Salt March for a culture of non-violence and ubuntu

2015-03-24 00:00

THIS year marks the eleventh anniversary of the annual Salt March, which commemorates the struggle of Mahatma Gandhi and Nkosi Albert Luthuli for peace and equality.

The event, which will take place on Sunday, March 29, is presented by the Gandhi Development Trust in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal government.

“The Salt March is an annual event held in Durban in which people from all walks of life and of diverse cultures come together to celebrate the life of Mahatma Gandhi and Inkosi Albert Luthuli, both of who have been vocal in their support for the development of a culture of non-violence and ubuntu,” said Gandhi Development Trust’s Ela Gandhi. The march also commemorates the Freedom Charter and this year marks the 60th anniversary of the charter. The original Salt March took place from March to April 1930 in India.

It was an act of civil disobedience led by Mohandas Gandhi to protest British rule in India.

Britain’s Salt Acts prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, so Indian citizens were forced to buy the vital mineral from the British.

During the march, thousands of ­Indians followed Gandhi resulting in the arrest of nearly 60 000 people, including Gandhi himself.

Ela Gandhi said the local event is inspired by the tenth clause of the South African Freedom Charter which states: “South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation — not war. Peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding the equal rights, opportunities and status of all.”

The 21 km march begins at Phoenix Settlement, where the original Gandhi home was rebuilt, at 7 am. The route takes walkers along Inanda Road and on to North Coast Road, uMgeni Road and then to the King’s Park Athletics Stadium, a distance of approximately 18 km.

Buses will transport marchers from Verulam, Tongaat, Phoenix, Mt Moriah, Chatsworth, Merebank, Umzinto, Inanda, Newlands West and other areas where there are organised groups.

Those in Durban should be at the athletics stadium at 6 am to get a bus to Phoenix Settlement. There is secure parking at the Moses Mabhida ­Stadium. During the march vehicles will be on hand to pick up tired walkers from water and refreshment points.

T-shirts and medals will be given to all participants, and a hot meal will be provided at the end.

Entry is free. To join the walk enter at www.gdt.org.za. For more information phone Avishkar at 031 373 5486 or 082 781 6843.

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