Attorney for the Centre for Child Law
Upkaar was born in Durban into a family strongly committed to the Reformed tradition within Hinduism. He explains that the Reform Movement in Hinduism is comparable to the reforms brought about by Martin Luther in Christianity – a reversion to the sacred texts and first principles of the religion. A victim of forced resettlement, Upkaar grew up in Chatsworth under the shadow of apartheid, but it was a bracing-experience that indelibly stamped h1m with the desire to implement his faith in practical ways.
“I follow the Hindu principles described by the words ‘Arya Samaj’, which means ‘noble society’.” Among other things, this calls, upon the individual to subordinate him or herself to the well-being of society. Upkaar graduated in law from the University of Durban Westville and then won a scholarship which allowed him to study for a master’s degree in international relations in India. On his return to South Africa he joined the Lawyers for Human Rights group, specifically working on the rights of refugees in South Africa.
Currently he is the attorney for the Centre for Child Law, an NGO housed at the University of Pretoria. He is dedicated, he says, to promoting the rights and the interests of South African children
Lunch Spot: Cafe 41, Groenkloof