ENGLAND’S world cup winning cricketer Adil Rashid is among the British Asian names recognised in King Charles’s inaugural Birthday Honours List announced today.
With doctors, politicians, educators, authors, community leaders and philanthropists among the 11 per cent of recipients coming from an ethnic minority background, the list showcases the immense contribution British Asians make to the nation.
For Rashid, his Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) is a culmination of four years of success which saw him win the one-day world cup at Lord’s in 2019 and then the T20 world cup in Australia last year.
The honours list is a reflection of the diversity of British society.
Of the 1,171 people who received an award, 586 (50 per cent) are women.
Of the 11 per cent from ethnic minorities, six per cent are Asian. Twenty-three per cent of recipients considered themselves to come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
A remarkable 608 (52 per cent) are recognised for undertaking outstanding work in their communities.
Among them is musician Rekesh Chauhan who received a Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for his services to music and also for services to charity and to mental health in the British Asian community.
A renowned pianist and composer, Chauhan has performed in places like the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, the Houses of Parliament and in arenas with over 60,000 people. His talent has seen him collaborate with the likes of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Hans Raj Hans, Talvin Singh and Soumik Datta
He also uses his platform to support others. He is an ambassador for Future Talent, a charity founded by the Duchess of Kent and Nicholas Robinson which aims to give gifted young musicians from low-income backgrounds flourish.
During the pandemic, Chauhan tells Eastern Eye, he found that he could support people with their mental health through his music.
“I was wondering how I could make the best use of myself and how can I use music in a positive way because I know music connects with so many people in so many different ways,” said Chauhan.
“During the pandemic, one of the things I did was I worked with a number of charities to raise awareness of the work that they do, but also to try to reduce stigma around mental health, especially in south Asian communities where mental health during the pandemic was a bit more pronounced.
“I wanted to be able to use music to tell stories of people suffering with their mental health and then with a clear call to action of how people can get the support that they need.”
Chauhan admits the award, which he says he will collect from Buckingham Palace with his parents, gives him further incentive to carry on with charity work.
“I want to continue to use music in a way that has a positive impact on people,” he said.
Another pandemic-related award went to postmaster Kuldeep Dhillon and his wife, Balbir Kaur, who have served the community in Locking Stumps, Warrington for over 40 years. They were awarded a BEM.
They were part of a team of eight people, from their Sikh temple, who fundraised to buy ingredients to make nutritious meals that they served to frontline NHS staff, which allowed them to continue working above and beyond.
Their effort helped provide 35,000 meals for those at Warrington and Halton hospitals in the first year of the crisis.
Their Nisa store’s customer loyalty scheme has raised around £7,000 for local good causes including the school, football team and youth clubs. Kaur sold home-made curries to raise £4,000 to buy more produce for foodbanks.
Dhillon said: “I really love being a postmaster and running my shop because of the interaction with people. I have earned my living from this community for the past 40 years, so I like to give something back to my community to thank them.
“People ask me when I’m going to retire, but I have no plans to retire. I love my work serving people and having a chat and a laugh with customers. I joke with customers that what would I do if I retired. I would be bored at home. I would have to go to the pub to chat to strangers for someone to talk to! Why do that, when I can carry on working here, where I can chat to so many people I know. I have known three generations of the same family and people know my name, even young children come in and say ‘Good morning Mr Dhillon’.”
Anuj Chande, corporate finance partner and head of the south Asia group at Grant Thornton, one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms, was awarded an OBE for over three decades of supporting businesses build partnerships between Britain and India.
He has been involved in attracting Indian investment into the UK and vice-versa. He has also helped a number of Indian companies raise money on the London stock market and been involved in number of acquisition transactions for Indian companies in the UK, including the acquisition of JLR by Tata Motors.
Since 2013, he has been the architect of Grant Thornton’s India meets Britain Tracker report which is the definitive guide to tracking the footprint of Indian companies operating in the UK.
This year’s report found that the number of Indian-owned companies operating in the UK has reached a record high of 954. A significant increase compared to 900 the previous year, and the highest number ever recorded by the research.
“I first started looking at the potential of India from a UK perspective in 1991. I was a bit of a lone voice in those years. But now it’s great to see that this year, hopefully with the impending UK-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the relationship and potential has now flourished and is going to go to greater heights,” Chande told Eastern Eye.
Chande added that it was important for south Asians to be recognised for the contribution they make to Britain.
