Today in New Delhi, India
Oct 18, 2018-Thursday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Parveen Kumar gets female equivalent of knighthood in UK, Ramesh Mehta named for OBE

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List includes Indian-origin academics with achievements in various disciplines, such as medicine and criminology.

world Updated: Jun 17, 2017 16:05 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Indian Origin,NRI,PIO
Ramesh Mehta, president of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, who was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.(HT Photo)

Parveen Kumar, a professor of medicine and the author of a ‘revolutionary’ textbook in the field, has been made a “dame” – the female equivalent of knighthood – in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List released on Friday.

Kumar, born in Lahore in 1942, becomes the third woman of Indian origin to be accorded the rare royal honour for women since the order was instituted in 1917: the first was Maharani Lakshmi Devi of Dhar, in 1931; and educationist Asha Khemka, in 2014.

Kumar is among several Indian-origin individuals named for royal honours in the list, including Ramesh Mehta, president of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, and Sandeep Singh Virdee, founder of the Darbar Arts Culture and Heritage Trust.

Annabel Mehta, mother-in-law of former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and president of non-governmental organisation Apnalaya, has been named for an MBE for services to the community and under privileged in Mumbai.

Kumar is a professor of Medicine and Education at Bart’s and the London School of Medicine. The citation accompanying her damehood said: “She is the co-editor and author of the revolutionary 1989 textbook, ‘Kumar and Clark’s Clinical Medicine’. The book is symptomatic of her efforts to improve the education of medical students, doctors and nurses in training both at home and abroad”.

A former president of the British Medical Association, Kumar, who came here to study medicine and went on win several accolades in her career, was named the first Asian Woman of the Year Award in 1999. She

Kumar said in a recent interview that her mother was her biggest inspiration: “She was a remarkable lady. She inculcated in me the principles of hard work, honesty, and giving. Anything was possible, even as a woman”.

“Her giving and voluntary work lasted to the end of her days. I have this vision of a tiny 80-year-old Indian lady in a sari (hitched up over snow boots) delivering meals on wheels to elderly people in a Surrey town. I always wondered what the locals must have thought of her”.

Mehta, who worked in the National Health Service as the lead paediatrician until his retirement, has been in the forefront of raising issues related to doctors of Indian and other non-EU origin. He also liaises with the Indian government and medical institutions on joint projects.

The individuals named in the list will be presented the honours such as ‘Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire’, OBE and MBE at ceremonies in Buckingham Palace during the year.

Other individuals named in the list include author JK Rowling and musician Paul McCartney, who are among the nine named for the Order of the Companion of Honour. Police officer Keith Palmer, who died in the terror attack on Westminster bridge in March, has been named for a posthumous bravery medal.

Birmingham-based Virdee has been honoured for services to the promotion of Indian musical heritage in the UK.

The list includes Indian-origin academics with achievements in various disciplines, such as medicine and criminology.

Aisha Kulwant Gill, who was named for services to tackling forced marriage, honour crimes and violence against women, is professor of criminology at the University of Roehampton. Sital Singh Dhillon is honoured for services to higher education.

Other Indian origin individuals honoured are:

Kamaljit Kaur Hothi (for services to diversity in the banking sector); Arvind Michael Kapur (science, technology, business and enterprise); Chandrakant Kataria (housing in the East Midlands); Nikesh Kotecha (entrepreneurship, innovation in pharmaceutical services and philanthropy).

Harinder Singh Pattar (education), Nardeep Sharma (education), Rakesh Sharma (defence capability), Mahendra Pratap Singh Varma (cardiology), Pushpinder Chowdhury (for services to the Asian community in the UK.

Vilasgauri Ratilal Dhanani (voluntary and charitable services); Surinder Singh Jandu (community cohesion); Serbjit Kaur (dentistry); Vikas Kumar (arts and culture); Pritpal Singh Nagi (business and charity); Nitin Palan (interfaith relations).

Anjna Morarji Patel (for services to the parking profession); Bharti Rajput (podiatry and the economy); Tejinder Kumar Sharma (Hindi literature and community cohesion); Shobba Srivastava (community cohesion); Deepak Verma (arts).

Uma Nalayini Fernandes (community healthcare); Suraj Bhan Khandelwal (business and community); Vinod Mathuradas Kotecha (services to the Asian community); Sohail Munshi (primary care); and Mohinder Singh Sangha (for services to the community in Leicester).

First Published: Jun 17, 2017 07:42 IST