Kanu Ramdas Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and a former NASA scientist, passed away at a private hospital in Surat on Monday evening. Mahatma’s grandson was 87-years-old and is survived by his wife Shivalaxmi. Kanu was famous as the kid who walked ahead of Mahatma holding one end of his stick at Dandi Yatra protest during the historic Salt Satyagraha of March-April 1930. On October 22, the leader suffered a heart attack and brain haemorrhage which left the leader’s body paralysed. The stroke led Kanu Gandhi to a coma, from which he never recovered. Kanu’s health conditions were described by Dhimant Badhia, his grieving friend of decades. Kanu was lying critical in a charitable hospital for past some time and was also struggling to get adequate monetary resources and virtually nobody to care for him. Ahmedabad-based Badhia, an old friend and grandson of a close associate of Gandhi, was the sole support for Kanu. The former scientist worked for over 25 years with NASA.
Here is the famous picture of a young Kanu:
Prime Minister Naredra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal also lent their homages for Kanu.
“Pained by the demise of Kanubhai Gandhi, the grandson of Gandhi Ji. Remembering my various interactions with him. May his soul rest in peace,” PM Modi wrote.
Pained by the demise of Kanubhai Gandhi, the grandson of Gandhi Ji. Remembering my various interactions with him. May his soul rest in peace
Kanu Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi passes away. May his soul rest in peace.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 7, 2016
As a student, Kanu was handpicked by the then US Ambassador to India, John Kenneth Galbraith, for studies at the Massachusets Institute of Technology (in MIT). He later joined NASA and the US Defence Department on wing structures fighter aircraft, while Shivalaxmi was a professor and researcher at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute.