December 2006 - January 2007
Dispatches & Reports
Dispatches & Reports
India's 20 Richest
||Net Worth ($bil)
||Kushal Pal Singh
||Shashi & Ravi Ruia
||Malvinder & Shivinder Singh
India’s High Net Worth Population Grows 19.3% to 83,000: Second Highest
Rate of growth in the World
BusineOwner and Professional Non Resident Indians are increasingly wealthy
London, October 17, 2006 – There were an estimated 83,000 High Net Worth
Individuals (HNWIs) in India at the end of 2005, up 19.3% from 2004. This growth
rate was the second highest among all the countries and markets globally, according
to the first Asia-Pacific Wealth Report published by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini.
HNWIs are people with net financial assets of at least US$1 million, excluding
their primary residence and consumables.
Buoyant economic conditions and robust domestic stock market performance during
the year contributed to the growth in India’s HNWI population.
Indian HNWIs held US$290 billion in assets at the end of 2005, representing
3.8% of total Asia Pacific HNWI wealth.
"Economic conditions have remained robust in India with an impressive
GDP growth rate and strong performances in the industrial and service sectors",
said Rahul Malhotra, Head of India for Merrill Lynch Global Private Client. "India’s
economic landscape and robust stock markets have been the drivers of wealth
creation in the country."
MUSLIM AID REBUILDS KASHMIR ONE YEAR
One year after that powerful South Asia earthquake devastated Kashmir, Muslim
Aid is implementing a number of projects in the region, spending in exceof £1.7 million on rehabilitation programmes.
The October 8 earthquake killed over 73,000 people in Kashmir and Pakistan,
and made millions homele. Located in Kashmir not far from Muzaffarabad, Bagh
was one of the areas that was worst-hit by the quake, which measured 7.6 on
the Richter scale.
Muslim Aid responded to the immediate needs of the communities to the tune
of more than £1.2 million, to cover emergency relief and to focus on
longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes. But even though
a year has passed since the earthquake made millions homele, there is still
work to be done.
As a result, Muslim Aid will be spending an additional half a million pounds
on various projects in and around the earthquake-affected areas. Muslim Aid,
which has its headquarters at Whitechapel Road, will be building more than
100 permanent houses in Bagh for those made homeleby the earthquake.
In another project, Muslim Aid will be implementing an income generation and
skills training project for 300 vulnerable families at Tehsil Bagh. The water
supply system in Bagh will also be reconstructed, as a result of a project
funded by Muslim Aid.
“In Bagh, between 80 and 90 per cent of the houses were destroyed,” recalled
Tanzeem Wasti, secretary of Muslim Aid’s board of trustees, during a
visit to the area. “Teachers were killed, students were killed. Whole
sections of Bagh were destroyed, and for quite some time, many people were
unable to remove the bodies from the houses, because of the rubble.”
ALL THAT GLITTERS…
Christie’s London Jewellery Sale Shines In December, Important Jewellery
Wednesday, 6 December 2006 at 11am & 2pm
London – A spectacular Kashmir sapphire and a royal ring from Queen Victoria
are amongst the historical jewels highlights of Christie’s King Street
sale of Important Jewellery on 6 December 2006. Featuring over 300 lots of
stunning diamonds, sapphires and pearls with estimates ranging from £2,000
to £150,000, the sale is estimated to fetch in exceof £4 million.
Sapphires from Kashmir are amongst the most desired stones and many of the
finest examples that come on the market today emanate from pieces of antique
jewellery. Appearing at auction for the first time is an important antique
diamond and pearl pendant and brooch from circa 1890 which is set around an
exceptional cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire of 13.86 carats (estimate: £100,000-150,000).
The very finest sapphires originate in Kashmir, the mountainous region between
Indian and Pakistan, where the first discoveries in 1881 were made. This small
area became a legendary source for sapphires, producing stones of a rich cornflower
blue similar to the example offered in Christie’s sale. Since the mines
closed in 1925 production has remained non-existent ever since and the appearance
of this sapphire, which is thought to have been discovered when the mine first
opened, ensures this piece will be highly sought-after.
