The East London Hindu Society’s annual Gandhi walk returns on Sunday September 18 after a year-long Covid-imposed hiatus.
Founded in 2007, the fundraising Gandhi Walk has enabled the society to make pivotal strides towards community development in the East London area and its return is a boost for local charities.
In the past, proceeds from the Gandhi Walk have been donated to various organisations providing essential services in Buffalo City, such as the Carel du Toit Centre for the deaf, the Canaan Care Centre and the Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre, among others.
This year, the society will use the funds raised to recoup its own operational losses due to the debilitating impact of the Covid-19 lockdowns.
ELHS chairperson, Dhiren Naran, said through sponsorship secured by the society, it would still be making a charitable contribution of 100 pairs of school shoes to pupils at two schools in Buffalo City.
This is the 14th year of the Gandhi Walk, which as in previous years will begin at Oxford Striders Sports Club on Beach Road in Nahoon.
Held in other South African cities, the event is modelled after Mahatma Gandhi’s famous Salt March, a 385km non-violent civil disobedience walk protesting British rule in India.
Gandhi advocated for tolerance and unity, which the ELHS believes is desperately needed today.
This year, the ELHS celebrates 98 years in existence and Naran believes the initial principles on which the society was founded still remain. “The older generation have, through hard work, left us a legacy that we can be proud of and it’s therefore up to us, the current generation, to carry the vision and legacy forward,” he said.
“Emerging from Covid-19 at the beginning of 2022 allowed us to regain focus on the Gandhi Walk, among our many Hindu festivals and celebrations.
“Our deep sense of community involvement compelled us to make the walk happen this year. East London needs such an event, with fun being the central aspect.”