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Ela Gandhi, Granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, to Speak at Carleton

May 1, 2013

Ela Gandhi, a renowned peace activist and recipient of numerous awards for her work in promoting nonviolent political change, will appear at Carleton College on Wednesday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall. Entitled “The Challenges Facing Post-Apartheid South Africa,” Gandhi’s presentation is free and open to the public.

Ela Gandhi is the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi. She was born in Durban, South Africa in 1940 and is the youngest daughter of Manilal and Sushila Gandhi.

In 1947, while visiting her parents’ homeland, she witnessed the liberation of India, and as Mahatma Gandhi’s nearest relative, she raised the Indian flag in the village where her maternal grandmother lived. She spent approximately three months with her famous grandfather, living in his ashram under his supervision. At the age of 12 she joined the liberation movement in South Africa, in Defiance Campaign marches that marked the beginning of a dedicated and courageous life in politics.

Gandhi received her BA degree at the University of Natal, and later received a BA in social science with honors from the University of South Africa. Following graduation, she worked with the poor as a social worker in the black townships and Indian communities.

After serving in the South African parliament from 1994-2004, Ela Gandhi developed a 24-hour program against domestic violence and founded the Gandhi Development Trust. She is a former chancellor of the Durban University of Technology.

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Department of French and Francophone Studies. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4252. The Concert Hall is located on First Street, between Winona and Nevada Streets, in Northfield.

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