Sister Nirmala Joshi, who succeeded Mother Teresa as the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, died at the age of 81 in Kolkata.
"She was sick for quite some time. She passed away at 12:05 am today (Tuesday) at the convent where she used to stay in Sealdah," IANS quoted a source at the Mother House as saying.
Sister Nirmala was the second Superior General of the Roman Catholic congregation. She took over the reins in March 1997, six months before Mother Teresa's death. In March 2009, Sister Nirmala relinquished the leadership of the congregation, making way for German-born Sister Mary Prema Pierick.
Sister Nirmala was born in 1934 in Ranchi, which was then a part of Bihar and Orissa Province in British India.
Her family was Hindu and hailed from Nepal. She received education at Christian missionary schools in Patna. She did her Masters in political science and took a law degree.
Inspired by the works of Mother Teresa, she eventually embraced Roman Catholicism and joined the Missionaries of Charity.
She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan on 26 January, 2009.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and others paid tribute to Sister Nirmala for her immense devotion in the field of social work.
My deepest condolences to the Missionaries of Charity family on the passing away of Sister Nirmala.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 23, 2015
Sister Nirmala's life was devoted to service, caring for the poor & underprivileged. Saddened by her demise. May her soul rest in peace. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 23, 2015
Saddened at the passing of Sister Nirmala who headed Missionaries of Charity after Mother Teresa. Kolkata and the world will miss her
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) June 23, 2015
Our beloved sister Nirmala, head of Missionaries of Charity and appointed by Holy Mother Teressa is no more. May God rest her soul in peace.
— Alok_Destiny Prevail (@alokclmishra) June 23, 2015
My deepest condolences to the children's who lost their mother of love due to death of sister Nirmala
— Abi P kkar (@abiPkkAR) June 23, 2015
Sad to hear about the passing away of Sister Nirmala in Kolkata. Had the privilege of meeting her several times. May her soul RIP. — Mini Ribeiro (@MiniRib) June 23, 2015
Sister Nirmala was a beacon of hope, and an inspiration to many. May she find eternal rest in the house of the Lord.
— Thomas D Liju (@LijukThomas) June 23, 2015
— Nayeem Sheikh (@Nayeem_Sheikh) June 23, 2015