Padma Shri awardee and founder of PSBB group of schools Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy, popularly known as YGP, passed away at a private hospital in Chennai on Tuesday at the age of 94.
Parthasarathy was admitted to the hospital on Monday afternoon after she complained of breathlessness and passed away after a cardiac arrest. She is survived by her sons YG Mahendra and YG Rajendra.
Parthasarathy was born to the family of freedom fighter Diwan Bahadur T Rangachari on November 8, 1925, in Chennai. She completed her post-graduation in journalism from Madras University and worked in several national and daily magazines. She married YG Parthasarathy, the founder of United Amateur Artistes, a popular drama troupe that became the training ground for many budding artistes and film personalities like J Jayalalithaa and Cho Ramaswamy.
A pioneer in the field of education in Tamil Nadu, Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy started a school in 1958 with just 13 students on the terrace of her house. Her sheer commitment, passion and hard work led to the setting up of ‘Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan’ school. The PSBB group of schools became popular not just for its academic excellence but also for imbibing values in students.
After making her mark in education, a few years later, in 1987, she formed the school’s cultural outfit — Bharat Kalachar, an initiative to promote arts across the state. The prestigious institute now stages various musical festivals, plays, and dance programs.
“I thought YGP’s death was a personal loss to my family, but after seeing so many people mourning her death, I realize it’s a loss to the society. I feel proud to be her son, apart from being an educationist she also contributed significantly to art and culture. Her ‘Bharat Kalachar’ developed so many artistes. She played a significant role in the formation of a drama troupe. She lived her life with purpose, no one can fill her void,” said YG Mahendra.