People around world do well for Mandela's birthday | world | Hindustan Times
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People around world do well for Mandela's birthday

Nelson Mandela's fans celebrated the anti-apartheid icon's 91st birthday today by emulating him with good deeds, reading to the blind, distributing blankets to the homeless or refurbishing homes for AIDS orphans.

world Updated: Jul 18, 2009 20:48 IST

Nelson Mandela's fans celebrated the anti-apartheid icon's 91st birthday today by emulating him with good deeds, reading to the blind, distributing blankets to the homeless or refurbishing homes for AIDS orphans.

Mandela has called on people to spend time doing good today, the first Mandela Day, which his charity foundations hope will be an annual event.

In South Africa, people are collecting clothing for poor children, painting schools, planting trees near Mandela's boyhood home in eastern South Africa, and renovating a building in downtown Johannesburg for people left homeless by a fire.

Mandela stepped down after serving one term as president the first black South African to hold the post. Since 1999, he has devoted himself to such causes as fighting AIDS and poverty and championing the rights of children.

At a Mandela Day concert in New York today, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin and others are to perform for the benefit of Mandela's AIDS foundation.

In Johannesburg, nurse Thandiwe Gwinza went straight from night shift at a hospital to volunteer at a soup kitchen today.

"This morning what I have done for 67 minutes, I have helped the community making soup," she said.