Over 40 Indian-origin medics, business leaders and community champions are among those on King Charles III’s first Birthday Honours List as the British monarch released by the UK government.
Dr Parvinder Kaur Aley, Director of Global Operations at the Oxford Vaccine Group, University of Oxford, has been honoured as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to vaccination during COVID-19.
Professor Prokar Dasgupta, Foundation Professor of Surgery, King’s Health Partners and Chair in Robotic Surgery and Urological Innovation at King’s College London has also been conferred with an OBE for services to surgery and science.
Among the British Indian business leaders honoured are Anuj Chande, Partner and Head of South Asia Business Group at Grant Thornton UK LLP, who receives an OBE for services to international trade and investment, and Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for Hina Solanki, founder of Sol Cosmedics for services to business and charity.
The list was released by the UK government in London on Friday night.
"This year's honours list is a testament to ordinary people who have demonstrated extraordinary community spirit, and I pay tribute to all those who have been recognised today," said Oliver Dowden, UK Deputy Prime Minister.
A total of 1,171 people have received an honour, of which 52 per cent are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity and 11 per cent of the successful candidates come from an ethnic minority background.
Among some of the topmost honours is a knighthood for novelist Martin Amis, who passed away recently, for services to literature.
Also knighted is award-winning British filmmaker Stephen Frears. Fashion magazine ‘Vogue’ editor Dame Anna Wintour and author Sir Ian McEwan join the elite Companions of Honour.
Among some of the other Indian-origin recipients of honours include OBEs for consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Anju Kumar for services to women’s health and welfare in Wales; District Crown Prosecutor Varinder Hayre for services to law and order in London; and Sunand Prasad, Chair of UK Green Buildings Council, for services to regeneration.
Also receiving MBEs are Roma Bhopal, physiotherapist and specialist hand therapist, for services to physiotherapy; Bawa Singh Dhallu, lately Councillor and lately Mayor, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, West Midlands, for political and voluntary service; Violinist Jyotsna Srikanth for services to music; and Ritu Khurana, disc jockey and broadcaster, for services to music and broadcasting.
The list also covers around 10 British Empire Medal (BEM) recipients of Indian heritage, including Balvir Mohan Bhalla, founder Super Cool Friends Charity, for services to the community in Ilford, London Borough of Redbridge, particularly during COVID-19; Rekesh Chauhan, pianist and composer, for services to music, charity and mental health in the British Asian community, particularly during COVID-19; and Kailash Malhotra, Peer Educator Volunteer, Kidney Research UK, for services to kidney organ donation for minority ethnic groups.
“We are both incredibly honoured and grateful to receive this award. We hope to continue serving the Birchwood community, as it brings us so much pleasure to help the people around us that we class as family,” said postmasters Balbir Kaur and Kuldeep Singh Dhillon, who have both been awarded BEMs for services to the community in Birchwood, Cheshire.
The King’s Birthday Honours recognises people who have made achievements in public life and committed themselves to serving and helping Britain.
They are announced annually on the eve of the monarch’s official birthday – which is celebrated with pomp and pageantry in June. Committees of independent experts meet to review nominations twice a year – and then a main committee decides and agrees on a final list, which was sent to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and then to the King to be officially awarded in his name.
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