Rini Kakati, a teacher-cum-social worker of London, passed away at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital on December 27. She was 75.

After obtaining the MA degree in English from Gauhati University, she migrated to the UK for higher studies at University of North London. She joined the UK Department of Social Services. Later, she became the Governor at Newfield School in Harlesden. She also conducted a popular programme on BBC – ‘Speak for Yourself’ – from 1979 to 1982.

A Labour Party activist from Bent, she was presented the prestigious ‘Glory of India Award’ by the India International Society in 2009. Kakati had made a huge contribution for ethnic minorities, for which she was invited by Queen Elizabeth II to honour her on July 22, 2010, at the Buckingham Palace.

A true social worker, Kakati showcased the rich traditional culture of Assam and its neighbouring states at the international level. She played a pivotal role in identification of the Vrindavani Vastra at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She was closely associated with the Satriya culture and this was evident from the fact that at her initiative, Srimanta Sankardev was introduced to the world at a seminar held in London in 2012, where Dasha Avatar, an orchestral odyssey of Borgeet, was also presented. Kakati was also instrumental in unveiling a photo of Dr Bhupen Hazarika at the Nehru Centre, London.

Today, on her adyashraddha, we pray to the Almighty to grant eternal peace to her departed soul.

Surendra Nath Das