Gopio seeks to fight human rights violations of people of Indian origin.The event, organised by Gopio South Africa vice-president Yasmin Sanglae, was attended by Gopio international vice-president Ishwar Ramlutchman.

Ramlutchman said help must be provided for all South Africans. “Racism is a challenging issue and we must strengthen the bond of people living together,” he said.

Awards and certificates were presented to locals involved in serving the community. The awardees included ward councillors Rachel Soobiah and Najma Ahmed. Radhee Aheer (who works with children with barriers to learning), Kanthi Naidoo (primary-level educator), Comilla Govender (secondary-level educator), and Loshnie Naidoo ( primary educator) were awarded from the educational sector.

Indren Pillay received a community award. Financial auditor, Suvira Hariram, received an award for her profound commitment to senior citizens, and Pietermaritzburg Gopio youth leader Ra’essa Razak was honoured for her leadership role.

Soobiah said she was excited to receive the award. “I love the community and I really love helping them. It makes my heart glad to assist people and to see them happy.

”Guests from Pietermaritzburg included Sada Pillay, Bacha Beharie of Sector 4, Roland Naidoo of the sports fraternal and advocate Ranjiv Nirghin who is president of the Hindu Midlands Society. Pietermaritzburg Association for the Aged members were also present and entertain ment was provided by Judy Umraw.

The Pietermaritzburg chapter is country’s fourth fellowship behind Gopio Durban, Gopio Johannesburg and Gopio Pretoria. Gopio was launched in New York in 1983.

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