Sulagitti Narasamma
Born1920 (1920)
Died25 December 2018 (aged 97–98)
AwardsPadma Shri (2018)
National Citizen's award (2013)
Honorary doctorate (2014)
Narasamma (left) receiving the Padma Shri award from President Ram Nath Kovind (right), 2018

Sulagitti Narasamma (1920 – 25 December 2018)[1] was an Indian midwife from Pavagada town, in Tumkur district of Karnataka state. She performed more than 20,000 traditional deliveries free of charge over a 70-year period of service in deprived regions of Karnataka with no medical facilities.[2][3][4] Her work was honored with the National Citizen's award of India in 2012 and the country's fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri, in 2018.[5][6]


Narasamma was born in Krishnapura, Pavagada village in Tumkur district in Adi Jambava community family. Her first language was Telugu.[citation needed] She did not attend school and grew up illiterate; she married her husband, Anjinappa, at the age of 12. She had 12 children, although four died when young, and 36 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.[7][4][8]

She learnt her midwifery skills from her grandmother, Marigemma, a midwife who also helped to deliver five of Narasamma's own babies. In 1940, at the age of 20, Narasamma assisted at her first birth when she helped with the delivery of her aunt's baby.[7]

Narasamma had the opportunity to keep practising her midwifery skills whenever nomadic tribes arrived at her village. She also learned the art of preparing natural medicine for pregnant women and soon became competent in checking the health and position of the baby.[9] She was also reportedly able to detect the pulse of the foetus while in the womb, without the use of any instruments.[10]

By 2018, and at the age of 97 years old, Narasamma had helped to deliver more than 15,000 babies, and has been described as 'the go-to midwife of Krishnapura'.[11][9]

Awards and honors

Narasamma received the following awards and citations:


Narasamma was admitted to the Siddaganga Hospital and Research Centre in November 2018 and was later referred to BGS Hospitals on 29 November 2018. She died at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals in Kengeri, Bengaluru, Karnataka, on 25 December 2018 at the age of 98 of chronic lung disease.[8]

On 25 December 2018, Narasamma's body was kept at Glass House in Tumakuru for the public to pay tributes. Several Ministers, former Ministers and thousands of people from different walks of life also paid their tributes to the departed soul. On 26 December 2018, Narasamma was laid to rest with full state honours at Gangasandra village on the outskirts of the Tumakuru city. Half acre of the one-acre plot was set aside for a memorial.[15]


  1. ^ "Padma Shri awardee Sulagitti Narasamma passes away at 98". The Economic Times. 25 December 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  2. ^ Govt. of India. "Padma Awards 2018". 2018, padmaawards.
  3. ^ GovOfIndia. "Story of Dr. Sulagatti Narasamma, Janani Amma – Padma Awardee 2018 in Social Work". Online Edition MyGov India. 2018, MyGov India.
  4. ^ a b Prajwal Bhat (26 January 2018). "Meet the Padma awardee from K'taka who helped deliver babies for 70 yrs, free of cost". Online Edition of thenewsminute. 2018, thenewsminute.
  5. ^ a b Staff. "Photos: Illaiyaraja, Ghulam Mustafa Khan, 41 others given Padma awards". Online Edition of Zee News. 2018, Express News Service.
  6. ^ News Desk. "MS Dhoni, Pankaj Advani Conferred With Padma Bhushan; Complete List". Online Edition of 2018,
  7. ^ a b H Devaraja. "Dr Narasamma reads gentle pulse of foetus". Online Edition of newindianexpress, dated 04 February 2018. 2018, Express News Service.
  8. ^ a b News Desk. "Well known midwife Sulagitti Narasamma who helped thousands of women deliver babies, no more". Online Edition of 2018,
  9. ^ a b News Desk (26 January 2018). "97-YO Midwife Cum Farm Labourer Recognised For Lifetime Work, Get Padma Shri". Online Edition of 2018,
  10. ^ a b c "Sulagitti Narasamma, Padma Shri awardee midwife who delivered 15,000 babies, dies at 98". dna. 25 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Sulagitti admitted to Bengaluru hospital". Deccan Chronicle. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  12. ^ DHNS. "Ko Channabasappa among 58 Rajyotsava awardees". Online Edition of 2013,
  13. ^ Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. "The President Confers First National Award for Senior Citizens – Vayoshreshtha Samman, 2013". Govt. of India official press release. 2013,
  14. ^ "Padma Shri awardee Sulagitti Narasamma passes away at 98". The Economic Times. 25 December 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  15. ^ News Desk. "Narasamma laid to rest with state honours". Online Edition of 2018,