Freedom fighter Umabai Madhav Velingker, wife of educationist late Madhav Sripad Velingker passed away on Sunday at the age of 89. Her mortal remains were cremated in Margao on Monday.
Lalita Kantak as she was called before marriage, was involved in the freedom struggle right from her school days. Guided by Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful civil disobedience movement, she alongwith Krisna Hegde and Vitha Hegde conducted ‘Prabhat feris’ in the mornings to create a sense of patriotism in the minds of Goans. By doing this she would defy the ban by the Portuguese government on public meetings and assembly. They were mercilessly beaten by the Portuguese soldiers with bayonets and lathis and threatened to be stripped if they continued.
She also participated in the movement that spurned the 18th June arrests of Dr. Julio Menezes and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia.
On July 21, 1946 Lalita Kantak was arrested along with Premilabai Jambaulikar for organizing a procession. She was even slapped by authorities for not handing over a tricolour she held in her hand. She was prosecuted for the crime.
Image credit – Trover.com