It is with heavy hearts, we write to mark the very sudden and premature death of our dear friend, Geeta Venkadakrishnan, Director of HOPE Kolkata. Geeta had been privately battling Covid-19 over the past few weeks, and she sadly passed away yesterday afternoon. May she rest in peace.
To try to sum up Geeta in a few words will not reflect the impact she had on people locally, nationally or internationally, or more importantly, how she changed so many children’s lives in the street and slum communities of Kolkata, India.
Geeta, and the HOPE team, were avid supporters of the Froebel HOPE Partnership, since it was established in 2008. Froebel Teachers and Staff always received a sincere and warm welcome from Geeta on their arrival to the HOPE office. She was a charismatic, visionary leader who dedicated her life to children. Geeta understood the Froebelian principles of a child-centred education and worked tirelessly to ensure that children always came first. She lived her values daily, never stopped thinking of how she could help, and was selfless in her plans for the future. Her energy, enthusiasm and positive spirit left anyone in her presence in awe. Her solution-focused approach was inspirational to all who met her.
We extend our heartfelt sympathies to her husband Ravi, and her son Harish, extended family, friends and colleagues in Kolkata. In Ireland, we are sending our thoughts to her dear friends, Maureen Forrest and Sr. Jenny Browne (The HOPE Foundation) and the wider HOPE family, as they come to terms with Geeta’s passing.
Finally, we must take time to reflect on Geeta’s HOPE children, whom she loved and encouraged and to whom she was deeply committed. We trust that her legacy will live on through them.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.