A former retired Chatsworth Primary School Teacher and now eThekweni local ward councilor, Mr Dasrath believes that “the ink of a writer is more sacred than the blood of a martyr”.
One of Durban’s most decorated and prolific writers, Minority Front councilor, MD Dasarath, 58, of Chatsworth, with a teaching career spanning more than 35 years, believes that his letters (1, 600 and counting), which have been published in the national daily, weekly and local newspapers, should have earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records. He believes that his wait to enter the infamous record book is long overdue.
Dasarath’s political career started at an early age when he was exposed to the poverty and suffering of his community. This prompted him to get immediately involved in community-based organisations so that he could contribute towards the alleviation of suffering in his community. He was first inspired by the likes of “peace apostle”, Mahatma Gandhi, former president, Nelson Mandela, Indira Gandhi and former leader of the Minority Front, Amichand Rajbansi.
Dasarath’s teaching career started in Port Shepstone in 1978, where he taught alongside the MEC for Human Settlement, Ravi Pillay. He says, “These great men and women have stood the test of time and have transformed the world with their inspirational messages and wisdom. Over the years I have taken leaves from their philosophy and ideological beliefs and try to use them in my daily life.”
Speaking of his admiration for the late Amichand Rajbansi, Dasarath admitted that he has often tried to imitate the charismatic politician. “Rajbansi taught me the tricks of the trade. From before I met Rajbansi, he was known to be the people’s champion. I have learnt my politics from him and he nurtured me like his own son. Rajbansi himself was a prolific writer. In those days, Rajbansi used his old typewriter and wrote realms of letters to the press, denouncing the form Durban City Council”, Dasarath said. The avid letter writer also remembered his historic trip with the “Bengal Tiger” to CODESA to pass the constitution of the country in Kempton Park, a memory which he holds dear to his heart.
“Apart from writing letters that bring about effective change, I write letters because it is a form of relaxation. You also have the ability to express yourself, and it brings out the best in a person. I encourage the youth of today to start reading and writing”, added Dasarath. He said his last ambition before he retires from active politics is to write a book about victories, challenges, trials and tribulations of a changing South Africa.
When Dasarath is not engaged in helping his community, he loves watching sport, attending cultural functions, reading and writing letters. Following hard on the heels of her husband is his wife, Mrs Agella Dasarath who has also written a considerable number of letters to the press.
Dasarath is a proud parent to his only daughter who works for a government department as an environmentalist.
Original article published by the Public Eye Newspaper.