Deshpande's ashes immersed in river Indus | world | Hindustan Times
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Deshpande's ashes immersed in river Indus

world Updated: May 18, 2008 15:15 IST
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The ashes of Gandhian activist Nirmala Deshpande were immersed in the Indus river near a Hindu temple in Pakistan's Sindh province.

Deshpande, who was affectionately referred to as "Didi" by people in India and Pakistan, died in Delhi on May one. She had desired in her will that her ashes be immersed in rivers across South Asia.

A 250-member delegation of peace activists from across Pakistan participated in the ceremony to pay homage to Deshpande for her efforts towards making South Asia a peaceful region.

The ashes were immersed in the Indus near the Sadhu Bela temple at Sukkur in Sindh on Saturday. Earlier, the peace activists gathered in Karachi and drove in a convoy to Sukkur.

The delegation was led by leading peace activist Karamat Ali and attended by activist Anoosha Alam, whose nine-year-old daughter Nisa Alam immersed the ashes in the river, in accordance with Deshpande's will that a young girl perform the immersion ceremony.

Respected internationally, Deshpande played a key role in peace movements in South Asia over the last six decades. It was her desire to make South Asia a region free of nuclear weapons. She also played an instrumental role in bringing people of different religions closer to each other.

Peace activists Karamat Ali and B M Kutty, who had attended the funeral in New Delhi, had brought a part of the ashes to Pakistan.

Her ashes have already been immersed in different rivers in India and other countries she had worked in, including Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.