Update: Sugathakumari passed away at 10.52 am on Wednesday.
Renowned Malayalam poet and activist Sugathakumari has been admitted at the Government Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram after testing positive for the coronavirus. Her condition remains critical and she has been placed on ventilator support. According to Dr Sharmad, the superintendent of the hospital, her lung involvement is at 80%. According to reports, she has not been responding to medication. She is under observation of an expert medical team. She had been shifted to the Medical College Hospital from a private hospital on Monday.
Sugathakumari has been suffering from bronchopneumonia, a type of pneumonia that causes inflammation in the alveoli or air sacs in the lungs. She turned 86 in January this year. A well-known activist too, Sugathakumari had been part of the protests against a private airport project at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta and that of the peopleâ€™s movement against a hydroelectric project at Silent Valley in Palakkad. Besides being the founder of a home for people with mental illnesses and the destitute home called Abhaya, Sugathakumari, the founder secretary of the Prakrithi Samrakshana Samithi was also a leader of the 1973 Save Silent Valley protest.
The daughter of freedom fighter Bodheswaran and VS Karthiyani, she was awarded the Padma Shri in recognition of her poetry in 2006, and recieved the award from then Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam. Sugathakumari is also the former chairperson of the Kerala State Womenâ€™s Commission.