Top leaders pay tributes
President Pratibha Patil led the nation in paying tributes to veteran Gandhian and Rajya Sabha member Nirmala Deshpande who passed away in New Delhi on Thursday morning.Updated: May 01, 2008, 15:21 IST
President Pratibha Patil led the nation in paying tributes to veteran Gandhian and Rajya Sabha member Nirmala Deshpande who passed away in New Delhi on Thursday morning.
Describing Deshpande as an eminent freedom fighter and social worker, Patil in her message from Thiruvananthapuram expressed deep sorrow over her demise.
Recounting her contributions to the empowerment of women, promotion of communal harmony and rural development, Vice President Hamid Ansari said they were undertaken within the framework of Gandhian philosophy.
"An eminent Gandhian, social worker and a respected public figure, Nirmala Deshpande served the country with distinction," he said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was deeply saddened by Deshpande's death and noted that she was a "living Gandhian" who dedicated her life to the cause of "creating a good society based on Gandhian values of simplicity, decency and honesty".
Observing that she was a leader of people, Singh said the peace march she organised in Orissa after the murder of Graham Staines inspired many and symbolised her commitment to human life and secular values.
"Her voice was heard with respect by one and all in the Rajya Sabha," he said.
Condoling Deshpande's death, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said she was a person of rare courage and compassion, deeply imbued with Gandhian values.