Noted Gandhian Usha Mehta Dead
1920 - 2000

Noted Gandhian Dr. Usha Mehta, who played an important role in the Quit India Movement from Mumbai, India passed away on 11th August 2000 at night after a brief illness. She was 80. She is survived by her elder brother and two nephews. Family sources said that Dr. Mehta was not keeping well since Thursday and tonight around 2100 hrs, she complained of breathlessness and collapsed. Dr. Mehta had participated in the Quit India anniversary celebrations at August Kranti Maidan on 8th August 2000. With the death of Doctor Mehta, a glorious chapter in history of Quit India Movement passes into the pages of history. Diminutive and soft spoken Usha Ben as she was known among her friends and well-wishers, remained active till the end and was humility personified. She was one of the last vanguards of the Quit India Movement who set up the underground radio to maintain communication link among the freedom fighters evading the British rulers.

Her Life and her work-

Dr. Usha Mehta was born on  March 25,1920 at Saras village in Surat District of Gujarat, Mehta completed her schooling in kheda and Bharuch and came to Mumbai in 1933 along with her judge father and took admission in Chandaramji High school. It was in her childhood days that she met Gandhiji at Olped town and became his ardent follower for life. She was just a school girl and was highly inspired by Gandhiji's  Nonviolence preachings.

The high point of her career was the Quit India Movement of 1942. Mehta who had arrived here from Delhi, in a daring act, unfurled the Indian National Movement's tricolor at Gawalia Tank Ground, renamed as August Kranti Maidan, on August 9, 1942, when the entire Congress leadership, including Gandhiji had been placed under arrest by the British. She launched an underground radio to spread Gandhiji's call to the British to 'Quit India' and his Exhortation to his own people ' to do or die' to achieve the goal of complete Independence from foreign yoke. Even after Independence, she continued to pass on the Gandhian message and was the president of the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi at Mani Bhavan, the residence of the father of the nation, whenever he visited the  island city. Dr. Mehta was the professor of politics in the university of Mumbai and also the head of the Department. She retired in 1975. She did her thesis in social and political thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi and was awarded PhD for her work. She led an active life and participated in all the important social and political functions of the city. She was also involved in the activities of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. She always used to say "We have to transform swarajya into surajya".