People thronged the Missionaries of Charity here on Wednesday to pay tribute to Mother Teresa’s successor Sister Nirmala Joshi before her funeral to be held later this evening.
Sister Nirmala, who headed the global order of nuns founded by Mother Teresa in 1950, died at the age of 80 on Tuesday morning.
The body of Sister Nirmala was kept at Mother House in Kolkata since 10 a.m. for people to pay their tributes. The funeral will take place at 4 p.m.
Sister Nirmala took over the Missionaries of Charity after Nobel peace prize-winning Mother Teresa died in 1997 at the age of 87, after a lifetime of ministering to the sick, the homeless and the dying.
According to local media reports, she was unwell for the past few days.
Followers of Sister Nirmala poured out their respect for the nun.
“It is really shocking to hear this, because a holy person was with us for a long time and was carrying out Mother’s (Teresa’s) work. But we are sure that she is in heaven,” said a follower, Father Niti.
After taking over the charity following Mother Teresa’s death, Sister Nirmala expanded the organisation’s reach to 134 countries by opening centres in Afghanistan, Israel and Thailand.
Sister Nirmala was given India’s second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, in 2009 for her services to the nation.
She was born in Ranchi on July 23, 1934, and joined the order at the age of 17. She was selected to succeed six months before Mother Teresa’s death.