In November 2009, the UN declared July 18 as Nelson Mandela Day to honour the legacy of the former South African president and his values.
Johannesburg: South Africans of Indian origin here marked the Mandela Day by engaging themselves in a diverse range of community activities and committing 67 minutes of their day to do some good work for the betterment of the society.
In November 2009, the UN declared July 18 as Nelson Mandela Day to honour the legacy of the former South African president and his values. Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact.
Since then, every year on July 18 South Africans from all walks of life participate in activities for at least 67 minutes, which is the number of years that Mandela, who is affectionately referred to by his clan name Madiba, spent in service of the community -- first as a human rights lawyer, then 27 years as a political prisoner and finally, as the first democratically-elected president of South Africa.
'Madiba' means 'father' in Xhosa language. In the sprawling Indian township of Lenasia in Johannesburg, residents on Thursday donated books, which would be distributed to libraries and schools.
The event was organised by the Gandhi Walk Committee. "We invited everyone to go through their bookshelves for 67 minutes to look for books which they have already read or don't want.
We asked them to donate the books in the name of Nelson Mandela to benefit others," said Amit Parbhucharan, chairman of the Committee.
People also spent their time renovating schools, clinics and libraries, serving meals at old age homes and to the indigent and distributing blankets and warm clothing to the poor.