Parmeshwar Godrej
Parmeshwar Godrej

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Businesswoman and philanthropist Parmeshwar Godrej, the wife of industrialist Adi Godrej, died last night in a Mumbai hospital after prolonged illness. She was 70.

Godrej, who was a champion of social justice, was suffering from a lung illness, according to her family, adding that cremation services have already taken place.

One of Godrej’s largest philanthropic causes came in her merger with Hollywood film actor Richard Gere and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative Foundation. Together, they worked to combat AIDS through the launch of the ‘Heroes Project’ in 2004.

Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan was among the first to offer tributes to her, saying he is “devastated” by the news of death of his “close friend.”

Godrej worked with national carrier Air India briefly as an air hostess and had also designed clothes for noted actress Hema Malini on the insistence of director friend Feroze Khan for a film in 1975.

Parmeshwar and Adi Godrej wed in 1965, they have three children. Her two daughters, Nisa Godrej and Tanya Dubash, re associated with the flagship company Godrej Consumer Products, and son Pirojsha who leads the group’s listed realty arm.

Godrej also partnered with acclaimed director Shekhar Kapur to launch a production house called ‘Starlight’ in 2000, which was preceded by co-producing the Merchant-Ivory production ‘The Perfect Murder’ in 1988. Her reach extended outside the glitzy world of movie production, nobel laureate Amartya Sen had spoken keenly about her, calling Parmeshwar Godrej a “brilliant conversationalist” and “wonderful company.”