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Professor Dhirendra Sharma passes away

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THE SHARMAS. Pic courtesy: Dr Anjali Nauriyal
By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 18 Jun: Renowned scientist and social activist, Professor Dhirendra Sharma passed away today in Dehradun. He is survived by three sons, none of whom lives in India. He was around 90 years of age and was known to be a close friend of former President of India and renowned scientist, late Prof APJ Abdul Kalam and worked with him. He was recently bereaved when his wife Nirmala Sharma passed away and since then he felt lonely. He was an avid reader of Garhwal Post and frequently called up this correspondent to appreciate his reportage and also offered his suggestions on various current issues. Till the very last, he kept himself abreast with political and social developments in the country and abroad. He has also contributed several articles for Garhwal Post. He ran a charitable trust Aasraa in Purkul village in Dehradun.
It may be recalled that Professor Sharma was also a freedom fighter having fought for the freedom of India from 1942 till 1945. He did his Ph.D from London University and his earlier education from Delhi and Punjab including Punjab University. He was also a visiting professor with several leading international universities like Columbia, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Hawaii and California during the period 1963-73. He also served as Director Science Policy & Research with Jawaharlal Nehru University from 1972 till 1992 and thereafter chose to settle down in Dehradun where he remained socially active along with his wife Nirmala, whom he had met while in London and married.
It may be recalled that he had such a close relationship with President APJ Abdul Kalam that Dr Kalam paid him a visit in Dehradun and also met children of Aasraa Trust run by the Sharmas and members of Regional Science Centre in Dehradun.
He also authored publications like INDIA’s NUCLEAR ESTATE (1983 and Uncharted Life’s Journey (2019). His social activities spread wide and ranged from running a trust for poor children to being anti nuclear weapon campaigner.
He is survived by three sons, none of whom live in India. Prof Sharma felt particularly lonely after his wife Nirmala Sharma’s passing away in April this year. He missed her a lot and felt demoralised after her passing away.