• Sunday, July 14, 2024


Asian community leaders, experts to attend Coronation of King Charles III

Vice-president Jagdeep Dhankhar will attend the royal event as the country’s representative

King Charles III (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

A community volunteer from Wales, an Emerita Professor at Cardiff University, a Pune-born sustainability architect, a Bengaluru-based holistic physician and several Indian community workers are among the guests invited for King Charles III’s coronation on Saturday (6).

Harilal Narandas Patel, Meena Upadhyaya OBE, Sourabh Phadke, Dr Issac Mathai, Gulfsha and Jay Patel will attend the ceremony this weekend, reports said.

Patel (known as Harish) of Cardiff has been invited for his services to the community since 1972. He is a trustee and a founder member of Sanatan Dharma Mandal and Hindu Community Centre (SDM & HCC).

He played a key role in purchasing “28, The Parade” as a building to serve as their temple and community centre in 1986; it later moved to “Seaview Buildings” in 2011.

Harilal Narandas Patel

Patel was also a prominent member of the business community, providing guidance to budding entrepreneurs and starting a business club. He was a chairman of BP Retailers club.

He said, “Success is never a one man show, but is the efforts and sacrifices of so many behind the scenes. I’m not convinced I’ve done anything to deserve such an accolade, but it does reflect the kindness and generosity of the people I’m surrounded by. In this I feel truly blessed and am proud to serve the community at large.”

In 2021, Patel was recognised with the British Empire Medal for the services to community cohesion in Cardiff in the New Year Honours’ list.

Meena Upadhyaya OBE

Upadhyaya OBE is an Emerita Professor of Medical Genetics at Cardiff University, an honorary Professor of Practice at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD), an honorary Professor of Genetics at Kochi, India, a visiting Professor at Ganga Ram Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in Delhi and an international advisor for the organisation of rare diseases.

She has made substantial contributions to the molecular understanding of genetic conditions, including neurofibromatosis Type 1 and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and published over 200 papers, 26 book chapters and co-edited five books.

She has also contributed to the All Wales Covid-19 Workforce Risk Assessment Tool. She was awarded the Inspire Wales, the NF European prize, and Saint David Award for her service.

Pune-born Phadke is a graduate of the Prince’s Foundation’s Building Craft Programme and the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts.

He was part of the student cohort that built the summerhouse at the heart of Hillsborough Castle’s walled garden in 2018-19. The Prince’s Foundation was established by Charles, as the Prince of Wales, with a vision to provide holistic solutions to global challenges.

Phadke, 37, led a nomadic lifestyle before coming to study at Dumfries House. He moved from one community to another, teaching science and social studies and utilising his architecture degree and skills to help build housing and school facilities.

He is among several young individuals who have been associated with the Prince of Wales’ charity initiatives.

Another invitee at Saturday’s event is Dr Issac Mathai, a Bengaluru, India-based holistic physician who has met the King and Queen Camilla.

Mathai is the chairman of Soukya Wellness Centre in Bangalore. He will attend the coronation with his wife Suja.

“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for me and I’m happy and thrilled that I will be part of this magical global event,” Dr Mathai has been quoted as saying.

Although he did not expect to be invited, “now that I’ve got one, I feel elated”, he said.

Another guest for Saturday’s ceremony is Gulfsha, who received the Prince’s Trust Global Award in 2022, in recognition of her achievements through the charity’s Get Into programme in India.

The Prince’s Trust International partner, Magic Bus India Foundation, provided Gulfsha with the Get Into programme, which she completed successfully, a statement from the palace said.

Gulfsha learned various workplace skills through an online platform and secured her first job after a successful interview. She now works for a consultancy firm, providing price estimates for construction projects.

Jay Patel, who completed the Prince’s Trust Canada’s Youth Employment programme in May 2022, will also attend the coronation ceremony.

The palace said Jay gained valuable skills from the programme and secured a job as a cook at Toronto’s CN Tower, one of the city’s most famous landmarks. He is now on his way to becoming a chef and is inspiring others to seek the same kind of support network that helped him achieve success.

India’s vice-president Jagdeep Dhankhar will attend the royal event as the country’s representative.

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