Pak NGO institutes award in the name of Nirmala Deshpande

A leading Pakistani NGO on Tuesday announced that it has instituted an award in the name of late Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande to honour individuals and institutions of South Asia working for peace.

Last Updated: May 03, 2011, 13:26 PM IST

Islamabad: A leading Pakistani NGO on Tuesday
announced that it has instituted an award in the name of late
Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande to honour individuals and
institutions of South Asia working for peace.

General Council of Pakistan Institute of Labour
Education and Research (PILER) decided to institute the
Nirmala Deshpande South Asian Peace and Justice Award, which
includes a cash prize of Rs 1 million, at a meeting held
yesterday.
The award is a "mark of abiding respect for Didi Nirmala
Deshpande and a permanent tribute to her service to humanity",
PILER said in a statement.

PILER executive director Karamat Ali said an independent
jury, selected from all eight member countries of the South
Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, will decide the
recipients of the award.

The award will be given away every year on October 17,
the birthday of Deshpande.

"There would be no other better method to recognise
the service of Didi Nirmala," Ali said.

Popularly known throughout South and Central Asia as
`Didi`, Deshpande died on May 1, 2008.

Her love for the people of Pakistan was proved by her
last wish to have part of her ashes immersed in the Indus
river, Ali said.
Ali and rights activist B M Kutty, who attended
Deshpande`s funeral in Delhi, brought an urn containing her
ashes to Pakistan.

PILER and other civil society organisations arranged a
peace caravan in May 2008 that travelled from Karachi to
Sukkur and immersed the ashes in the Indus at Sadhu Bela in
Sindh province.

PTI