CHENNAI: Noted social worker Savithri Devanesen, who ran the organisation Roofs for the Roofless after the death of her legendary husband, Chandran Devanesen passed away at her residence in Chennai on Wednesday. She was 99 and is survived by two sons.
Her late husband Chandran was the first Indian to become principal of Madras Christian College, Tambaram. He founded Roofs for the Roofless in 1980 to ‘improve the quality of life for a better India’. After he passed away in 1982, Savithri took over the reins of the organisation.
Over the years, the organisation took up several programmes in villages on health, primary education, sanitation and environment protection. It now supports work in 18 villages. Persons close to the family said, Savithri till recently used to work in her office and inspected the villages where the projects and programmes were underway.
She is survived by her sons Dr Sudarshan Devanesen, a professor of family medicine who was honoured as the Member of the Order of Canada and Dr Dayalan Devanesen, director of Aboriginal Health, who too was honoured with the Member of Order of Australia. Savithri’s funeral service will be held on Thursday at 2 pm at the St. Andrews Church, the Kirk, and 4 pm at the Kilpauk Cemetery.