French distinction conferred on Smt Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee
Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr François Richier conferred French distinction "Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters" on Smt Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee.
New Delhi, 20 April 2016
On behalf of the President of the French Republic, H.E. Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, conferred the French honour, Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters), on Smt Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, on wednesday, 20th April 2016 at the Residence of France.
This honour comes in recognition of Smt Gandhi Bhattacharjee’s remarkable work for promoting peace, solidarity, culture, education, and development through her commitment to perpetuating the memory and legacy of her grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi.
Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, daughter of the late Devadas Gandhi and the late Smt Lakshmi Devadas Gandhi, was born on 24th April 1934 in New Delhi. Her husband was the late Dr Jyoti Prasad Bhattacharjee, a leading economist.
For nearly nine years Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee held the position of Vice-Chairperson of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, the site of the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi. She has considered working at this institution an honour, having spent the last four months of the Mahatma’s life with him here. This place takes her back to the era when she was a witness of time at Birla House as a thirteen-year-old.
Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee is also active in the movement to protect rivers and the environment in India. She has been involved in the “Save the Ganga Movement” (Ganga Bachao Andolan) for the past eighteen years.
For the past 28 years, she has been working devotedly for the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, founded by Mahatma Gandhi in memory of his wife; it is one of the oldest pre-independence, non-governmental institutions serving the needy women and children of rural India.
L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) is a French government distinction for “persons who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the field of art, culture and literature or for their contribution to the influence of arts in France and throughout the world.” Some noted Indian recipients of this honour in the past include Bharti Kher, Subodh Gupta, Shahrukh Khan, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, Aishwarya Rai, Raghu Rai, Ebrahim Alkazi, Habib Tanveer, and Upamanyu Chatterjee.