A COMMUNITY champion from Coventry, who runs an online activity group keeping members of the British Asian community connected, has received a special award from Boris Johnson.
Chaitrali Chitre set up the Sahyadri Friends Group to help women who had moved to the city with their families and were struggling with social isolation.
Prior to the pandemic, the group held more than 30 events a year across Coventry, centred around major Indian festivals including Holi and Diwali.
But since the Covid outbreak Chaitrali and volunteers have moved all their activities online running yoga, cooking, arts and crafts sessions to ensure people remained connected.
Chaitrali is the 1634th person to receive the Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award, first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live.
In a personal letter to Chaitrali, Boris Johnson said: “I was inspired to hear about ‘Sahyadri Friends Group’ which brings together the British Asian community in Coventry. From cooking to yoga and arts and crafts, your online activities have kept hundreds of families connected during lockdown.
“As we move to being able to meet again in person, and Coventry begins to celebrate its year of culture, I hope your groups continue and that those vital friendships flourish.”
Chaitrali said: “I am honoured to receive the award. I feel delighted and it is a great surprise to receive the award. I will keep up with the work I always love to do.
“I would like to thank my kids and husband, who are my strength. I would take the opportunity to thank my extended family, friends and well-wishers who have been supportive throughout. I dedicate this award to my dad as what I am today, is because of him and his teachings.”