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Thursday morning. She was 79.
Deshpande, a Rajya Sabha member, had not been keeping well since the past two-three days, and she died in her sleep early today morning, Rajshree, one of her close associates, told PTI.
"Deshpande had returned from Dhanbad on Tuesday and had some gastric problems. She was suffering from fever from last evening," she said.
Family sources said she had died while she was asleep.
Deshpande, a nominated member to the Rajya Sabha, had attended the House till last evening. She was unmarried and is survived by her sister. Her father P Y Deshpande was a Marathi writer.
A die hard Gandhian, she had received the Padma Vibhushan in 2006.
Born on October 17, 1929 in Nagpur, she had joined Vinoba Bhave's Bhoodan Movement in 1952 and undertook padyatras of forty thousand kilometres with him.
She has also written several books, prominent among them being Vinobake Sath, Kranti Ki Rah Par, Chingling, Seemant and Vinoba.
Scores of people and political leaders thronged her residence at Shahjahan Road after hearing the news of her death. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Union Minister of State Sriprakash Jaiswal were among the early visitors.
The cremation is likely to take place on Friday morning, after her sister arrives from Pune.
Source: PTI/ Rediff News