Karshia Ajudhiya was the First Princess at the Miss India NKZN pageant and went on to represent northern KZN at the prestigious Miss India SA pageant that took place at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in 2016. Picture: Facebook.
Karshia Ajudhiya was the First Princess at the Miss India NKZN pageant and went on to represent northern KZN at the prestigious Miss India SA pageant that took place at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in 2016. Picture: Facebook.

Tributes pour in for pageant contestant killed in N11 car crash

By Charlene Somduth Time of article published Nov 25, 2021

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Durban: Tributes have been pouring in since the death of Karshia Ajudhiya in an accident over the weekend.

Ajudhiya, 29, was a senior inspector for quality control at the Majuba Power Station. She was also the first princess for the Miss India Northern KZN competition in 2016 and a contestant in the Miss India South Africa pageant.

On Saturday morning she was returning from Durban to her home in Volksrust, Mpumalanga, when she was killed in a collision on the N11 near Newcastle.

Her parents, Navin, 54, an employee at Sasol, and Vanessa, 52, a teacher, were waiting for her to return home as she was due to attend a pre-school graduation with her mother.

But at 7.30am, her father received a call from the police informing him of the accident and her death.

Vassa Mohan, an aunt, said Ajudhiya sustained multiple injuries and died at the scene.

“As a family, we are devastated. Karshia was an independent woman. She was a go-getter and the strength of our family. She would co-ordinate everything for us from birthday parties to family get-togethers. She had a close relationship with her parents and brother Ashen. She was a big part of everyone’s life. Right now, prayer is helping us stay strong.”

Mohan said Ajudhiya had planned to get married to her fiance, Rajiv Sadapal.

“As one would expect, it is difficult for him to come to terms with the loss. They had plans to marry and they were looking forward to spending their lives together. Her death has not been easy for any of us.”

Mohan said as a result of taking part in pageants, Ajudhiya began community work.

“In some rural communities there are many young girls who come from poor homes and they cannot afford sanitary pads. Karshia stepped in to help and started a sanitary pad collection and distribution programme for them. She also distributed food to underprivileged areas.”

She said one of her main charities was a home for abandoned children.

“Karshia loved spending time with kids, especially the girls. Some of these children had disabilities. She started her own pageant contest at the home for these girls. Her aim was to help boost their confidence. Karshia ensured that every girl who participated received a prize. She also helped raise funds for the home. She was a gem.”

Tributes to her on social media included:

Akira Bipatram: “Karsh, your actions have touched so many hearts and today your absence has shattered all of those hearts. You were a phenomenal woman, who succeeded in every endeavour. Your smile was priceless and it certainly will never be forgotten.”

Shanice Naidoo: “Being surrounded by a strong woman is one of the most phenomenal feelings in the world but today we stand utterly and completely shattered as one of our own, a very piece of my heart, has been taken. Karshia Ajudhiya my beautiful sister, I cannot accept that this was fate because you didn’t deserve to go out like that. You have been a source of strength and inspiration to all those you have crossed paths with. Your humility and kind nature knew no bounds and for that, I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity of knowing you.”

Ajudhiya was cremated at the Newcastle Crematorium on Sunday.

Captain Nqobile Gwala, a provincial police spokesperson, said a case of culpable homicide was being investigated.

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