Ms. Ela Gandhi
Granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi
Ms. Ela Gandhi is the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi who is regularly seen on the frontlines of the global interfaith movement in her pursuit of peace and social justice. Born in South Africa, Ms. Gandhi went on to receive two bachelor’s degrees from Natal University and started her career as a Social Worker committing herself to child-related causes. Some of her early role models were her father, grandfather and Nelson Mandela.
Ms. Gandhi’s most notable work involves fighting for social justice during Apartheid in South Africa. In the mid-1970s, she was placed under house arrest and banned from activism for five years. Despite these obstructions, Ms. Gandhi assisted in South Africa’s transition to a post-Apartheid state of normalcy by playing a key role in South African government’s Transitional Executive Committee.
She proceeded to serve in the South African Parliament for a decade representing the African National Congress with a focus on Motherhood Support and Welfare programs. After her tenure in the parliament, Ms. Gandhi went on to set up a domestic violence support organization and founded the Gandhi Development Trust. She is also a key member of the Religious Affairs Committee and the Salt March Committee.
Ms. Gandhi has received several awards for her contribution to social justice issues including the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya award that honors exceptional contribution of overseas Indians in their chosen field. She has also been honored by the Community of Christ International Peace Award.