Nirmala Deshpande


Nirmala "Didi" Deshpande born Nagpur, Maharashtra, India October 17, 1929 (d. 2008). Gandhian social reformer; author; member of Indian Parliament, 1997-99, 2004-08. Joined Vinoba Bhave's Bhoodan land reform movement, 1952; embarked upon 24,000-mile padayatra ("journey on foot") to spread Gandhi's message; led peace marches in Punjab and Kashmir; honored by both Pakistan and India for peace efforts. Led nonviolent peace effort on Tibet, 1997; created Gandhi Peace Center Kingsway Camp, Delhi, 2004; Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.


"[A]fter the disintegration of Soviet Union, only one super power was left. But now another super power is emerging. That is world public opinion for peace. The [New York Times] editor saw this people movement as another super power. It is in the making. It is people who took the initiative and organised themselves. They are trying to do something and make their voice heard. So the movement of people is becoming a strength. Slowly but surely it is going to become a super power and it can change the whole world."(Santosh Nayayan interview, 2008;

"Although we are living in a nuclear era, most of us are unaware of the nuclear threats and hazards." (New Delhi, November 4, 2007; photo Wikipedia)