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India International Foundation Second Annual Awards 2005

by Krishan Ralleigh


The India International Foundation organised its Second Annual Awards – 2005 at the Radisson SAS Portman Hotel, London, on Friday, the 24th March this year. Dr Ranjan Mathai, Deputy High Commissioner of India gave these awards to Indians who have attained distinctions in different fields and one whose total contributions brought pride to India.


From L : Ujjval Sehgal, Kartick & Rajan Sehgal, Wamika, Shilpa,Khilna &Talan Shah(Qatar Air)

Those honoured are:
Pride of India Award : Lord Bhikhu Parekh:-Centennial Professor, London School of Economics, MA from Bombay and Ph D from London. One of the most distinguished Asians in the field of literature and education, leading Asian in Parliament, Philanthropist and Scholar of Political & Social Studies. Vsiting Professor, University of British Columbia 1968-69 and Concordia University 1974-75.Formerly Professor, University of Hull, Vice Chancellor, Baroda University and Recipients of several Honorary Doctorates from leading Universities.

Award of Distinctions:
Administration : Mr Tarique Ghaffur CBE QPM
Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police
CBE QPM. BA (Hons) in Public Administration; MA in Criminology; Hon Ph D in Law. Joined Greater Manchester Police in 1974 rising to the rank of Chief Inspector. Moved in 1989 to Leics Constabulary as Superintendent/Chief Superintendent. Worked as Divisional Commander at Loughborough, Leicester City and HQ. Appointed in 1996 Asst Chief Constable for Lancs. Appointed in 1999 Director of Police Information Technology Organisation. Appointed in 2002 Asst Commissioner (Specialist Crime), Metropolitan Police. He has also worked in India, Jamaica and FBI Academy in USA. Recipient of Queens Police Medal in 2001 and Commander of British Empire in 2004

Art & Culture : Mrs Pushkala Gopal:- BA (Hons) with Maths and Economics in 1974 and Post Graduate Diploma in Bharatnatyam in 1977 from Ministry of Education, Government of India. British Council Fellow in 1983-84 studying Western techniques of theatre, dance and education.
To her credit, production, performance and touring of dance theatre work including Adventures of Mowgli Formed own dance company with Unnikrishnan and created and performed in Tapestry of Tales, Beauty and the Beast, Twilight, Taming of the Shrew, Shanti and Secret of Life. Trained many pupils in Bharatanatyam and played active role in formulating Bharatanatayam syllabus for ISTD and as Senior Monitoring Examiner and Vice Chairman of South Asian Dance Faculty.

Business: Mr Rajan Sehgal Chairman, Skylord plc
Graduate from University of Delhi, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant. After completing his studies, he opened his own practice as Chartered Accountant in Delhi.
He arrived in England in 1979, unable to find a job in his own profession, he started in the travel business from a very low level. With the result of his hard work, he established his firm Skylord Travel in 1983.Now his firm Skylord is floating and has got six branches throughout UK with Head Office at Eastcote. He plans to open offices in Scotland and Ireland very soon. Skylord PLC is now wholesaler for over 50 Major Airlines and their annual turnover has exceeded £ 30m.
He opened in 2004 a Call Centre in New Delhi which provides employment to 20 people with the launch of ‘flightwala.com’ it will provide jobs to over 200 people there. He is involved in many charities, educating 100s of children of parents who could not afford, runs Eye Trust in Delhi providing free check-ups, treatments, spectacles and surgeries.
Education : Lord Meghnad Desai:- BA (Hons) from Bombay 1958, MA from Bombay 1960 and Ph D 1964 from Pennsylvania.
Professor of Economics, London School of Economics
Director, Centre for the Study of Global Governance; He was made life peer in April 1991.

Judiciary : Mr Rabinder Singh QC: Specialises primarily in public and administrative law, employment law, European Community Law, human rights law, commercial law and media law.
2001 Barrister of the Year Award by the Lawyer magazine
2003 Appointed Deputy High Court Judge
2003 Appointed Visiting Professor of Law, London School of Economics
2004 Fellow, Royal Society of Arts
2004 Appointed Recorder of the Crown Court
He is Vice Chairman of the Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association.

Literature :Mrs Kailash Puri: Author, novelist and poet. She is recipient of many awards, but prominent being; Poet of the year 1980,Woman of the year 1984, Prerona Literary Award 1986, Bhasha Vibhag of Punjab Government 1988, Writer of the year by Sahit Sansar.

Medicine : Prof Bharat Jassani: Head of Dept of Pathology, Cardiff University and Histopathology Service, University Hospital of Wales & Cardiff. His greatest contribution is that of developing with UK National External Quality Assurance Scheme for Imuno-cyto-chemistry, especially in the field of breast-cancer. He was appointed to be the first Breast Cancer Module Leader in UKNEQAS as well as one of the first Professors of Oncological Pathology in UK.

Parliamentary :Mr Keith Vaz, MP & former minister; Longest serving Member, House of Commons, since 1987
Member, Select Committee on Constitutional Affairs

Science : Dr Ajit Lalvani: Consultant Physician and Wellcome Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine

Recipient of the Scientific Prize of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease,
Since 1998, Dr Lalvani has used the rapid blood test in double-blinded, randomized studies to prove its effectiveness in more than 2,000 TB patients and health controls in eight countries including India.Dr Lalvani is one of the researchers in the UK, India, China and many other countries, financially supported in their work by the UK based international bio-medical charity the Wellcome Trust.

Social Services : Mr Raj Loomba -Founder-Chairman, Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba Memorial Trust set up in 1997. The trust’s aim is to educate children of poor widows and support at least 100 children of poor widows in each of the 29 states throughout India. To date the Trust has raised sufficient funds to educate over 1,100 children in ten states.

Sports : Mr Fauja Singh: Holder of World, European and British running records at various distances in his age category. Although now a British Citizen, Mr Fauja Singh has raised the profile of athletes from India and Sikhs in particular by his remarkable achievements since his emergence on the world stage in 2000.

Hardyal S Luther, the Founder and President of The India International Foundation, referred to rapid strides India has made in various walks of life and said that the time has come to recognise the
contributions made by Indians abroad. He said that the Foundation had organised three eye camps, arranging cataract operations for 250 people in Bihar and Jharkhand and given 50 scholarships to poor children in Jharkhand last year. The Foundation will continue the same and also organise a limb camp in India. The priority will be given to the developing states of Bihar, Jharkhand,Orissa and Chhatisgarh.

Luther also referred to the importance of the art and culture of India and said that the Foundation would organise activities to further strengthen worldwide the original art and culture of India.

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