A family have paid a heartfelt tribute to a much-loved Lancashire inter-faith worker who has died aged 65.

Vijayantiben Chauhan was an active volunteer of the Gujarat Hindu Society, a prison chaplain and a member of the Lancaster and Lancashire Faith Forums as well as holding a number of roles in Lancashire wide community groups.

Vijayantiben helped to organised religious and community events across the county helping to engage with people from all backgrounds and encouraging understanding of all faiths.

She came to London in the UK from Fiji in 1977 and went to marry Vijaykumar Chauhan in the same year. They then moved to Preston.

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She worked at Lancashire County Council and the HRMC but her passion remained in her her endless amount of volunteer work.

A family tribute read: “Our mum. You’ve always been our guiding light and the perfect example of what a good mum should be. 

“Throughout the time we’ve known you, you’ve always put family and others first with a selfless nature and an unwavering loyalty. Your positive energy, your beautiful smile and presence touched everyone you came in contact with. The footprints you have left are indelible. 

“Your life showed a level of devotion that was boundless and limitless, not only towards our family but the youths growing up in the community and your tireless work to preserve the Hindu Dharma – this was your legacy mum.

“For all your Seva to the community, helping others to progress, to push forward. Wanting others to carve out their own futures, wanting others to succeed and be the best version of themselves.”

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Vijaykumar was described as the ‘ultimate educator and trailblazer’. 

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The tribute added: “Sacrificing everything, you came to the other side of the world and found riches.

“But the riches were all ours mum. Your 65 years was mighty, vibrant and fulfilling. It was everything you wanted. And yet there’s still so much for us to learn from you. So many stories to hear about how you touched other peoples lives. Rest assured we will continue to learn for a lifetime.”

Vijayantiben was a loyal member of the Gujarat Hindu Society, putting hours into organising kathas, melas, pujas, bhajans, Gujarati school and competitions where she showcased her passion for competing. 

She also organised youth clubs and contributed to the Preston Guild processions. 
Vijayantiben was a Justice of Peace at the Magistrates Courts and ran countless workshops, exhibitions at primary schools and high schools to educate people about the culture and faith of Hinduism. 

She would do this by showing them clothing, teaching Rangoli, showing children how to do Garba, play Dandiya and henna. 

She was also a Governor at Runshaw College where she holds the record for the longest service as Governor, completing four terms. 

The family said: “She did all this whilst progressing her own career; graduating twice, a graduation we attended as a family. 

“Mum was creative, her ideas innovative and always wanted to achieve perfection. When mum had a vision, and no one could stop her fulfilling it. 

“Mum, you were a woman of faith, principle and courage. A strong figure with a voice that was heard and respected by all. You made us achieve a higher purpose in life every single day. You succeeded, and we will always love you.”