ForeverMissed
Dr. Usha Nayar, 73, passed away on February 17, 2021 in New York, NY. Born in India on August 4, 1947, she was as old as independent India herself. An inspiration to us all, Dr. Nayar devoted herself to a life of service, including consulting with the WHO and the UN around issues of child development, social capital, and mental health. She addressed policies in India and effectively changed child labor laws to increase the legal working age. Beloved by family, friends, and colleagues, her death has left the world devoid of a generous, humble, and loving soul. She served as an example for us all of a life well lived—and always, with a hot cup of chai. Mourned by her family and friends whom she loved with abundance.
For memorial and other details, please check her website by clicking here.




Posted by Melanie Grossmann on February 25, 2021
Dear Priya,

Please accept my warmest condolences, I am so sorry that you lost your Mom. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and I wish you strength and comfort among your loved ones for the upcoming weeks. Your Mom seemed like an incredible woman and she will live on in you, so you are never truly alone.
Posted by Kalyanaram Gurumurthy on February 24, 2021
I am so very sorry to learn of Usha's death. We met in 2009 in NY, and then we kept in touch for a bit -- and drifted away though we were always connected on Facebook.

Our meeting was serendipitous. Priya and Usha gave my wife, Santha, and I ride from a concert in 9.2009. It was a lovely conversation.

I just told my wife, and she was very sorrowed.

We pray. We pray that Usha be received by that Universal Spirit in its warm embrace and that she may rest and rejoice with family and friends knowing fully well that she made our lives so much better. We pray again.

We send our condolences to Priya and other members of the family. Usha was a magnificent human being. We will miss her.
Posted by Manjiri Maslekar on February 24, 2021
Dear Priya,
This is extremely sad and shocking news . My friend Teja from TISS shared this news with me.

It is very tough for me to write to you for this reason and not to madam.

Dr. Nayar was not only my teacher in TISS but my friend, philosopher and guide till now. She has played a great role of a Guru in my professional and personal life. She knew me more than I know myself. 
I consider myself extremely lucky to be her student in TISS. Whatever I am today, I owe it to TISS and to you madam.

Madam,
At present, as a teacher, I am trying to follow all the best practises I have learnt from you such as student friendly teaching approach creativity and freedom in research project and even treating the students at the end of the semester. Surely I can't reach up to your standard, but I'm still trying my best.

Priya,
I remember you Bharatnatyam performance in Chembur when you were in the 6th grade. How time flies. My heartfelt condolences and prayers. I know how tough it must be for you.
Let's cherish all the best memories with madam and the teachings she inculcated.

I will miss you madam and remember you forever.

Your student, always will be,
Manjiri Ketkar - Maslekar


Posted by Andrea Adam Moore on February 24, 2021
My dear Priya, dear Avantika, dear Rusty, dear family and friends of Usha, you are all in my thoughts after this heartbreaking sudden loss of your mother, friend, beloved relative. The tributes on this website and the wonderful pictures shared are the greatest testament to what a wonderful person Usha was - amazingly intelligent, kind, loving, deep, full of laughter and stories! I am so grateful for having had opportunities to meet (and eat with) her, learn from her and laugh with her.
She will be - indeed - forever missed by so many!
Much love from Berlin.
Posted by Archana Mehendale on February 23, 2021
Dear Priya,

I am very sorry to hear about Prof. Usha Nayar's demise. She was my teacher and research dissertation advisor at TISS. I remember her as a kind, gentle and highly perceptive teacher. She always made time for me without ever checking her watch, encouraged me to work on children's issues and broadened my worldview. I will always cherish her memories with fondness, gratitude and respect. May her soul rest in peace.

