NRI hotelier Joginder Sangar has been conferred with the prestigious 'Pride of India' award for his outstanding contributions towards promoting the art and culture of India in the UK.
Sangar, the CEO and chairman of a group of hotels in central and west London, was conferred with the award for 2012 by the India International Foundation.
Britain's transport minister Stephen Hammond, MP presented the award to Sangar at the Marriott Heathrow Hotel last night in the presence of leading dignitaries like Lord Swraj Paul and SS Siddhu, minister (Coordination) in the Indian high commission in London.
NRI solicitor Hari Singh, founder chairman of HSLaw Solicitors and Notary received the award in the field of judicary/law while Deepak Kuntawala, founder of DVK, a global commodity trading and finance boutique company enhancing interests in private equity, wealth management and fund management was chosen for the award for his achievement in the field of business.
Receiving the award, Sangar who played a key role in building the new Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan centre in London, said Indian culture is appreciated all over the world and "we must not only preserve them but also try to promote them".
He said he always considered business as secondary.
"Deep in my heart, I always gave prominence to social work, art and culture. Without taking interest in our culture, business has no meaning."
The citation said, "Sangar devotes much of his time to fundraising and philanthropic work with success."
Other recipients were Kamel Hothi, head of Nice Markets at Lloyds TSB responsible for Asian strategy; Deepak Khazanchi, pioneer of modern Bhangra (Art and Culture); Sonal Minocha, dean, University of Bedfordshire Business School, (Achievements in Education) and Natasha Mudhar (Achievement in Media).
Winners also include Amarjit Sethi (Medicine); Seema Malhotra (Legislature); professor Tejinder Singh Virdee (Science); Mahima Pandey (Social Services); Rajiv Ouseph (Sports) and East End Foods plc (Indian Business House of the Year 2012).
Rami Ranger, chairman of the Sun Mark ltd was declared the outstanding businessman for winning the Queen's Award for the fifth year in succession.
Dinesh Shonchhatra, a leading mortgage broker received the President's Award.
Speaking on the occasion, Lord Paul praised Indian democracy and said, "We should be proud of from where we came and we should be proud of where we live."
SS Sidhu echoed the sentiments expressed by Lord Paul and said "Our democracy is as forceful as anywhere in the world."