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Gandhi, Mandela peace walk ends in South Africa

Press Trust of India  |  Johannesburg 

A 1,200-km peace walk by an Indian group, retracing the footsteps of world peace icons and across three South African provinces, has ended at the birth place of the anti-apartheid activist in

The Gandhi@150 to Mandela@100 Peace Walk - which ended on Friday - was conceptualised by Nitin Sonawane, who has walked in several countries to promote global peace.

Sonawane set off with Yogesh Mathuria, and from his home town of in together with Jalandharnath Channole from the Gandhi Ashram and Japanese monk Nippozan Myohoji, who joined the team after being inspired by Sonawane during his walk through

Undeterred by sceptics, who cautioned that the crime in was not conducive to the idea of walking the long distances with little support, Sonawane arrived in the country on September 21 to start planning.

Their first stop was Museum in Mthatha, Qunu from where they proceeded to Mvezo, SABC reported.

Sonawane said the response from all the communities in South Africa, including the whites, blacks and Indian, have been absolutely amazing.

"of 4th and 5th generation of Indians who were brought to in 1860 as indentured labourers sometimes drove 60-km to bring us food," he said.

"In Eastern Cape Province the (Black) who initially did not believe us when we said that (we) had walked 1,000-km to get to Mandela's place were greatly excited afterwards," he said.

There had also been huge interest from the large Indian expatriate community in South Africa, some joining in for parts of the walk as the team passed through their towns.

Sonawane said there had not been a single untoward incident regarding safety as they plodded on for about 25-km daily, especially when people learnt what the purpose of their walk was.

"We followed the footsteps of and along the route to show the world that peace is possible and that these two people are our hope," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 02 2018. 15:10 IST