Retired gynaecologist and popular Mumbai Mirror columnist Mahinder Watsa died on Monday, the newspaper reported. He was 96.

An official statement by his family said, “Dad was a man of many dimensions. He lived a glorious life and on his terms. Today, we would like to celebrate his life as he has passed on to join his beloved Promila.”

Watsa was best known for his health column “Ask the Sexpert” in Mumbai Mirror, which was devoted to the neglected field of sex education. His practical, blunt and often humorous advice on matters related to sex and sexuality was easily one of the tabloid’s most read sections. He also had a fan page on Facebook that curated some of the best responses by Watsa on safe sexual practices, among other things.

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A former member of the Family Planning Association of India, Watsa began his career as a columnist in the 1960s, giving medical advice in a women’s magazine.

While working as a consultant for the Family Planning Association of India, he proposed that a sexual counselling and education programme should be introduced in the country. The organisation accepted his advice in 1974, and started India’s first sex education, counselling and therapy centre.

In the early 1980s, Watsa left his practice to devote his time to counselling and education. Known for his wit, Watsa even inspired Boman Irani’s character, sexologist Dr Vardhi, in Mikhil Musale’s 2019 film Made in China.