Ahmedabad, India: Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Kanu Gandhi died at the age of 87 late Monday, two weeks after being admitted to hospital in western Gujarat state following a stroke.
One of several grandchildren of India’s famous independence leader, Kanu was a scientist for NASA but spent the final months of his life living an ashram in Surat, Gujarat.
“Kanu kaka had suffered from (a) stroke and had been in hospital since October 26. Since (the) last couple of days he was on ventilator support,” Parimal Desai from the ashram told AFP.
Prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences, saying he was “pained by the demise of Kanubhai Gandhi”.
Kanu was born in 1928 to Ramdas Gandhi, Gandhi’s third son, and was 17 years old when his grandfather was assassinated in Delhi.
He appeared in a famous 1937 photograph of Gandhi, showing a then nine-year-old Kanu running ahead of his grandfather, holding his walking stick.
Kanu studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States and worked for NASA for over two decades before returning to India in 2014.
Kanu and his wife Shivalaxmi hit the headlines earlier this year after they were found living in a home for senior citizens and destitutes in New Delhi, causing a public outcry.
The couple had wanted to spend their final years in their ancestral home Porbandar, which is now controlled by the government.
They shuttled between various cities before settling in the ashram in Surat.