Shri recipient Yamunabai Waikar passed away after a brief illness at the age of 103 today. Waikar, who had complained of uneasiness, was admitted to the ICU at a hospital in Satara city, where she lived, yesterday, said a local government official. She would be cremated with full state honours, he added.
Waikar was known for her Lavani numbers and took this popular folk song form to other parts of the country, said Dilipkumar Chinchkar, a senior journalist. Born into a poor family in Satara district, Yamuna Vikram Jawale learned singing and started performing along with her sisters at a young age. Soon offers to act in the `Tamasha' theatre followed, and she became famous as Yamunabai `Waikar' across Maharashtra.
In 2012, she was honoured with a Padma Shri. She also worked to create awareness about water conservation during the 1972 drought in Maharashtra and campaigned against archaic and regressive rituals of her Kolhati community, Chinchkar said.
(With PTI Inputs)