An emerald and diamond ring given by Queen Victoria (1819-1901) on her coronation
day to her Maid of Honour, Lady Ann McKenzie (estimate: £3,000-4,000)
is amongst the selection of historical pieces offered in the sale. Crowned
Queen of the United Kingdom at Westminster Abbey on 28 June 1838, the inside
of the ring is engraved with the monogram 'VR' for Victoria Regina and also
includes a lock of hair set within the band. The ring has the rare distinction
of still being in its original case which is marked on the inside Rundell,
Bridge and Co. The Royal Jewellers. The ring was bequeathed to Lady Ann McKenzie’s
niece and goddaughter, Lady Alice Wentworth Fitzwilliam, and is being offered
by a descendant.
With the market for diamonds stronger than ever, the sale features a glittering
selection including a sapphire and diamond suite of jewellery by Harry Winston
(estimate: £30,000-40,000) which comprises of a necklace, bracelet and
ear clips. Also offered is an antique diamond riviere, circa 1880 (estimate: £40,000-50,000)
in original green leather case crown embossed 'E' for ArchducheElisabeth
of Austria (1878-1960).
From fancy yellows to soft pinks, coloured diamonds continue to be especially
sought-after and the sale includes a number of eye-catching examples including
a rectangular-cut fancy intense yellow diamond of 17.17 carats (estimate: £100,000-150,000),
an Asscher-cut fancy light pink diamond of 6.57 (estimate £50,000-70,000)
and a pair of 0.74 carat fancy intense yellowish green diamonds forming the
central part of a pair of Art Deco earrings (estimate: £20,000-25,000)
Always a highlight of the sale, the regular Cartier section features over
40 lots which are led by a Kashmir sapphire ring by Cartier of 8.10 carats
made in 1959 which is estimated to fetch between £50,000 to £60,000.
The section also includes an Art Deco diamond bracelet made in Paris in the
early 1930s (estimate: £35,000-45,000) and a sapphire and diamond necklace
from circa 1955 (estimate: £38,000-45,000). Amongst the Cartier objects
includes a rare Art Deco lacquer and gem-set cigarette box, circa 1925 (estimate: £25,000-35,000),
the lid of which depicts a Chinese nocturnal scene. This style of lacquer work
is of Chinese origin and involves dying layers of mother-of-pearl into pink,
blue, green and purple tones, so as to create vivid contrasts of colour in
extremely detailed scenes.
Public Viewing: 1, 3-5 December 2006
Sale: Wednesday, 6 December 2006 at 11.00am and 2.00pm
UK FILM COUNCIL INCREASES FILM VIEWING CHOICES FOR UK AUDIENCES
Lottery awards for specialised and art-house films ensure wider distribution
The UK Film Council announced today the latest awards from its Prints and Advertising
Fund which aims to bring a broader range of films to audiences acrothe UK.
The Prints and Advertising Fund (P&A) provides £2 million a year
for the wider release of specialised, art-house and foreign language film adding
value to the distributors’ own investment in getting their films to audiences.
The P&A support is used to produce extra prints and increase advertising
for these specialised films which otherwise would only have a limited release
in the UK. The fund also helps to enhance media exposure and publicity
ensuring audiences are aware of the opportunities to see the film.
Natural Scenes Ltd received an initial award of £23,503 for Ed Blum’s
Scenes of a Sexual Nature with a commitment to increase that to £103,533
if the film ‘takes off’ with audiences. A lower budget film with
a strong British cast, it was written by first-time writer Aschlin Ditta, and
stars Ewan McGregor, Sophie Okonedo and Catherine Tate. The award will support
additional prints and the digital release of the film in order to reach more
cinemas. Scenes of a Sexual Nature is released on 3 November.
Icon was awarded £150,000 for Michele Placido’s Romanzo Criminale,
a gangster film, shot in Italian and presented with English subtitles. The
award will expand the film’s release from 20 to 60 sites including 40
sites for distribution via the UK Film Council’s Digital Screen Network.
Icon was also able to increase its media campaign and university promotions.
Romanzo Criminale is released on 3 November.
UIP was awarded £106,380 for Richard Laxton’s Life & Lyrics
with rising British star Ashley Walters, which opened in the UK on 29 September.
The release of this British film was expanded from 35 to 70 sites, more than
doubling the number of screens. Life & Lyrics also benefited from a national
outdoor advertising campaign.
Peccadillo Pictures was awarded £20,597 for the release of Eric Khoo’s
Be with Me, co-written by him and Wong Kim Hoh inspired by the life story of
Theresa Chan. A film from Singapore, it is presented in the English, Mandarin
and Cantonese language, and is a triptych of fictional love stories mixed with
the true story of Theresa Chan who has been both blind and deaf from an early
age. The award enabled Peccadillo to triple the number of sites from 2 to 10,
to produce audio description for the visually impaired and increase promotion. Be
with Me is released on October 27.
