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Daijiworld News Network - Beltangady (MB) - Saturday, 7-00 pm - File pics by Dayanand Kukkaje

Beltangady, Jan 21: Matrushri Ratnamma Heggade (77), mother of Dharmadhikari Dr Veerendra Heggade of Dharmasthala, passed away in a road accident near Venur here at around 4-30 pm on Saturday.

The road-crash occurred at Jantigoli-Kokradi in Kutlur village under Venur police station limits.

Shrimati Heggade was travelling in a Maruti Baleno car (KA21 MB 3363), driven by Niranjan, said to be around 40 years, who also died on the spot, when a Mahindra jeep collided head-on with it, the police sources said.

Unconfirmed reports said that the impact of the collision was so severe that it took quite some time to retrieve the bodies out of the vehicle.

About Ratnamma Heggade:

A truly humble personality, Ratnamma Heggade was popularly known as Matrushri among all devotees of Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala.

She was a guiding spirit for all the religious programmes being held at Dharmasthala led by Dharmadhikari D Veerendra Heggade.

Married to late Ratnaverma Heggade, Ratnamma originally hailed from Moodubidri, popularly known as Jaina Kashi. She was born on February 24, 1929 at Tamanandadi near Moodubidri as the daughter of the late Sankappa Shetty and Anantamati Amma.

She was the loving mother of the five children, the present Dharmadhikari, D Veerendra Heggade and D Surendra Kumar, D Harshendra Kumar and D Rajendra Kumar. Padmalata is her only daughter.

This could possibly be the last family keepsake photograph together in public. This was clicked at the Mangala Jyoti Integrated School, Vamanjoor on January 17, 2006 by Daijiworld photographer Dayanand Kukkaje. Seen in the pic are Matrushri Ratnamma Heggade, flanked by daughter-in-law Hemavati Heggade and son, Dharmadhikari Veerendra Heggade

She is also the recipient of the Rajyotsava Award in 2003 from the Karnataka Government and the prestigious Danachintamani Attimabbe Award was conferred on her on the occasion of the Bahubali Sahasramanotsav at Shravanabelagola.

She was the president of Akhila Karnataka Mahila Sammelan held at Tumkur in 1994, Bharatiya Jain Milan Conference in 1996, Kannada Sahitya parishad Mahila Varshacharane in 1975 and Kushmandini Mahila Sammelan held at Shravanabelagola in 1994.

Her inspirational articles published in Manjuvani, an official monthly of Shri Ksehtra Dharmasthala have been brought out in the form of a book, 'Magaligondu Patra' (A letter to the daughter) in 1998. Vidhyavardhaka Sangha, Dharwad has been giving Matrushri Rathnamma Book Awards for three women writers every year since 1977. Besides, she was a scholar in both Hindi and Kannada.

Matrushri was also known for her lead in the renovation works of temples and basadis across Dakshina Kannada. Her demise has caused the loss of a great ideal for thousands of her admirers across the country.

She was generally regarded as the inspiration and support behind the completion of her late husband's unfinished dream-project of installing a Bahubali monolith in Dharmasthala, which her son, the present Dharmadhikari, accomplished in the mid-1970s.

On Saturday, Ratnamma was on her way to Karkala to attend a function when the tragic incident occurred. The car in which she was travelling was hit by a pick-up van at Jantigoli in Kutlur village near Venur. The car driver also died on the spot.

Update Saturday, 11-00 pm

Late reports said that Dharmadhikari Veerendra Heggade was in Bangalore when the tragedy took place and was given the news at once. He was reportedly rushing back to Dharmasthala on hearing the news and was expected to be home before midnight.

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