India on Monday donated Rs 9.3 million (ZAR 2 million) to the Nelson Mandela Foundation to help it in its welfare work for the people of South Africa. Announcing the donation at the offices of the Foundation here, Indian High Commissioner Ruchi Ghanashyam said the donation was a direct result of the recent visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Recognising the good work being done by the Foundation for years and our long association with the Foundation and attachment with Madiba, the Prime Minister after visiting the Foundation has decided to extend a generous donation of Rs 9.3 million from the Government of India to the Foundation to partner in their work for the welfare of people of South Africa,” Ghanashyam said.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation was established in 1999 after the then President Nelson Mandela stepped down as the President of South Africa. “The Government of India helped in the building of the Foundation’s premises. The Foundation has duly acknowledged this contribution on the plaque at the entrance.
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“India has thus been a proud partner of the Foundation since its inception and has been associated with the Foundation since then,” she said.
“In 2014, the Foundation hosted an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India,” Ghanashyam said, adding that the Gandhi Peace Prize and Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of India that then President Mandela received in 1990, is housed at the Foundation.
“India is supportive of the charitable work of the foundation covering a wide range of endeavours: from building schools to HIV/AIDS work, from research to peace and reconciliation interventions.
“Apart from dialogue and promotion of humanistic values, the Foundation is focused on research and archives to generate an integrated and dynamic information resource on the life and times of Mandela. This too is a noble endeavour that we support,” Ghanashyam said.
Speaking on behalf of the Trustees of Foundation, veteran politician Tokyo Sexwale highlighted how the donation was a continuation of the support that India had always shown to the people of South Africa since it started the anti-apartheid struggle globally soon after its own independence in 1947.
“India was also the first country to give a home to those opposing the apartheid regime and was the first to grant diplomatic status to the African National Congress,” Sexwale said.