Citizens' Issues
Captain Lakshmi Sehgal is no more

Captain Lakshmi Sehgal was very active during the Independence movement and had commanded the 'Rani of Jhansi Regiment' of the INA formed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose


Kanpur: Captain Lakshmi Sehgal, who was part of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army, died in Kanpur on Monday following a brief illness, reports PTI.
 
Sehgal (97), breathed her last at a private hospital at 11.20am, her daughter and noted CPI (M) leader Subhashini Ali said.
 
Sehgal, who was ill for some time, was admitted to the hospital on 19th July after she suffered a heart attack at her residence in Civil Lines area in Kanpur. She was kept on life support system.
 
She was very active during the Independence movement and had commanded the 'Rani of Jhansi Regiment' of the INA formed by Bose.
 
A doctor by profession, Sehgal was working as a medical practitioner and a social worker. She was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1998.
 
Born as Lakshmi Swaminathan to noted lawyer Dr S Swaminathan and social worker Ammu Swaminathan in Chennai on 24 October 1914, Sehgal obtained her MBBS degree from the Madras Medical College in 1938.
 
In 1940, she went to Singapore for further studies before coming back to India in 1943 to join the INA. She married Colonel Prem Kumar Sehgal in 1947 and had been residing in Kanpur since then.
 
Expressing grief over the demise of Sehgal, senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat remembered her as a "highly politically motivated human being who fought injustice wherever she saw it".
 
"She was a veteran CPI(M) leader and also a great freedom fighter. She served people with every ounce of strength," Karat said, terming Sehgal as a "symbol of courage" and a "symbol of woman's expression".
 
Ali said Sehgal's first love was always her profession. "Just weeks before falling ill, she used to regularly sit in her clinic to see patients," she said, adding that Sehgal would treat everyone who came to her, regardless of whether the patient had money or not.
 
Sehgal, who was residing in Kanpur since 1952, was also very close to her filmmaker grandson Shad Ali, and would "never miss" any film directed by him, her daughter said.
 
Sehgal joined CPI(M) in 1971 and was elected for Rajya Sabha on the party's ticket.
 
She also contested the 2002 Presidential polls against Dr APJ Abdul Kalam as a candidate for Left parties but lost.
 
Sehgal's body will be donated to the CSJM medical college here for medical purposes, Ali said.

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Yamaha India bets big on scooters

Yamaha's entry is interesting as Bajaj, the yesteryear leader, had long ago quit the scooters space, citing changes in consumer demand, even when another Japanese player Honda Motorcycles has been rocking with scooter sales


Mumbai: Following the huge success that its native rival Honda is enjoying in the scooters segment in India, Japanese two-wheeler maker Yamaha Motor is also betting big on the segment and expects it to account for about quarter of its total sales by next year, reports PTI.
 
The company had announced earlier that it would launch its scooter, named Ray, targeted at young women, in September.
 
"We expect a quarter of our overall sales to come from the scooter segment by December 2013," India Yamaha Motor managing director and chief executive Hiroyuki Suzuki told reporters after signing in Bollywood diva Deepika Padukone as a brand ambassador for the new scooter.
 
The company is targeting the 16-24 age group girls to push the Ray in the domestic market, he said adding Deepaka's choice as brand ambassador is aimed at achieving this goal.
 
The development is interesting as the yesteryear category leader Bajaj had long ago quit the scooters space, citing changes in consumer demand, even when another Japanese player Honda Motorcycles has been rocking with scooter sales.
 
In fact, Honda, which last month unseated Bajaj as the No 2 two-wheeler maker, sells more scooters from its Activa range than the bikes.
 
At the January Auto Expo, Yamaha had announced its foray into the fast-growing automatic scooter segment. So far, the Japanese auto-maker has been only selling motorcycles in the country, ranging from the entry level to top-of-the-line bikes.
 
Suzuki said he is expecting a 21% growth in the volumes at over 4 lakh units this year, and targets around 2 million sales by 2016.

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Mukherjee to be sworn-in as 13th Indian President on Wednesday

Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia will administer the oath to President-elect Mukherjee at 11:30am on Wednesday


New Delhi: Pranab Mukherjee will be sworn in as the 13th Indian President on Wednesday at a special ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament, reports PTI.
 
Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia will administer the oath to Mukherjee at 11:30am in the presence of Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Ministers, Governors, Chief Ministers and a host of dignitaries, a Home Ministry communique said.
 
The function will begin with the arrival of outgoing President Pratibha Patil and President-elect Mukherjee in a ceremonial procession from the Rashtrapati Bhawan to the Parliament Building. They will be received by Kapadia, Ansari and Kumar and escorted to the Central Hall.
 
After Mukherjee takes over, he will be given a 21-gun salute, address the gathering and then leave for the Rashtrapati Bhawan with Patil.
 
Mukherjee will be given an inter-services guard of honour in the forecourt of the Presidential palace.
 
He will then escort Patil to her temporary accommodation on Tughlak Lane where she will stay till her post-retirement home in Pune is ready.

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