Posted by Sol Iglesias on February 22, 2021
Usha was such a wonderful person. She bathed anyone around her in the gentle light of her presence. The world is emptier without her. My heart goes out to Priya, Avantika and the constellation of friends and family in their orbit. Wishing you all the love and strength you need to get through this.
Posted by Puttaraj Choukimath on February 21, 2021
Deeply saddened to know about this sad demise of our beloved former Dy.Director and great mentor of our Library team.
She was such a great scholar, yet so kind towards one and all and moreover the great admirer and supporter of our SDTML in all its endeavors.
Heartfelt condolences to her family members. May her noble soul rest in the eternal peace. Om Shanti
Posted by anupama pillai on February 21, 2021
Our heartfelt condolences to you and the family, Priya. Will always remember the warmth and concern that Usha extended to all of us and those she came in contact with.
I am reminded about one of our visits to the NGO that Chandran Chetan had been associated with. She was greeted with so much love and affection by everyone there, especially the children.
May her soul rest in peace.
Posted by Vimla Nadkarni on February 21, 2021
Dear Priya,
Our deepest condolences for the loss of your dearest mom and our colleague and friend. We are sad that she has left her family and friends so soon. Hope she did not suffer and was peaceful till the end. I had been following her quotes on Facebook and appreciating her for providing inspirational moments for all of us. I recall many very happy moments of being with her both at a professional and personal level. I pray that the universe gives you, your family and friends the courage to bear her loss. Om Shanti. May her soul rest in peace.
Posted by Lata Narayan on February 20, 2021
Dear Priya,
So sorry to hear about Dr. Nayar's passing on. I have such fond memories of fun filled experiences at the Unit for Child and Youth Research ,TISS. I am sure you have some memories of our team. Dr. Nayar had a child like quality, and I remember the happy moments we spent together. She permitted each of us to explore our ideas and projects. My condolences to you and others in the family. May her soul RIP.
Prayers with you,
Lata Narayan,
Retired professor, TISS

Posted by Bhargavi Nair on February 20, 2021
Dear Priya,

My heart-felt condolence. May God give you the strength to bear the loss. I will never forget Ma'am's kindness and loving nature.

Bhargavi
Posted by Mandë Holford on February 20, 2021
Priya and Avi out hearts are with you. We knew Meri Ma as a neighbor and friend. She was always thoughtful and kind. Whenever I forgot my keys she would let buzz us in. You may not know this, but on one occasion when I forgot my apartment keys she invited my daughter and I to wait in your apartment with Rustom. We had a great afternoon talking and it's when I learned she also had her PhD and how the times have changed but in some ways not as much as they need to. She was an inspirational woman and by her list of accomplishments has made a significant impact on lives she touched. Sending light, love and warmth.
Posted by Harkishan Idnani on February 20, 2021
May God give her Noble soul pease at Lutus feet.
Posted by Armaity Desai on February 20, 2021
Dear Priya,
Very sorry to hear that Usha is no more. A soft spoken person and focused on her work. Always supportive of my actions. May her soul rest in peace and God give you strength to bear the loss.
Former Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
Posted by Arun Kaimal on February 20, 2021
Dr Usha Madam will always be remembered as a kind soul with a caring heart and an inspiring mind. i had the opportunity to interact with Madam on several occasions while being part of the Students Union at Tiss . Madam always would make time and efforts to support the cause of students no matter what the challenges she faced.

We pray for her noble soul to attain Sadgati and for her life to keep inspiring many more for generations to come

Prayers with the family in these darkest hours of life.

Om Shanti

arun kaimal
TISS - 2007 batch
Posted by Ruchika Nayar on February 20, 2021
Dear Priya,

I have known your mother since her childhood. She was gentle hearted, full of life and very bright. She always use to call and ask about my health. I spoke to her a few days back and we use be in constant touch on whatsapp. Got her message one day before she passed away. I still cannot believe it. May her soul rest in peace and you get the strength to bear the loss.

My daughter, Ruchika was deeply grieved when she heard the sad news. She use to admire her a lot.


Best wishes
Swadesh Nayar ( behenji)
Allahabad
Posted by Rohini Choudhury on February 19, 2021
Dear Eeaansi,

I remember Aunty telling me, one lonely and cold winter night, when all was down and out, that I should not fret, because little children from third world countries worked for a living and that they had agency to contribute to their families and so I had near infinite agency as well.

I remember Aunty never ever raising her voice, for any reason. I remember her putting together a puja ki thali everytime I came to the house, always scrounging up a bit of mithai for me.

I remember Aunty reminiscing about Allahabad with me and mama and baba, about the state of the Sangam and going to Katra and even eating at El Chico.

I remember an almost infinitely loving light surrounding Aunty at all times that I had ever laid eyes on her.

She lived, teaching us all how to live. I'm so glad that you are so much like her, and that you embody everything she did, in life and in the infinite life.

so so much love to you. And to Mani di and Pasti.
Posted by Veena Gupta on February 19, 2021
Dear Ushaji was a great humanitarian, social scientist, a consummate teacher and above all a great mom. Her love and affection for Priya and Mani (Avantika) & dear pet Rustom was all consuming.
Ushaji radiated positive vibes with all the people she came in contact with throughout her life. She was surrounded with a network of highly intellectual people all her life. We feel blessed to have shared many moments with Ushaji and will cherish these memories.
Suresh & Veena Gupta
Posted by Amodi Borkar on February 19, 2021
Dearest Priya and Avantika,

Usha Aunty will always be loved and dearly missed! She was so full of love and energy and made friends with such ease. Always smiling and warm. We are so blessed and lucky to have known her and spent precious time with her. Sending you love, blessings and strength to cope with the enormous loss.

