Dr Sheetal Amte-Karjagi, granddaughter of social worker Baba Amte and CEO of Maharogi Seva Samiti at Anandvan, found dead at Anandwan in Chandrapur on Monday. As per the initial report, Amte died by suicide as she was dealing with mental stress for the last few days. Dr Sheetal was the chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of the leprosy service committee at Anandvan.
Maharashtra: Sheetal Amte, social activist and granddaughter of Baba Amte, dies allegedly by suicide at Anandwan in Chandrapur— ANI (@ANI) November 30, 2020
According to PTI, the 39-year-old medico took the extreme step following a recent public spat with other members of the Amte family over the management of Maharogi Seva Samiti, a social service organisation founded by Baba Amte, a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award and Padma Vibhushan, who died in 2008.
The local police has declined to comment on reports that Sheetal apparently injected herself with a lethal dose.
Her body was taken from Warora to Chandrapur, 50 km away, for post mortem.
A team of forensic experts from Nagpur has gone to Warora and the room in Anandwan where Sheetal's body was found has been sealed, as per PTI sources.
Baba Amte's sons Vikas and Prakash and their wives Bharti and Mandakini, respectively, had recently issued a clarification on several allegations made by Sheetal, Vikas's daughter, on social media.
The clarification from the senior Amtes had read: "Maharogi Seva Samiti, Warora is a leading social service organisation in the country. It provided direction and inspiration to the development of the deprived. Lakhs of social activists were trained here. Three generations of Amtes are deeply involved in this work.
"Among us, Sheetal Gautam Karajgi, nee Sheetal Vikas Amte, has contributed to the work done by our organisation.
She, however, is facing mental stress and depression.
While admitting it in her social media posts, she made inappropriate statements about the work, trustees and workers of Maharogi Seva Samiti.
"All her comments are baseless. The Amte family is issuing this statement after mutual discussions to prevent any likely misunderstanding caused by Sheetal's allegations."
Baba Amte received India's second highest civilian award Padma Vibhushan for his social work, particularly for leprosy patients, carried out at Anandwan, an asylum for the afflicted discarded by the society.
Set up in 1959 at Warora in Chandrapur district, Anandwan is administered by Maharogi Seva Samiti, a public charitable trust of which Vikas Amte is the secretary and Sheetal Karajgi was the Chief Executive Officer, a post created three years ago.
The Samiti added two other projects under the Lok Biradari Prakalp at Somnath in Mul tehsil of Chandrapur district in 1967 and at Hemalkasa in Bhamragad tehsil of Gadchiroli district in 1973.
The Hemalkasa project is looked after by Prakash and Mandakini Amte, both doctors, and their sons Digant and Aniket and their wives Anagha and Sameeksha.
(With inputs from PTI)