“The south Asian diaspora make a big contribution not just economically but also culturally, socially and politically. We contribute a lot to this country,” he said.
“Most of us are immigrants and I think it’s important to for society to be aware that immigration is good and can help the country.”
Charles Wilson, former chief executive of Booker Wholesale and lately president of industry charity GroceryAid, was awarded a CBE for services to business and philanthropy.
Wilson was the recipient of the Ram Solanki Lifetime Achievement Award at the Asian Trader Awards 2020 (held in February 2021).
“I am humbled to have been awarded a CBE and am proud to accept this recognition on behalf of everyone involved in GroceryAid,” Wilson told Eastern Eye.
“GroceryAid helps look after the 3.6 million people who work in the grocery industry. The team and volunteers do a brilliant job, and it has been a privilege to be the president of this great charity.
“I have also been an avid reader of Asian Trader (published by Eastern Eye publishers the Asian Media Group) for over thirty years and thank the Solanki family, the editorial team and all the readers for the brilliant job they do in serving the community”
Among the number of inspiring women bestowed with awards is Anita Parmar, head of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s lessons from Auschwitz project, and a former history teacher who received an MBE.
The thin-tank works to ensure that people from every background are educated about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today.
The project lets pupils explore the dangers of prejudice, racism and intolerance through workshops. It targets areas where racial tension is on the increase.
“I am delighted to be recognised by His Majesty the King in his Birthday Honours List. This really is a reflection of the dedication of the whole team at the Holocaust Educational Trust who work day in and day out, to ensure that the horrors of the past are understood and remembered, and that the legacy of the Holocaust continues,” said Parmer.
“I am so proud to work for such an important cause, alongside Holocaust survivors who are an incredible inspiration to me and who play a key role in educating the next generation about the past.
“The Trust’s flagship educational programme, the Lessons from Auschwitz Project each year has a profound impact on thousands of young people across the country and I am so grateful to His Majesty the King for recognising the importance of this work with this honour”.
Ishtiaq Hussain, a specialist in counter-extremism has been recognised with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) award.
Hussain, assistant director of communities and integration at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities since April 2022, is chosen for the award for his contribution to public service.
Having previously worked in the Serious Violence Unit and the Counter-Terrorism Unit of the Home Office, Hussain has experience in conducting complex investigations into disruption activities.
The Middlesex University graduate is also known for his expertise in policy and strategy development.
“Delighted and deeply honoured” to receive the award, Hussain said and expressed his gratitude to those who nominated him for the honour.
Asians in the King’s Birthday Honours List 2023
Companions of the Order of the Bath
Emran MIAN OBE -Director General, Regeneration, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. For services to Regeneration (London, Greater London)
Commanders of the Order of the British Empire
Professor Paliarkarakadu Assen Muhammed BASHEER FREng, Chair in Structural Engineering, University of Leeds. For services to Civil Engineering (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
Officers of the Order of the British Empire
Khurshid ALAM -Chair, Academy for Advanced Studies and Training UK International. For services to BAME Healthcare and the Professional Development of BAME Doctors (London, Greater London)
Dr Parvinder Kaur ALEY -Director of Global Operations, Oxford Vaccine Group, University of Oxford. For services to Vaccination during Covid-19 (Oxford, Oxfordshire)
Anuj Jayantilal CHANDE -Partner, Grant Thornton. For services to International Trade and Investment(London, Greater London)
Professor Aravinthan COOMARASAMY -Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine, University of Birmingham. For services to Maternal Health (Birmingham, West Midlands)
Professor Prokar DASGUPTA -Foundation Professor of Surgery, King’s Health Partners and Chair in Robotic Surgery and Urological Innovation, King’s College London. For services to Surgery and Science (London, Greater London)
Varinder HAYRE -District Crown Prosecutor, Crown Prosecution Service, London. For services to Law and Order (London, Greater London)
