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India's first woman diplomat is no more

October 14, 2009 23:16 IST

The country's first woman diplomat, C B Muthamma, died at a private hospital in Bangalore on Wednesday following a brief illness.

Muthamma (85) was born in a modest family at Virajpet in the hilly Kodagu district of Karnataka.

She had served as the ambassador to Hungary, the Netherlands and Ghana. She was also part of Indian diplomatic missions in several countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Muthamma, the first woman to enter Civil Services in 1949 after clearing UPSC examinations, opted for foreign service and was posted as Third Secretary in the Indian Embassy, Paris.

She had also served in Indian Missions in Yangon and London, besides the Pakistan Division and American Division of the Ministry of External Affairs.

The late diplomat was member of the special Non-Governmental Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues set up by Olof Palme, better known as the Palme Commission.

She did her schooling at St Joseph Girl's school in Madikeri and studied at Woman's Christian College in Chennai where she won triple gold medals. She completed her post graduation in literature with distinction.

Hailing from Kodagu district known for warriors of fame, Muthamma worked with zeal and took up responsibilities and duties alike.

When denied promotion as a diplomat for being a woman, she had moved the Supreme Court and Justice V S Krishna Iyer in a judgment ordered her appointment as an ambassador.

She had also written a few books on varied subjects.

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