2015-03-30 / .

Annual Gandhi Salt March held in Durban

Durban: Over 2,000 people from all walks of life joined the annual Salt March here to commemorate the struggle for freedom and peace by Mahatma Gandhi and South African Nobel Laureate Albert Luthuli. The march which was held yesterday is modelled on Gandhi's famous civil disobedience movement, Salt Saytagraha march of April 1930 in India, that protested against the salt tax imposed by British rulers. The programme has been hosted for the past 11 years by the Gandhi Development Trust, based at the Phoenix Settlement which was Gandhi's home during his tenure in the city. The Trust, headed by his granddaughter Ela Gandhi, still continues a number of community development projects in line with Gandhian philosophy.

The marchers' headed for the local beach front here after starting out at the Phoenix Settlement, some 18 kilometres away. The Salt March has also won the support of the provincial government and the Durban municipality. "The Salt March draws people from all walks of life and from diverse cultures who come together to help celebrate the life of Mahatma Gandhi and Chief Albert Luthuli, two stalwarts who always stood for a culture of nonviolence and service to their fellowmen," said Ela.

Ela added that this year's march also commemorated the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Freedom Charter that became the basis for South Africa's new Constitution when Nelson Mandela became the first democratically-elected President of the country. The Salt March in South Africa was first started in support of the 75th anniversary of Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha march. Mahatma Gandhi spent 21 years in South Africa from 1893 to 1914. He developed his political leadership qualities from his stay here. Albert Luthuli was president of the African National Congress (ANC). He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960 for advocating non-violent resistance to racial discrimination in South Africa.

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