Devaki firmly believed in importance of women working, says daughter

Devaki firmly believed in importance of women working, says daughter

KUALA LUMPUR: Datin Dr Jayanthi Krishnan fondly reminisces about her late mother, Tan Sri Devaki Krishnan (pix), as a resolute and determined woman who advocated for the significance of women participating in the workforce.

Devaki, the first Malaysian woman elected to public office, passed away on Saturday at the age of 100.

“I retired and decided to enjoy my life, and after a year, she got hold of me, asking why I am not working and said women should work,” she told Bernama after attending the funeral rites of her mother held at Devaki’s residence known as Brindhavan, in Jalan Berhala, Brickfields here today.

Jayanthi emphasised that her mother instilled a fearless attitude and encouraged people to stand up and speak for themselves.

Meanwhile, Devaki’s grandson, Datuk R. Ramanan, the Deputy Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister, praised her as not only a pillar of strength for her family but also for the nation.

“She was a bold woman, a role model and a brave leader managing numerous community and political issues, playing a significant role in nation-building,“ said the Sungai Buloh MP.

The funeral rites were attended by individuals from various walks of life, including Indian political leaders from PKR and MIC.

The cremation took place at the Malaysian Indian Ceylon Crematorium in Jalan Loke Yew.

Born in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, on March 11, 1923, Devaki began her career as a teacher. In 1952, she made history as the first woman to hold public office in pre-independence Malaya when elected to the Bangsar Municipal Council.

She joined the Independence of Malaya Party in 1951 and later became the vice-president of MIC, playing a crucial role in its women’s section formation in 1975.

Devaki’s legacy is celebrated as a trailblazer who broke barriers for women in Malaysia. -Bernama


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