Ishtiaq HUSSAIN -Assistant Director, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. For Public Service (London, Greater London)
Dr Kavitha KISHEN -Deputy Director, Security, Resilience and Strategy, Government Office for Science. For services to National Resilience and Diversity in Government Science and Engineering (St Albans, Hertfordshire)
Anju KUMAR -Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. For services to Women’s Health and Welfare in Wales (Cardiff, South Glamorgan)
Amar LATIF -Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Traveleyes. For services to the Visually Impaired and to Entrepreneurship (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
Dr Navaratnam PARTHEEBAN -Co-Founder, British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society. For services to Inclusion (Battlesbridge, Essex)
Sunand PRASAD- MBE Chair, UK Green Building Council. For services to Regeneration (London, Greater London)
Dr Amarjit RAJU -Chief Executive, Disability Direct. For services to People with Disabilities, to Carers and to Mental Health (Derby, Derbyshire)
Professor Rama Shankaran THIRUNAMACHANDRAN -DL Vice-Chancellor, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, Kent. For services to Higher Education (London, Greater London)
Mohammad Amjid WAZIR- Member and Deputy Leader, Stoke-on-Trent City Council. For Political Service and to the community in Stoke-on-Trent (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire)
Mohammed YOUNIS- Owner, Star Day Nurseries, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. For services to Early Years Education and to the community in Peterborough (Peterborough, Cambridgeshire)
Members of the Order of the British Empire
Muhammad Arif ANIS -Co-Founder, One Million Meals. For services to Frontline Workers during Covid-19 (Epsom, Surrey)
Roma BHOPAL -Physiotherapist and Specialist Hand Therapist. For services to Physiotherapy (Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh)
Nizamuddin Noordin DAMANI -Consultant Microbiologist, Southern Health and Social Care Trust. For services to Infection Prevention and Control in Northern Ireland and to the World Health Organisation (Portadown, County Armagh)
Bawa Singh DHALLU- Lately Councillor and Mayor, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, West Midlands. For Political and Voluntary Service (Smethwick, West Midlands
Sandeep DWESAR -Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Barbican Centre. For Public Service in the City of London (London, Greater London)
Mohammed FAHIM -For services to the community in Walsall, West Midlands, particularly during Covid-19 (Walsall, West Midlands)
Aqil FAROOQ – Police Sergeant and Chair, Staff Association, Avon and Somerset Police. For services to Policing and to Diversity and Inclusion (Gloucestershire)
Kapaljit Singh JHUTI -Head of Services, Transport and Passenger Logistics, Heathrow Airport, London. For services to the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (London, Greater London)
Sardarni Navleen KAUR -Founder, Sahara Sisterhood. For services to Women and to Interfaith Relations (London, Greater London)
Ritu KHURANA -Disc Jockey and Broadcaster. For services to Music and to Broadcasting (London, Greater London)
Dr Nihara Sonali KRAUSE- Founder and Chief Executive, Stem4. For services to the Mental Health of Young People (London, Greater London)
Rizwana MAHMOOD-AHMED -Headteacher, Carlton Junior and Infants School, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. For services to Education (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire)
Rizwan Wali MOHAMMED -For services to the community in Glasgow (Glasgow, City of Glasgow)
Professor Raja Anindya Sekhar MUKHERJEE- Consultant Psychiatrist, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. For services to People with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (Horsham, West Sussex)
Shiva Chandra NIRAULA- Pandit, Brigade of Gurkhas, Ministry of Defence. For pastoral services to Military Personnel (Aldershot, Hampshire)
Asitha PANDITHARATNA- Director of Employment Services, The Forward Trust. For services to Further Education and Skills (London, Greater London)
Anita PARMAR -Head, Lessons from Auschwitz Project, Holocaust Educational Trust. For services to Holocaust Education and Remembrance (London, Greater London)
Professor Kanwal John PASI- Lately Centre Director, Royal London Haemophilia Centre, Barts Health NHS Trust. For services to the NHS (London, Greater London)
Jay Prakash PATEL -Qualified Person Assessor, AstraZeneca. For services to Public Health during Covid-19 (Crewe, Cheshire)
Jeeta PATEL- Lately Senior Policy Adviser, Cabinet Office. For Public Service (London, Greater London)
Dr Shubha PLATT (Shubha Sathyendranath) Merit Scientist, Remote Sensing, Plymouth Marine Laboratory. For services to Oceanography (Plymouth, Devon)
