Every wrinkle on octogenarian Lentina Ao Thakkar’s face tells a story. As Nagaland’s first woman to be trained in the Gandhian way of social work, she has been awarded the Padma Shri 68 years after she began training at the Kasturba Gandhi Ashram in Guwahati. Born in Merankong village in Mokokchung district in the then Naga Hills district of Assam, she was the first girl in the village to reach Class VI. Daily living got so tough that Lentina had to quit school. Her brother then arranged for her to move to Guwahati to train as a social worker and midwife at the ashram in 1950. The local people are elated that she was bestowed the award for lifelong service.
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