Senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit and the former Delhi Chief Minister passed away on Saturday, July 20, at the age of 81 years due to a cardiac arrest at the Escorts Fortis Hospital
The veteran politician, apart from being the longest-serving Chief Minister of Delhi, will be remembered for her contributions to transform the face of the capital city.
In 2001, under Dikshit's tenure, the Supreme Court's order to fuel public transport by CNG was implemented and a massive number of 12,000 city buses were transformed to CNG.
In 2002, when Sheila Dikshit took charge, the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation commenced. The project that revamped the transport of Delhi, was praised by the United Nations in 2011, for being the first rail network to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Bhagidari scheme was introduced by the Congress leader in 1998 that aimed to enhance the accountability of governance and involved the people of Delhi in the democratic process. At the time when the scheme was introduced, there were 11 groups, that has today increased to over 2000 groups to conduct workshops with Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs).
During her tenure, she made education a key priority and introduced schemes, like Vidhyarthi Kalyan Samitis through which government schools were crowdfunded by eminent personalities in the area.
Along with education, Dikshit stood for women empowerment and initiated the Ladli Scheme of 2008 which is recognised as one of the greatest achievements of her government in an effort to curb female foeticide. As per the scheme, if a girl child is born in a household, the day she is admitted to a school, Rs. 10,000 was deposited in her name by the government and by the time she passes 12th class, a cheque of Rs. 1 lakh was issued.
In August 2012, Sheila Dixit actively pushed for the regularisation of 917 unauthorised colonies and when the Urban Development Ministry approved the regularisation she said: “It is a historical moment for more than 40 lakh residents who live in these unauthorised colonies."
The 2013 Human Development Report had stated that 80% of households receive water in their premises which are better than another metropolitan.
Born on 31 March 1938, she was the longest-serving Chief Minister of Delhi, serving for a period of 15 years from 1998 to 2013.
Dikshit led Congress party to three consecutive electoral victories in Delhi. In the December 2013 elections to the Delhi Legislative Assembly, Dikshit was defeated in New Delhi constituency by Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, who replaced her as Delhi's chief minister.
Subsequently, she was sworn in as Governor of Kerala on 11 March 2014. The Congress party fought the recent Lok Sabha elections in Delhi under her leadership.