India has given a two million rand grant (approximately Rs 98 lakh) to the Nelson Mandela Foundation to ensure that the legacy of the iconic anti-apartheid leader continues to improve the lives of South Africans.
Indian high commissioner Ruchi Ghanashyam presented the grant to the foundation’s chief executive Sello Hatang on Tuesday.
The decision to make the donation was made following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to South Africa in July and his interaction with struggle heroes at the foundation.
“The government of India is supportive of the charitable work of the foundation covering a wide range of endeavours from building schools to HIV/AIDS related work; from research to peace and reconciliation interventions,” Ghanashyam said.
“India’s relationship with the Nelson Mandela Foundation goes back 15 years with assistance for the building of the foundation’s premises,” Ghanashyam said, adding, “Out of the total cost of the project of about R14 million, India’s contribution was about R11.3 million (approximately Rs 5.5 crore).”
Speaking on the occasion, Hatang said in the same way that Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy lived on in South Africa more than a century later, this contribution from India would assist in taking Mandela’s legacy forward.
“It comes during the week when South Africa marks Reconciliation Day (a public holiday in South Africa on December 16), and with all the challenges that we have along racial lines and the high levels of inequality, this kind of grants remind us of our responsibility to try and build the country of Madiba’s dreams,” Hatang said.
“It also comes in the month when we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of our Constitution, which holds the values and the principles that Madiba thought are important for us to carry forward as a nation,” Hatang said.