Renowned midwife and Padma Shri award winner ‘Sulagitti’ Narasamma (97) passed away at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital in Kengeri (outskirts of Bengaluru) at 3 PM on December 25. She was suffering from chronic lung disease and had been placed on a ventilator for the past five days.


Earlier, she was admitted to the Siddaganga Hospital and Research Centre in Tumakuru in November and was later shifted to BGS Hospital on November 29. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over her death. Modi said her efforts of providing midwifery services in Karnataka would always be remembered.

Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara visited the hospital to pay his respects. Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa too visited the hospital and paid his respects.

Narasamma of Tumakuru district had helped deliver more than 15,000 babies for free of cost at a time when medical help was hard to come by in rural areas. She also helped with Ayurvedic medicines for those facing difficulties in the postpartum period.

Even though she was illiterate, Narasamma had learnt this skill from her grandmother, Marigemma, at a very young age. Acknowledging her service to the society, she was conferred the Padma Shri earlier this year. Also, Tumakuru University had conferred her with an honorary doctorate in 2014. She was awarded the Devaraja Urs award in 2012 and Kittur Rani Chennamma award in 2013.

Other awards she received include the Vayoshreshta Samman in 2013, Kannada Rajyotsal Award in 2013, the Murugha Sri Award from Murugha Mutt, and numerous other awards from NGOs and social organisations.

Narasamma is survived by four sons, three daughters and 36 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.