Women’s Action Forum’s (WAF) founding member Lala Rukh, 69, passed away in Lahore on Friday.

Born on the 29th of June, Lala Rukh was diagnosed with cancer just last month and breathed her last at her home in Lahore where she lived with her sister. As an activist and campaigner, she remained the head of the art and history departments at the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore.

She also headed a part of the iconic women’s protest at Mall Road against General Zia ul Haq’s martial law regime and was sent to jail at that time for her political activities.

Lala Rukh spoke as a voice for the many minorities and women; she never married and had even adopted her sister’s daughter Mariam.

Condolences poured in post the news of her death:

My dearest friend LalaRukh, a dedicated member of Women Action Forum and a lifelong crusader for justice, equality, women’s rights and minority rights from a feminist perspective, as well as a renowned artist died peacefully this morning after a month-long struggle with cancer. Rest in peace dear Lala – we will miss you so much in WAF, in our lives and you will forever remain alive in our hearts. We love you Lala,” author and researcher Rubina Saigol wrote in a public Facebook post.

Her funeral is to be held at her sister’s residence around 5pm. She will be laid to rest in Miyani Sahib graveyard.