded by her son Datuk Dr Vinod Sekhar, chairman and group CEO of Petra Group.

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.

According to the FB post, Sukumari will be cremated at the Loke Yew Crematorium here following a wake at the Shamshan Bhoomi Hall there from 11am to 2pm.

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

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