Local community members honoured

Recipients of the Ammen Awards, as well as guests and organisers of the event. | KHAYA NGWENYA

Recipients of the Ammen Awards, as well as guests and organisers of the event. | KHAYA NGWENYA

Published Mar 31, 2024


Durban — The contribution made by Indians in South Africa is celebrated annually with the hosting of the Ammen Awards by the Shri Mariammen Temple Society in Mt Edgecombe.

The awards ceremony takes place on Good Friday to pay tribute to individuals or organisations that have been involved in extraordinary work for the upliftment of the community.

Seelan Achary, chairperson of the Shri Mariammen Temple, said the award recognised ordinary people doing extraordinary work in the community in many facets of life.

“The thank you that we say is to motivate you to do that much more so that we lead better lives, you become a better human being and we are able to progress. Everything that you and I have today is through hard work and perseverance, blood, sweat and slavery,” said Achary.

Recipients of awards for the promotion of the Hindu religion were Guru Dr Asogan Moodley, Pradeep Ramlall, Swami Siva Yogananda and Reena Ramchunder. Viramah Kamala Raman was acknowledged for promoting Eastern languages.

KSDI Dancers intertain during the Easter Festival at Shri Mariammen Temple in Mt Edgecombe. | Khaya Ngwenya.

Awards for the promotion of arts and culture were given to Preolin Pillay, Kogie Moorthi, Jaising Sueujbullie Singh and Ravin Jankhi Haripersad.

Excellence in sports went to Senuran Muthusamy, Poobalan Govindasamy, Goona Padayatchi, Radhakrishna Kola Padayatchi, Rattin Robert Govindsamy Padayachee and Vivkanathan Pillay.

Dasen Thathiah received for excellence in media, while excellence in education was awarded to Crystal Point Secondary School. For community socio-economic upliftment, Pastor Mervin Reddy was awarded, as well as Roy Sukdev and Johnny Reddy of the Giving Hope Foundation.

Special recognition awards were given to Parvathy Pushpa Govender, popularly known as Aunty Pushpa or MA, who is a stalwart and founder member of the Kalyana Soobramaniar Alayam and Strinivasan Munien, a devout Hindu, an excellent teacher, local historian and humanitarian.

Voice of Phoenix public relations officer Mervin Reddy was described as a responsible voice and leader during dark periods in recent years – Covid-19, July 21 unrest, KZN floods and for the supply of water to needy residents.

Reddy said unity and diversity blossomed at the Shri Mariammen Temple through the efforts of Achary. He thanked Voice of Phoenix members for going the extra mile to provide free water for the community of Phoenix.

“To this day, the Voice of Phoenix has delivered over 700 tons of free drinking water to the community of Phoenix. Government has failed us, councillors have failed us.

“It is true community leaders that are sitting here today that have come to the rescue of Phoenix through your tireless efforts, your volunteerism and time to make sure that the people of Phoenix will benefit from your hard work, said Reddy.

PREOLIN Pillay received the Ammen Award for the promotion of arts and culture. | FACEBOOK

Preolin Pillay, a Tamil musician, said he was shocked and had mixed emotions after being nominated for the prestigious award. He said he started his music career from humble beginnings and at a tender age, and to be awarded for his contribution to the music and entertainment industry had made him realise that dreams did become a reality.

“With the success, happy moments, achievements and celebration did come rejection, disappointment, confusion and doubt.

“I chose to never give up. All this was possible through the constant motivation, inspiration, love and support that I received from my earthly Gods, my mum, dad and brother,” said Preolin.

Sunday Tribune