Nirmala Deshpande (October 19, 1929 - May 1, 2008) was a noted Gandhian, social activist and a nominated Member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. Her father P Y Deshpande was a Marathi writer. Deshpande received the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award and the Padma Vibhushan in 2006. Deshpande was born to Vimala and P Y Deshpande in Nagpur on October 19, 1929, and completed her education there. She was also a Rajya Sabha member since 1997 and her name was considered briefly for the President\s post — a nomination that eventually went to Pratibha Patil. Among other honours that came her way was a nomination for the Nobel peace prize in 2005. Having vowed never to marry, Deshpande, known as the \"Manaskanya\" of Acharya Vinoba Bhave, joined the Bhoodan movement in 1952 when her tryst with social service began. She undertook 40,000-km padyatra across
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