ANDHRA PRADESH

Sadalakshmi passes away

HYDERABAD, JULY 24. T. N. Sadalakshmi, a former Minister and a staunch Ambedkarite, passed away this evening at CARE Hospital due to a cardiac problem. She was 76.

According to her family, the cremation will take place at Bansilalpet tomorrow followed by a procession from her residence at Baghlingampalli. Born at Pensionpura here, Sadalakshmi had fought for Dalits' cause for half a century. As a student of Keys High School, she listened to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's speech at Jeera Compound, which altered her life. She discontinued medical studies at Madras and entered politics, getting elected first to Lok Sabha from Peddapalli. Later, she was elected to Assembly from Kamaredy and went on to become deputy Speaker of the Assembly.

For a year, she was the Endowments Minister, during which period she took the decision to make dalits archakas. She set up an archaka school at Yadagirigutta and allowed women in devasthanam trusts. As Social Welfare Minister, she later set up SC Corporation.

She joined the Telugu Desam Party at the instance of N. T. Rama Rao, who made her the party's vice-president. Under her leadership, Madiga Reservation Porata Samthi was formed which secured SC categorisation. Sadalakshmi was all for a separate Telangana and she worked for the cause from within the Congress.

She is survived by husband, T. V. Narayana -- a prominent SC leader -- two daughters and a son.

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