Love,
Amodi and Pinakin
Posted by Puru Jena on February 19, 2021
Dear Priya,
Tripti Aunty and I can only imagine your sorrow at the passing of your dear mother and our dear friend, Usha. We knew her for almost half a century . Not only was she a brilliant scholar, but her humanity, kindness, and love and caring for others were unparalleled. Her life was about helping others and her social work for the betterment of humanity will always remain fresh in our mind. She will never die as long as she remains in our heart and she will remain in our heart until the last day of our lives. You are indeed fortunate to have had such an amazing and loving mother. Think of the good times you shared with her as you grieve her passing. We love you. Please remember, you are never alone.

Tripti Aunty and Puru Uncle
Posted by Achla Eccles on February 19, 2021
I will miss our daily meditation and Usha's caring and warm friendship. She was always willing to listen, to offer advice, if asked, with affection and no judgment and always encouraging positivity. I will truly miss her.
Posted by Regina Hund on February 19, 2021
Usha's amazing spirit touched all of us who were fortunate enough to cross her path. Sending love and light to you, Priya, and to all who held her dear.
Posted by Duffie Deborah on February 19, 2021
While saddened that our dear UshaJi has left her body, our hearts are full of joy and gratitude at having known her. She has been a supportive teacher and an inspiration to our family and countless others. UshaJi was the embodiment of kindness which she has passed to her daughter Priya. Until we meet again! Deborah and Duffie
Posted by Nori Jaffer on February 19, 2021
Priya,
My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
I am so sorry for the loss of your dear mom.
Posted by Yana Shtereva on February 19, 2021
Dear Usha aunty, I cannot find the words to express the loss that is felt in the world without you. You have been and will always continue to be an inspiration to me and to everyone that has had the joy of meeting you with your kind and giving heart, sharp mind and incredible personality. I have felt supported in everything that I do having you in my life and that has given me a lot of strength through the years. I do not remeber a milestone that I have gone through without talking to you about it. Thank you for everything, I know you will be with us and your spirit will giude us in the future as well. I also want to share something you had written to me - "Each one of us are born with a purpose to fulfill in this life. One indicator that we are alive because we have to continue to complete our mission of life. God has showered on you good heart, health and brain to serve your friends, families and the mankind.". I think you did an amazing job fulfilling your purpose, we can only hope to carry your message and mission forward like you would like to. I love you.
Posted by Ingunn Hagen on February 19, 2021
Dear Usha,
You have been my dear friend, soul-mate and colleague since I met over 25 years ago. We have shared so many laughs, thoughts, emotions and experiences. I have visited your homes in Mumbai and New York, and you mine in Trondheim. You have become part of my family, and I of yours. We had so many plans, about trips, research, and just seeing each other. I will really miss you, our daily meditations, and our frequent conversations. I have never met such a positive, generous, constructive, analytical, loving and fun-loving person. And a true yogini. Thank you for having been part of my life!
Posted by Laura Tolbaños on February 19, 2021
You are a beautiful inspiration as a human being. I feel so lucky and grateful to have known you, dear Usha. I admire your life dedicated to serve society, helping and supporting those around you. I admire your profound interest and love for the others. You will always be in my heart. May heaven give you rest.
Posted by Sindhu Tiwari on February 19, 2021
At the end of the last month, this was the message you wrote to me - Sindhu, Best wishes for everything. I am very happy to connect with you. Bless you!
I was so glad to connect with you after a long. And today got this news. Aum Sadgati!
Prayers and fond memories are what we have to remember.
Posted by Praseeda Menon on February 19, 2021
Dr. Usha, you have left this world in body but I believe you are still with all of us in spirit. Your spirit of warmth, kindness, and love will always stay with me, and all those who came in contact with you. For those of us at Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute, Lonavala, India, with whom you worked during your last days in this world, you will continue to guide and inspire us in spirit.
Posted by Lee Majewski on February 18, 2021
An amazing Friend, a wonderful human being of great inner strength and integrity. I will miss her greatly and my heart goes out to dear Priya ❤️❤️❤️
Posted by Lea Loncar on February 18, 2021
Amazing teacher, coach, brave woman, and pioneer in research field. I have learned so much by being in Usha's presence. She helped me in India with research project and introducing me to great teachers at Tata University, hosted me at her home and advicing me where in India to study Yogas. She gave me wise advices in different stages of life. Most of all, she belived in me, at times when I did not.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Melanie Grossmann on February 25, 2021
Dear Priya,

