The last rites of noted Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande, who had passed away on Thursday, were performed by 11-year-led Shambhavi Mishra in the presence of a large number of dignitaries, friends and admirers which included a delegation from Pakistan.
Deshpande had expressed the wish that after her death, her last rites should be performed by Shambhavi, the daughter of a close associate and a student of St Mary school in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh. ``My grandmother loved me the most. I remember once when she had come over to Mirzapur, she had told my father that I should perform her last rites,'' she said.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Union Ministers Saifuddin Soz, Raghuvansh Prasad and Murli Deora, Chief Ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sheila Dixit and Vilasrao Deshmukh and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi were among the leaders who were present to bid adieu to the last of the Gandhians in her final journey.
A five-member delegation from Pakistan was present on the occasion. It included Information and Broadcasting Minister Sherry Rehman, Kashmir Affairs Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, former MP Mansoor Ahmed and Labour Movement leader Karamat Ali and B M Kutty. In Islamabad. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that in Deshpande's death, the region has lost an ardent peace activist.