A broad range of people of Indian origin, including entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, educationalists and faith leaders were among those receiving honours at New Year for their exceptional contributions to the community.
Most notably, Asha Khemka was awarded a Damehood for her services to education. She is only the second woman of Indian origin to be awarded the highest honour since the system was established in 1917.
The story of Asha’s rise to fame is quite remarkable. She arrived in England in 1978 unable to speak English. Despite this, she has now transformed the lives of thousands of British students in her role as Principal of West Nottinghamshire College. Under her leadership, the college has become one of the best further education colleges in the UK and she has led the way in embracing the apprenticeship agenda.
Asha was not the only person of Indian origin involved in education to receive an honour. Shahed Ahmed Battiwala, Head Teacher at London’s Elmhurst Primary School and Gill Harjagbir Bal, Head Teacher of Wembley High Technology College, both received OBEs for their contributions to education.
Over the last few years a growing number of individuals have received honours for their contributions to interfaith work, and the most recent honours list was no exception to this. MBEs were awarded to Raj Kumar, Sadhu Singh Gakhal and Brij-Mohan Gupta.
It is great to see so many people of Indian origin receiving honours, but people from ethnic minority communities still receive far fewer honours than they should. This imbalance can only be redressed if more great people are nominated. We can only hope that these inspirational stories will inspire more nominations and it is not long before the honours list reflects the true diversity of outstanding work in British society.
If you are thinking about nominating someone and would like a free assessment of your chances of Queen’s honours success, call us now on +44 (0)1444 230130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org now.