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Immigration officer, artist, choreographer: Royal honours for ‘extraordinary’ Indians in UK

An official statement said the Queen’s Birthday Honours List recognises the achievements of a “wide range of extraordinary people” across the UK.

world Updated: Jun 11, 2018 15:40 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Queen’s Birthday Honours List,Indian diaspora,Mary Beard
In this February 20, 2018 file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II smiles during a visit to the Royal College of Physicians, in London. (AP)

An immigration officer, a henna artist, a choreographer and several “extraordinary” professionals and individuals from the Indian community were named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2018.

The list ofindividuals from various walks of life named for the UK’s highest civilian honours reflects the spread of the Indiandiaspora and their achievements in fields ranging from medicine to defence, finance, and the arts.

Honoured with a damehood – the female equivalent of a knighthood – were actor Emma Thompson and Mary Beard, professor of Classics at Cambridge. Historian Simon Chama and footballer Kenny Dalglish were named for knighthood, according to the list released on Friday night.

An official statement said the Queen’s Birthday Honours List recognises the achievements of a “wide range of extraordinary people” across the UK. The list is published twice a year, at new year and on the date of the queen’s official birthday (second Saturday of June).

Gargi Patel, an officer in the department of Immigration Enforcement at the Home Office in London, was honoured for services to community engagement and immigration, while Essex-based henna artist Pavandeep Ahluwalia was named for services to the beauty industry.

Cambridgeshire-based Alpana Sengupta Taylor was named for an MBE for contribution to South Asian dance. An official statement on her said: "She has created an interest and following in Kathak from audiences who had never previously seen the dance style. Her performances have received huge praise and fantastic reviews.”

Individuals named for the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for work in inter-faith relations (Hindu and Sikh communities) are Dhruv Patel, Kumar Raval, Amandeep Singh Madra, Opinderjit Kaur Takhar, Jagdev Singh Virdee, Hasmukhlal Vadilal Shah and Ruxmani Thakorbhai Patel.

Delighted at being named in the list, Dhruv Patel, 34, said: “I have been heavily engaged in voluntary service, particularly for the Hindu community, since my university days. Whilst it is wonderful to receive this national honour, recognition cannot be the driver: sewa or selfless service is, and shall continue to be, a vital part of my life.”

Raval said: “Our faiths call for a deepening of community, and I catch glimpses of this in Britain’s wonderful diversity, particularly through my wider family of Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish and Christian alumni, faculty and friends. Thishonourultimately points to their constancy and brilliance.”

Virdee, who was previously honoured with an MBE, said:“Thesewaor volunteering that so many of us are involved in is hugely rewarding in its own right, especially if we can combine our passions with our work-related skills for the benefit of wider society.”

Others from the Indian community who were honoured include Jaswinder Singh Bamrah, for services to mental health, diversity and the National Health Service, Manoj Kumar Badale, chair of the British Asian Trust, for services to the economy and charity, and Pargan Singh Cheema, chief executive of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, for services to business, community cohesion and charity.

Also named in the list are Pradip Khodidas Dhamecha, for services to exports, economic growth and philanthropy, Nitesh Gor, for services to education, and Pritpal Singh Landa, for services to business, charity and the community in Nottingham.

The list of Officers of the Order of the British Empire included Ashok Roy, for services to people with learning disabilities, and Amarjit Kaur Samra, for services to defence medical research.

Named as Members of the Order of the British Empire were Roma Agrawal, for services to engineering, Satvir Paul Bungar, for services to corporate finance, Mili Ranjit Doshi, for services to NHS dentistry, Hemlata Gandhi, for services to the Post Office and the community in Oxfordshire, Sadhu-Ram Gupta, for services to ophthalmology and charity in the UK and abroad, Parameswara Venugopal Prasad, for services to the community, and Mahesh Seewoodhary, for services to ophthalmology nurse training and sickle cell awareness.

Those honoured in the category of Medallist of the Order of the British Empire were Nishma Manek, for services to general practitioner leadership development, Vijya Mehta, for services to heritage in the public sector, and Agimol Pradeep, for services to organ donation.

First Published: Jun 10, 2018 19:34 IST