The non-resident Indian community in New York has condoled the death of Indian parliamentarian Nirmala Deshpande, describing her as a true Gandhian, a visionary and a guiding light to many.
In a statement, General Secretary of the Indian National Overseas Congress, USA (INOC), George Abraham said that India has lost a great social activist whose goals and dreams were synonymous with the aspirations of the peace loving people across the world.
"Nirmalaji will be remembered for her fighting spirit and valiant efforts to protect and preserve the pluralistic framework and democracy in India and to promote bilateral relations with Pakistan," he said.
A joint statement issued by five other NRI organisations here said Deshpande's tireless work to uplift the downtrodden through Harijan Sevak Sangh and her vision for improvement of India's relations with Pakistan would be remembered by people of both countries.
"Nirmalaji took a courageous and principled stand against social inequality, untouchability, extremism and religious politics in India. She was the torch bearer of the vision Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Acharya Vinoba Bhave had for India and the world," they said.
The signatories to the statement included NRIs for Secular and Harmonious India, Indo-Pak Peace Mission, India Foundation, International Service Society, and Federation of Indian American Christian Organisations of North America (FIACONA).