Eminent writer and Padma Shri recipient Maria Aurora Couto passed away after battling pneumonia on Friday. She was 85.
Her son, Vivek Couto, informed she passed away in the morning. "Our mother Maria Aurora Couto passed away today peacefully at 11:30 am IST. She has been battling pneumonia and infection and despite her combativeness which we all witnessed, she started to decline after Tuesday. We will remember and honour her in the most appropriate ways at this time; at this time the immediate family is in mourning, healing and remembering Aurora at her indefatigable best," he said.
Couto was born in Goa in 1937. She moved to Dharwad, Karnataka, when she was a child. She went on to teach English literature at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, and Dhempe College, Panaji. She also contributed to periodicals in India and United Kingdom.
Couto has several books to her credit, including her 2004 autobiography, Goa: A Daughter's Story, which covers history of Goa and delves into the life of her mother, covering Goa’s dying Catholic elite as it shows the shift of society & culture in Goa
Besides writing, she was also the chairperson of DD Kosambi Centenary Committee in 2008, she helped initiate the DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas, a lecture series sponsored by the Department of Culture, Govt of Goa. She was conferred with Padma Shri in 2010.
Condoling her death, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said: "Deeply saddened by the sad demise of Padma Shri, Smt. Maria Aurora Couto, author of 'Goa, a Daughter’s Story' which received great acclaim. My Heartfelt condolences to her family and admirers."
Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat state: "Saddened by the passing away of eminent Goan, Padmashri Maria Aurora Couto. Her immense contribution in the field of education, culture & education will always be remebered. My condolences to her family & followers. May her soul rest in peace."