Sister Nirmala Joshi, who succeeded Mother Teresa as the head of the Missionaries of Charity passed away on Tuesday. Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation order working in the sphere of helping poor, underprivileged, medically sick and needy across the world was founded by the widely admired Missionary and Nobel laureate Mother Teresa in 1950. Sister Nirmala, as she was known, was 81 and was keeping unwell for some time.
A Missionaries of Charity official in Kolkata said Sister Nirmala was not keeping well for the past few days and her health was gradually deteriorating. Her body would be brought to Mother House on Wednesday and the funeral will be held in the evening.
Expressing grief on her demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences early on Tuesday.
“Sister Nirmala’s life was devoted to service, caring for the poor and underprivileged. Saddened by her demise. May her soul rest in peace,” PM Modi said while writing on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi too tweeted, “She carried forward Mother Teresa’s work with quiet dedication &dignity, She will be missed by the countless whose lives she touched”.
Sister Nirmala was selected the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity on March 13, 1997, six months before Mother Teresa’s demise. Her term as the Superior General of the order got over in 2009 after which she was succeeded by German-born Sister Mary Prema Pierick.
Sister Nirmala was bestowed with the Padma Vibhushan in 2009 for her services to the nation. Condolences started pouring in as the news of her demise was known.
“Saddened at the passing of Sister Nirmala, who headed Missionaries of Charity after Mother Teresa. Kolkata and the world will miss her,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in a statement.
Sister Nirmala Joshi was born in Ranchi in 1934 and at the age of 42, she joined Missionaries of Charity in the year 1976.
(With inputs from the PTI)