Eminent social worker Sundari Mani, a pioneer of the consumer movement, passed away here on Saturday. She was 86.
Chairperson of the Women's Indian Association, Ms. Mani was also involved in several initiatives and programmes aimed at supporting, training and empowering women.
Drawing inspiration from her parents Justice P.N. Ramaswami and Rajammal (Rajam) Ramaswami, who started the consumer movement in 1975 and the Consumer Protection Forum in 1981, Ms. Mani began taking interest in social issues while she was young.
At 14, she married N.S. Mani of the 1936 batch of the Indian Civil Services and moved to Chennai from New Delhi in 1963. She was the founder of the N.S. Mani Educational Trust, the Justice P.N. Ramaswami Charitable Trust, the former chairperson of the P.S. Sivaswami Ayyar Educational Charities, Thirukattuppalli, and the vice-president of the Abaya Nilayam and the Consumer Protection Forum.
Her significant contributions include training nurses, supporting students from underprivileged sections to pursue their education through the charitable trusts she set up, her work as president of the Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy Women's Association, chairperson of the projects committee, the Red Cross and as senior member of Altrusa, international body for the empowerment of tribals.
Close associates and relatives of Ms. Mani remember her as a very bold and independent woman who led by example. After her husband's death, she lived by herself with a dedicated attendant and driver assisting her for several years.
A life member of The Music Academy, she enjoyed listening to concerts there. Despite her frail health, she would go to the venue in a wheelchair and listen to her favourite artists.