Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that the demise of Sister Nirmala, who headed Missionaries of Charity after Mother Teresa, was not only a great loss for the missionaries and the people of Bengal but also for the nation and the world as a whole.
“Sister Nirmala was a soft spoken, nice lady who dedicated her life to Missionaries of Charity, for the cause of peace. We always had good relations with them and worked together for the development of the downtrodden. It is a great loss, not only for us and the missionaries, but also for the nation and the world,” Banerjee told the media here.
Mamata Banerjee recalled having shared good relations with Sister Nirmala and earlier with Mother Teresa and having the opportunity to work with them.
“We got the news in the morning. We had very good relations with Mother. I had got the opportunity to work with Mother Teresa. When riots broke out in 1992, I had come to Loretto Day School where I had seen Mother. There were other instances when I had been with Mother. After the demise of Mother, Sister Nirmala had taken over,” said Mamata Banerjee.
“We, who love Jesus Christ, know that rebirth takes place through death. And that is what the Fathers and the Sisters of the Missionary here are praying for,” she added.
Mamata Banerjee further said that Sister Nirmala’s funeral rites would be performed tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Mother House in the city.
“Her body will be carried to Mother House at 9 am and at 4pm her funeral will take place at Mother House. Kolkata Police is arranging for an A.C box to preserve the body. West Bengal Government will also be present there,” said Mamata Banerjee.
Nirmala Joshi, better known as Sister Nirmala had replaced Mother Teresa as the superior general in 1997.
Born to a Brahmin soldier in Ranchi hailing from Nepal, Sister Nirmala had joined the Order at the age of 17.
She has been succeeded by German-born Sister Mary Prema.
The mortal remains of Sister Nirmala will be kept in Kolkata’s St John’s Church till tomorrow morning.