Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty has received the Silver Star Award for her outstanding contribution to international humanitarian causes, particularly for spreading awareness of AIDS/HIV among people.
Labour Leader of House of Commons Jack Straw presented the award to the 31-year old actor at Durbar Court in Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on Friday night, as part of the celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the election of Keith Vaz, the NRI leader, Labour MP and former minister for FCO.
In her brief acceptance speech, Shetty, the winner of last Celebrity Big Brother show, said Vaz had played an important role when she was racially abused by some of the contestants. "He screamed the loudest," she acknowledged.
Lauding the work of the NRI leader both for the Asian community and the society as a whole, Straw who was the guest of honour said, "Keith has worked assiduously as an ambassador for New Britain. Keith represents everything that is good in our party."
Straw, the Campaign Manager for Gordon Brown before he was unanimously elected as Leader of the Labour Party to succeed Tony Blair, said "as a member of the campaign cell, Vaz played a key role in ensuring Brown's unanimous choice".
Observing that Britain has undergone a change for the better during the last 20 years, Straw said, "Now we celebrate diversity in this country and we judge people by what they can offer and not by the colour of their eyes, hair or skin. One person who has symbolised and responsible to a great degree for making Britain a better place is Keith Vaz. We love you and we admire you. You are a great guy."