Mahendra Kaul, a veteran NRI broadcaster and popularly known as a Curry King in the UK, has been conferred the Community Service Award at the House of Commons here where Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne received the Politician of the Year award.
92-year-old Kaul received the award last night from The Baroness Betty Boothroyd, OM PC, former Speaker of the House of Commons.
"I have spoken for over 50 years on TV and Radio. When I first came to the UK, the situation was entirely different.
Now we can see the change and the Asian community has brought this about through its dedication and hard work," said Kaul, the first NRI to be awarded OBE after the World War II for services to race relations through his BBC TV programmes.
Born and educated in Kashmir, Kaul served as newsreader,actor and producer of programmes including plays. He worked for Radio Kashmir and All India Radio besides assisting the Films Division to promote rural development.
Editor of the Indian Services at Voice of America(1955-60) he later joined the immigrants programme unit of the BBC, producing two weekly TV programmes for Asian viewers for nearly two decades.
One of his popular programmes, 'Apna Hi Ghar Samjhiye'(Make Yourself At Home), ran for 14 years.
Kaul was brought in to present a series of such programmes to help immigrants to settle and integrate in the UK. He was awarded the OBE in 1975 for services to race relations, a very rare award for NRIs at that time.
Later he received the Duke of Edinburgh award.
Receiving the Politician of the Year award, Osborne lauded the contribution made by the Asian community to the British economy. "I am genuinely touched by this award." Other recipients of the award instituted by the Asian newspaper, Asian Voice, included Airline of the Year: Air India. VFS Global was declared as the Service Provider of the Year.
Other award recipients were veteran TV broadcaster Moira Stuart (Lifetime Achievement Award); Rosie Winterton, MP, (Shadow Cabinet Minister of the Year); Norman Baker, MP, (Liberal Democrat Minister of the Year); Helen Grant, MP, (Minister of the Year); Nicola Blackwood, MP, (Conservative Backbencher of the year); Karen Buck, MP, (Labour Backbencher of the year); Robert Davis (Conservative Councillor of the Year); Mehdi Hasan (Journalist of the year): Metro Bank - Craig Donaldson, CEO, (Bank of the Year); Michael Crick (Special Award for Diversity); Jermain Jackman (Breakthrough Man of the Year); Vijay Vaidyanathan (Professional of the year) and Jagjeet Singh (Financial Services Provider of the year).
Keith Vaz, MP, and host of the Political and Public Life Awards 2014, said: "Each year the Asian community pay tribute to those who have made a special contribution to our public and political life. This year is no different and we are delighted to honour those who work hard to celebrate the diversity of our multicultural country."