Kolkata January 25 "What did I get it for?" was the spontaneous reaction of Missionaries of Charity superior general Sister Nirmala when she was informed this evening that she has been awarded the Padma Vibhushan. "When she heard the news, her first reaction was: 'what did I get if for?," MC sources told PTI.
Later, when contacted, she said, "This is a recognition from the Government of India of the little that we have been able to do for the poorest of the poor." The mood in the Mother House, the order's international headquarters here, was that of elation as the nuns learnt of the award given to their global head.
"We are all very happy. This is an occasion of great joy for us," an MC nun said, adding that the good news is being given to all houses of the order in the country and abroad.
The Padma Vibhushan for Sister Nirmala is the highest Indian recognition given to the Missionaries of Charity after the Bharat Ratna which was awarded to the order's founder Mother Teresa in March 1980.
Mother Teresa, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, stepped down as the MC superior general in 1996, handing over the reigns of the organisation to Sister Nirmala. About a year after Sister Nirmala became the MC superior- general, Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997. — PTI