Vanmala (Susheeladevi Pawar) was the immensely popular heroine of Hindi and Marathi films such as Sikander (with Prithviraj Kapoor the hero), Vasantsena, Sharbati Aakhen, Shyamchi Aai (for which she won the President’s Gold Medal) and many others.
She was also deeply involved in the freedom movement along with stalwarts like Aruna Asaf Ali and Achyut Patwardhan.
Even at the age of 90 she is running a school to train children in traditional Indian arts and culture – The Haridas Kala Sansthan. She is deeply involved in several social causes and is a member of the Chhatrapati Shivaji National Memorial Committee, New Delhi.
Hers is an extraordinary life, lived with courage and determination.
We give below some photographs chosen from her albums where she is seen as the glamorous, modern woman of her times.