Karachi: High Commissioner of India in Islamabad Dr. T. C. A. Raghavan on Sunday eulogized the services of the peace activist Didi Nirmla Deshpande for bringing people of the both neighbouring countries closer to each other, and underlined the need for continuous spread of her message of love across South Asian region.
He was speaking at plaque unveiling ceremony to dedicate a block of PILER Centre to Didi Nirmala Deshpande (1929-2008) who was a member of the Indian Rajya Sabha (upper house) and dedicated advocate of peace between two countries i.e. India and Pakistan.
The ceremony, organized by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) was attended by academicians, human rights and peace activists, social workers, trade union leaders and notables of the area.
The Indian envoy in Pakistan said Didi Nirmala had always preached the message of humanity and love. She was true follower of Gandhi’s message of peace and love, so she suggested solution of any conflict through mutual understanding and love. “Didi was supporter of responding terrorism with the teaching of Ghandhi,” he remarked.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Karamat Ali, Executive Director of PILER said that Didi Nirmala Deshpande was equally admired in Pakistan because of her message of love and advocacy of people-to-people contact. The government of Pakistan had conferred her ‘ Sitara-e-Imtiaz’ for her services for peace.
He demanded the Indian government to dedicate a road in New Delhi in the name of Didi Nirmala Deshpande to remember her services.
“She wanted to provide relief to the common men from the miseries of poverty and discrimination.” Karamat said adding Didi Nirmala was a champion of human rights, not only in India but in the entire South Asia.
B. M. Kutty of PILER recalled her services and said that at the time of World Social Forum in 2006 in Karachi, Pakistan government was reluctant to issue visas to the Indian participants. She personally came via Lahore to Islamabad and met with then President General Pervez Musharraf and on her request visas for Indian participants were issued by Pakistan government.
Later, the Indian High Commissioner unveiled the plaque to dedicate a block off PILER Centre to Didi Nirmala Deshpande.
Those who attended the ceremony included Dr. Jaffar Ahmed of Pakistan Study Centre of University of Karachi, Justice (retd) Majida Razvi, Dr. Riaz Shaikh of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, Suleman G. Abro of Sindh Agriculture and Forestry Workers Coordination Organisation, Zulfiqar Halepoto, Shamsuddin of HRCP, trade union leaders Habibuddin Junaidi, Shakeela Asghanr, Rehana Yasmin and others.