Please accept my warmest condolences, I am so sorry that you lost your Mom. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and I wish you strength and comfort among your loved ones for the upcoming weeks. Your Mom seemed like an incredible woman and she will live on in you, so you are never truly alone.
Posted by Kalyanaram Gurumurthy on February 24, 2021
I am so very sorry to learn of Usha's death. We met in 2009 in NY, and then we kept in touch for a bit -- and drifted away though we were always connected on Facebook.

Our meeting was serendipitous. Priya and Usha gave my wife, Santha, and I ride from a concert in 9.2009. It was a lovely conversation.

I just told my wife, and she was very sorrowed.

We pray. We pray that Usha be received by that Universal Spirit in its warm embrace and that she may rest and rejoice with family and friends knowing fully well that she made our lives so much better. We pray again.

We send our condolences to Priya and other members of the family. Usha was a magnificent human being. We will miss her.
Posted by Manjiri Maslekar on February 24, 2021
Dear Priya,
This is extremely sad and shocking news . My friend Teja from TISS shared this news with me.

It is very tough for me to write to you for this reason and not to madam.

Dr. Nayar was not only my teacher in TISS but my friend, philosopher and guide till now. She has played a great role of a Guru in my professional and personal life. She knew me more than I know myself. 
I consider myself extremely lucky to be her student in TISS. Whatever I am today, I owe it to TISS and to you madam.

Madam,
At present, as a teacher, I am trying to follow all the best practises I have learnt from you such as student friendly teaching approach creativity and freedom in research project and even treating the students at the end of the semester. Surely I can't reach up to your standard, but I'm still trying my best.

Priya,
I remember you Bharatnatyam performance in Chembur when you were in the 6th grade. How time flies. My heartfelt condolences and prayers. I know how tough it must be for you.
Let's cherish all the best memories with madam and the teachings she inculcated.

I will miss you madam and remember you forever.

Your student, always will be,
Manjiri Ketkar - Maslekar


her Life

About Usha

Usha received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from University of Allahabad, India in 1973 and since then lived a life steeped in service of others. She served as an expert for the World Health Organization in the area of Mental Health and Social Change and with United Nations' bodies. Most recently she was serving as the Chair for the Stigma & Discrimination group, USAID, Global Health Evidence Summit.

Among other international board and consultancy roles, Dr. Nayar contributed to the formulation of many policies in India, such as the National Youth Policy, National Policy for Population and Family Welfare, and the National Child Labor Policy. She was on the expert committee of the Commonwealth Youth Development Index based out of London, United Kingdom. Additionally Dr. Nayar served as the Presidential Nominee for universities in India.
She used her expertise in these fields to teach and mentor others and was the former Provost (Deputy Director) of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, India. She also brought this expertise across the pond, teaching at the New School for Social Research as well as at Adelphi University. Her specializations grew from social issues related to vulnerable and marginalized groups to building social capital in communities, specifically with regards to the development of girls in India. This further developed into studying yoga from a developmental perspective.

She was an incredible source of inspiration to her friends, colleagues, and family members. And, as busy as she was, her generous and loving personality meant that she was always available to lend a comforting ear with a cup of chai.

Most importantly, she was a loving mother to her daughter, Priya S. Nayar. Anyone who knew Dr. Nayar, also knew of Priya and how very proud she was of her daughter. She passed in Priya's arms at Mount Sinai East Hospital in Manhattan, NY, USA on February 17, 2021 at 10:27am Eastern Standard Time. 
Along with her loving family in New Jersey, Connecticut, Minnesota, Gurgaon, Noida, Jaipur, Bangalore, Allahabad, Bombay and her chosen family in the United States and around the world in Norway, Canada, Germany, England and so many more places - Priya, Avantika, and their companion dog, Rustom will greatly miss their beloved "Meri Ma" Mom.
Recent stories
Shared by Sanjay Kumar Khare on February 26, 2021
Sorry to learn that she is no more... I met her once in her home beside TISS Mumbai Campus. We were in touch for a quite some time before I actually met her and after that as well... we were supposed to meet at UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO if I were selected for exchange program, then I lost my phone and her no too..... She was Happy,strong and caring, and clear.... used to stay with her daughter in US!