Gandhi Memorial Centre for Durban
By Mpume Madlala - email@example.com
Durban will soon have its own Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Centre to celebrate the life of the great man and encourage exchanges between schoolchildren in KwaZulu-Natal and India.
This was announced at a media launch at the office of the consul general of India in Durban on Tuesday.
It was also confirmed that work on the centre, which will include a museum and education facilities, was expected to begin next month and would be completed by the end of September.
The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Trust has been working for several years to establish the centre on a site in Dr Goonam (Prince Edward) Street.
This was on a piece of land acquired by Gandhi himself in 1897, which is now owned by the trust.
The consul general, Anil K Sharan, said the initial cost would be R2.5 million.
He handed over the Indian government’s contribution of R1.25m to the trust and said the KwaZulu-Natal government had agreed to pay the other half of the cost.
Sharan said the centre would highlight the philosophy and principles of Gandhi and African leaders such as Albert Luthuli, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and Samora Machel.
“The promotion of universal rights and the goal of a secure world based on principles of mutual respect and Satyagraha will be highlighted at the centre.”
Architect Reuben Reddy and his team are volunteering their services for the centre.
He said the project was interesting and they were delighted to be involved.
The trust’s chairwoman, Khorshed Ginwala, said she was happy that the centre was finally going to be built.
Another trustee, Chagan Bhoola, said they were still calling for more donations towards the project which would require R4m to complete.
“We are thankful to those who are involved and we are really happy that we are going to have the centre in the city,” he said.