Hindvani radio host Prakash Seetal dies

Prakash Seetal. Picture: Supplied

Prakash Seetal. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 10, 2021


Durban - Prakash Seetal, a social activist and Hindvani talk show host, died on Sunday after an illness.

Seetal, 71, of Kharwastan, Chatsworth, was diagnosed with amyloidosis, a rare blood disorder, a year ago. Two days before he died, he tested positive for Covid-19 but he did not display any symptoms.

His wife, Sharmilla Seetal, a teacher at Kharwastan Secondary and fellow presenter at Hindvani, said: “We thought he was going to be fine. He was always in and out of the hospital due to his condition."

His illness had caused damage to his heart muscles, resulting in his lungs malfunctioning.

Seetal said two weeks ago, her husband was in hospital for treatment.

“When he came home, we got a call from the hospital. They said someone in the ward he was in had tested positive for the virus and we had to take him back to the hospital for a Covid test. On Friday, we were notified that he was Covid-positive but he had no symptoms. He was told to isolate for 14 days.”

She said he became ill on Sunday.

“We called the ambulance. His pressure had dropped dangerously low and the paramedics said he needed to be hospitalised.”

Seetal died later that day.

“The last thing I remember telling him was that we all loved him and that he needed to come home because everyone missed him, especially his granddaughter. He was weak at the time and nodded in acknowledgement.”

She said her husband worked as a paint technician and chemical engineer for several international paint companies. When he retired, he began helping upcoming companies.

He was part of the Hindi Shiksha Sangh, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of the Hindi language. He served on the board of management and its subcommittees and was a presenter on Hindvani for 25 years.

“He loved working there and even when he took ill, he did his shows telephonically.”

She said her husband was a member of the Chatsworth community police forum and he often left the safety of his home to attend to a problem or patrol neighbourhoods.

"He put his life at risk for the need of others. He was also involved in many temple organisations and seva projects where we served the needy. My husband was named the Most Influential Man of the Year 2019 by show promoter Pinky Mothie for all of the work he did in the community.”

Seetal described her husband as a gentle, humble man who had an overwhelming amount of love to share.

“He was my best critic and I appreciated him for it. We loved each other unconditionally. We were married for 40 years but we always said that it seemed like yesterday that we got married.”

She said they enjoyed travelling and after tracing their ancestral family, visited a village in India.

"His dream was to return there when he retired. He has made his mark in society and I believe his legacy will live on."

Raj Dhanlall, president of the Hindi Shiksha Sangh SA, said: “Prakash bhai was truly an unsung hero of the Hindi Shiksha Sangh. His commitment and dedication to the sangh knew no boundaries. He always kept a vigilant eye on our premises and was deeply concerned about its well- being. We fondly and respectfully remember the days when he took the responsibility to open and lock up our premises each morning and evening.

“The cultural committee was where he really thrived. Whether it was during the eisteddfods, the awards functions or any other cultural programme, Prakash bhai always proverbially put his hand up first to volunteer his time and resources.”

He is survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter.

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