Dr S D Gokhale passes away, leaves behind lessons in living

Eminent social scientist, researcher and former editor of Kesari passes away after cardiac arrest

On his birthday in September, the day he turned 87, he rode a horse, and hit a bull's eye during practice, such was his zest for life.

Dr Sharatchandra Damodar Gokhale, who showed the world how life should be lived to the fullest, passed away on Tuesday after a cardiac arrest, leaving a void in the life of his family members and friends.

As news of Dr Gokhale's demise spread on Tuesday afternoon, friends and wellwishers gathered at his residence at Karvenagar and recalled how he inspired and motivated others to take up social causes, and how he continued working till his last breath for welfare of senior citizens and leprosy affected persons.

"It will always be a sight to remember. An 87-year-old riding a horse, and even hitting a bull's eye. But that's what my grandfather did on his birthday on September 21 last year at Mahabaleshwar," Dr Abhijit Joshi, his grandson recalled. "He was so full of life and such a jolly person that home is no longer going to be the same without him," Sushma Joshi, daughter of Dr Gokhale said.

The eminent social scientist, researcher and former editor of Kesari was born on September 21, 1925 in Pune. After his post graduation in social work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), he received a UN Scholarship in 1959. He later worked as Assistant Director of the Department of Social Welfare, Maharashtra and went on to work as Assistant Secretary General Asia-Pacific of the International Council on Social Welfare and was a consultant on several bodies like the World Health Organisation, the UN and the UNICEF.

Instrumental in setting up three programmes, Community Aid and Sponsorship Programme, International Leprosy Union (India), and International Longevity Centre-India, Gokhale authored more than 30 books and was recipient of several awards including the International Gandhi Award for exemplary work in the field of leprosy, UN special award for exceptional work in the field of ageing, the G D Birla Award, and the Sasakawa Health Prize in Geneva.

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