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The eThekwini municipality has paid tribute to Sri Swami Sahajananda, head of Divine Life Society in South Africa, for his immense contribution in the fight against poverty in several townships in KwaZulu-Natal.
Sahajananda celebrated his 82nd birthday on Tuesday at the headquarters of the society at Reservoir Hills, Durban. Hundreds of his followers attended the event.
The media was not allowed to photograph or speak to him as his followrs consider him a divine being.
The society has played a major role in nation-building and bridging the gap between the poor and rich.
It has undertaken about 300 projects in and around eThekwini. They include building about 200 schools, the Sivananda Technical College in KwaMashu, 200 homes at Waterloo and another 263 in Verulam, north of Durban, and 30 creches.
The organisation also provides food to needy children across the province. Sahajananda also supported tunnel farming in the rural areas of the province.
"It is important to honour people who have done immense work in developing and making a contribution in our society," said eThekwini mayor Obed Mlaba on Tuesday. Mlaba handed Sahajananda a congratulatory scroll approved by the council at Kwa-Ximba village.