A visually challenged musician born in Uttar Pradesh who has played a prominent role in the world of music in Britain for years is among several Indian-origin individuals named in the royal honours list released on Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday on Friday night.
Dhanoday (Baluji) Shrivastav, 56, set up the Inner Vision Orchestra in 2010. He leads an ensemble of visually challenged musicians, and has accompanied Stevie Wonder in Hyde Park and performed with Coldplay in the Paralympics closing ceremony here in 2012.
Shrivastav, who plays several instruments, such as tabla, pakhawaj, sitar and dilruba, has been named for the title of ‘Officer of the Order of the British Empire’. The honour will be awarded later in the year in the Buckingham Palace.
Singer Rod Stewart was named for a knighthood, while other prominent individuals in the list included cricketer Alastair Cook, former footballer Alan Shearer, and actor Brian Blessed. People from an ethnic minority background formed the largest component in the list with 1,149 names.
British diplomat Ajay Sharma, who played a key role in re-establishing ties with Iran after they were downgraded following the attack on the British embassy in Tehran in November 2011, has been honoured “for services to British foreign policy”.
Other OBE awardees include Usha Chakravarthy, professor of Ophthalmology, Belfast; Julia Lalla-Maharajh, for services to supporting an end to female genital cutting; Sewa Singh Mandla, for services to the inter-faith and community and cohesion particularly in the Sikh community.
Bhanu Ramaswamy, a physiotherapy consultant in Sheffield, has been named for services to physiotherapy, while Adil Ray, an actor, radio and television presenter, has been honoured for services to broadcasting. Daljit Sehbai of the National Council of British Indians was named for services to social cohesion.
Some others in the list are Geetha Upadhyaya, co-founder of Kala Sangam; Hitesh Chandarana, Revenue and Customs; Rajeeb Dey, founder of Enternships; Santosh Kaur Jhangiani, executive officer, Home Office.
Gurmit Kaur, community cohesion inspector of the Nottinghamshire Police, was named for services to Policing.
Others named in the royal honours list are: Bhupendra Harji Magudia, Rashiklal Parmar, Karmjit Rekhi, Nilesh Sachdev, Davinder Singh Chana, Harshadray Nandlal Sanghrajka, John Gurparshad Singh, Mandeep Singh Soin, Kousalyaa Somasundaram, Kishore Bilimoria, Kanchan Chudasma, Shaminder Singh Rai and Sheila Prakash Shah.