“Educating girls isn’t just good for that girl; it also marks the end of poverty for her family, her children, her community and eventually her country,” said Lord Rami.
Eastern Eye Staff
LORD RAMI RANGER says he owes “everything to a remarkable woman who was my mother” as he stresses that women’s empowerment “is a necessity and not a choice”.
Making his maiden speech in the House of Lords recently, he noted that it was “unfortunate that even today, we live in a world where there is not full gender equality”.
“Those who do not treat women as equals become unequal themselves,” he said.
Recalling his upbringing, Lord Rami said his “life began in a refugee camp in India without a father but with a remarkable mother”.
His father had been killed at age of 42, while trying to save school students caught in a communal riot during India’s partition.
“Our mother was widowed at the young age of just 35 with seven children—I was born 20 days later, taking us to eight—with the oldest being 14.
“She had lost her country, ancestral home and husband, and whatever could go wrong went wrong for her.”
While her family advised to send the children to an orphanage, “she refused to give up” and “accepted what fate had thrown at her”.
“Luckily, she was educated at a time when many did not teach their girls and was thus able to gain employment at a local primary school,” he noted.
“Our future would have been very different if our mother wasn’t educated.”
Lord Rami said she went through “immense difficulties” to raise the children. And her maxim to them was: “you may starve, but you will study”.
She received the title of the ‘Proudest Indian Mother’, as five of them went on to become Indian Army officers.
On his part, Lord Rami added that he was “proud to have established businesses which have won six Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in International trade—five of them consecutively—an unprecedented achievement”.
“My mother’s resilience and ability shaped the lives of 8 children, 19 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren,” he said, wondering why “women in many countries are worse off than men in terms of health, jobs and education”.
“Educating girls isn’t just good for that girl; it also marks the end of poverty for her family, her children, her community and eventually her country,” he said.
Pledging his “time and resources to support the eradication of the mistreatment and gender inequality suffered by women across the globe”, Lord Rami thanked “the three wonderful women who shaped my destiny”.
“Firstly, my mother who never gave up and never gave in no matter what fate threw at her,” he said.
“Second, is my beautiful, intelligent, educated and hardworking wife, who has always stood by me. She has been the bedrock of my success.
“Third, former prime minister the Rt Hon Theresa May MP who ennobled me in her resignation honours list.”
He also highlighted that he was a proud father of three well-educated and accomplished daughters.
Hoping that his personal story would be a reminder of the “strength of women”, Lord Rami concluded with the words of Guru Nanak:
“From woman man is born; within woman man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married.
“When his woman dies he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound.
“So why consider her inferior? From her kings and prophets are born.