Dr Sandrasekeram PREMACHANDRAN- Advisor, Care Quality Commission and Emergency Medicine Consultant, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Health and Care (Camberley, Surrey)
Aftabur RAHMAN -Chief Executive Officer, Legacy West Midlands. For services to Heritage and to the community in Birmingham (Birmingham, West Midlands)
Nimisha RAJA – Founder, Nim’s Fruit Crisps. For services to Small and Medium Enterprises (Sittingbourne, Kent)
Adil RASHID For services to Cricket (Bradford, West Yorkshire)
Narinder Singh SAGOO For services to Charity (London, Greater London)
Bilal Bin SAQIB -Co-Founder, One Million Meals. For services to the NHS and to the community in Stanmore, London Borough of Harrow (London, Greater London)
Prodaman Kumar SARWAL -Lately Trustee, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and Chair, Master Ropemakers Ltd. For services to Heritage and to the Charitable Sector (London, Greater London)
Dr Farrukh Tasnim SHAH Consultant Haematologist, Whittington Health NHS Trust. For services to Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Patients (London, Greater London)
Dr Inderjit SINGH- For voluntary and charitable services to the community in Scotland (Glasgow, City of Glasgow)
Harvinder SINGH RAI -Sergeant, West Midlands Police. For services to Policing and to the Sikh Community (Walsall, West Midlands)
Hina SOLANKI -Founder, Sol Cosmedics. For services to Business and to Charity (London, Greater London)
Jyotsna SRIKANTH -Violinist. For services to Music (London, Greater London)
Dr Shivani Anika WALIA -Founder, Anika Food Charity. For services to the Alleviation of Food Poverty (London, Greater London)
Medallists of the Order of the British Empire
Idris ALI -Provision Contracts Manager, Department for Work and Pensions. For voluntary service to the community in Oldham, Greater Manchester (Oldham, Greater Manchester)
Perminderjeet Kaur BANWAIT- Founder and Managing Director, Banwait Group Holdings. For services to
Social Care (Wakefield, West Yorkshire)
Balvir Mohan BHALLA -Founder, Super Cool Friends Charity. For services to the community in Ilford, London Borough of Redbridge, particularly during Covid-19 (London, Greater London)
Nighat BHOLA- Director, Humdum UK. For services to Food Provision and to the community in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, particularly during Covid-19 (London, Greater London)
Rekesh CHAUHAN- Pianist and Composer. For services to Music, to Charity and to Mental Health in the British Asian Community, particularly during Covid-19 (Birmingham, West Midlands)
Ehsan Shahid CHOUDHRY- Co-Founder, MH The Open Kitchen. For services to the community in the London Borough of Hounslow (London, Greater London)
Balbir DHILLON -Postmaster. For services to the community in Birchwood, Cheshire (Warrington, Cheshire)
Kuldeep Singh DHILLON- Postmaster. For services to the community in Birchwood, Cheshire (Warrington, Cheshire)
Krishna GHOSH -For services to Education and to the community in London (London, Greater London)
Dr Priya KUMAR -General Practitioner, Kumar Medical Centre, Slough. For services to Health Improvement in South East England (Virginia Water, Surrey)
Kailash MALHOTRA -Peer Educator Volunteer, Kidney Research UK. For services to Kidney Organ Donation for Minority Ethnic Groups (Glasgow, City of Glasgow)
Dr Aruna MENE -Artist. For services to Fabric Art, to Charity and to Sustainability (Hatfield, Hertfordshire)
Mohammad MIRZA -Caseworker, HM Revenue and Customs. For services to Mental Health (Stalybridge, Greater Manchester)
Hetalban Mayank PATEL -Compliance and Investigation Officer, HM Revenue and Customs. For services to Homeless People in Newcastle upon Tyne (Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear)
Virendra Mahendrakumar PATEL -Technical Support Partner, John Lewis and Partners. For services to the community in Hampshire (Southampton, Hampshire)
Yasmin SIDHWA -Founder and Director, Mandala Theatre Company. For services to Drama (Oxford, Oxfordshire)
Salma Bano ZULFIQAR -For services to Art and to Education (Solihull, West Midlands)
OVERSEAS AND INTERNATIONAL LIST
ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Omar DAAIR, British High Commissioner Kigali, Rwanda. For services to British Foreign Policy and to International Development.
Shamini JAYANATHAN, Barrister-at-law; Chief Executive Officer, Arcturus Consultancy Ltd; Associate Tenant, Foundry Chambers, London. For services to the Rule of Law and to International Development.
Fouzia YOUNIS, lately Head of Communications, British High Commission Islamabad, Pakistan. For services to British Foreign Policy.
ORDER OF ST MICHAEL AND ST GEORGE
Kumar IYER, Director General, Economics, Science and Technology, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. For services to British Foreign Policy