Crowds endure heat to walk for Gandhi

2015-10-05 12:12
Mahatma Gandhi look-alike Niranjan Bhundoo (76) lead the annual Gandhi Peace Walk yesterday through the Pietermaritzburg CBD. Behind Bhundoo are members of the Gandhi Memorial Committee and Msunduzi municipality. From left: Madan Ghela, David Gengan,

Mahatma Gandhi look-alike Niranjan Bhundoo (76) lead the annual Gandhi Peace Walk yesterday through the Pietermaritzburg CBD. Behind Bhundoo are members of the Gandhi Memorial Committee and Msunduzi municipality. From left: Madan Ghela, David Gengan, (Kailene Pillay)

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Pietermaritzburg - Over 800 Gandhi followers and Pietermaritzburg residents endured the blistering heat in a walk from Freedom Square to the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station on Sunday to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday.

Gandhi would have celebrated his 146th birthday on October 2.

Treasurer of the Gandhi Memorial Committee, Madan Ghela, said the support had been “overwhelming”.

“The walk was an awesome cultural awareness event and the entertainment afterwards was a Bollywood African fusion which was great. Although the heat was terrible, we still received such a great turnout which was amazing,” said Ghela.

This year the Gandhi Memorial Committee, with the assistance of national examiner of history Dina Moodley, held an inaugural Mahatma Gandhi essay competition. Pupils had to submit their essays to a panel of teachers and former teachers.

Sipho Pakkies of Silver Heights Secondary School was placed first and won a R1 000 cash prize for himself and R1 000 for his school.

Kaitlin Pillay and Shweta Ramsingh of Raisethorpe Secondary School were placed second and third respectively. Each of the winners also received a Mahatma Gandhi book written by Fatima Meer.

Each year the Gandhi Memorial Committee organise an annual peace walk to the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station where Gandhi was thrown off the train in 1893. Gandhi refused to move from a whites-only compartment on the train.

Gandhi later wrote: “I was afraid for my very life. I entered the dark waiting-room. There was a white man in the room. I was afraid of him. What was my duty? I asked myself. Should I go back to India, or should I go forward with God as my helper, and face whatever was in store for me? I decided to stay and suffer. My active non-violence began from that date.”

Read more on:    mahatma gandhi  |  pietermaritzburg

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