The ICA received £4,500 to ensure wider distribution for Sophie Fiennes’ documentary
feature, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, co-written with Slavoj Zizek.
The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema is out now.
Distributor Optimum Releasing Ltd will receive £158,000 for Guillermo
del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, a fantasy film from the cult director
shot in Spanish and presented with English subtitles. The award will expand
the release of the film from 40 to 75 sites, and also help to support the digital,
advertising and publicity campaign. Pan’s Labyrinth is released on 24
Several classic productions have also recently been supported by the P&A
Fund. Park Circus was awarded £ 3,600 for Carol Reed’s thriller
Odd Man Out (1947), restored and reissued as part of a Carol Reed celebration,
and chosen as the closing night film of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
The company was also awarded £4,475 for Fred Zinnemann’s Oklahoma!
(1955) to distribute the western on both on 35mm and digital screens and £4,400
for Sir Alan Parker’s musical Bugsy Malone (1976), to be re-released
on 8 December.
Continuing to support UK film heritage and culture, the BFI received £4,640
for How to Survive the 1940s, a compilation of public information films from
the post-war hat period 1946-1950. As a feature with special interest appeal
and obvious educational possibilities, the award enabled the BFI to expand
its single 35mm print release of the film via the DSN.
Pathé was awarded £250,000 for Pedro Almodovar’s Volver,
starring Penelope Cruz enabling the distributor to double the release of the
film so that it could reach in exceof 80 screens, and in particular, audiences
UK-wide. The film has been hailed as Almodovar’s most exciting work to
date and has broken all records for the director’s film s in the UK. With £2.57
million taken at cinemas to date, it is only the 11th foreign language film
to have broken the £2 million barrier since 1991.
Dogwoof Productions received £2,811 for Ramin Bahrani’s Man Push
Cart. The award contributed to an additional 35mm print and digital distribution
enabling 22 additional bookings. Man Push Cart is now on release.
Wsyiwyg Distribution was awarded £1,470 to increase distribution for
The Plague, a first time feature from writer-director Hal Masonberg, starring
James Van der Beek.
Awards made earlier in 2006 for a wide variety of films include £140,636
to Buena Vista for Jonathan Jakubowicz’s Secuestro Expre; £39,000
to Dogwoof Pictures for Miguel Courtois’ El Lobo; £53,090 to Tartan
Distribution for Byambasuren Davaa’s The Cave of the Yellow Dog; and £10,533
to Tartan Distribution for Robert Greenwald’s Wal-Mart: The High Cost
of Low Price.
A list of the UK Film Council’s National Lottery awards can be found
CELEBRATING THE EXTRAORDINARY CONTRIBUTION OF ETHNIC MINORITIES TO UK
A major new exhibition is being launched in Black History Month to commemorate
the bravery and sacrifice of ethnic minority communities who have served with
the UK’s Armed Forces over the last 250 years.
The We Were There exhibition remembers millions of military and civilian personnel
from Africa, Asia and the West Indies who have been willing to risk their lives
to help the UK. Men and women who, quite literally, helped to change the course
The Under Secretary of State for Defence and Veterans’ Minister, Derek
"The focus of this new exhibition is very much on people rather than events,
about individuals who made extraordinary sacrifices during many major conflicts.
Their stories vividly illustrate how millions of people from different races,
religions and cultures have come together in the fight for freedom.
"The exhibition will shortly embark on an extensive national tour to teach
communities about a military history that belongs to each and every person.
The stories it tells provide a powerful lesson about personal commitment and
professionalism, regardleof religious or racial background."
The exhibition tells the courageous and moving tales of those who served with
UK Forces before, during and after the Two World Wars.
One such person was James Africanus Horton, born in Sierra Leone in 1835 to
freed slaves. In 1855, Horton was selected for medical training at King’s
College, London and went on to study at Edinburgh University. In 1859 he joined
the British Army Medical Service and was appointed assistant staff surgeon.
Horton was one of the first Africans to qualify as a medical doctor and to
serve as an officer in the British Army. In 1874 he achieved the rank of Surgeon-Major,
before retiring in 1880 when he returned home to found the Commercial Bank
of Sierra Leone.
Another person who showed extreme bravery in the face of adversity was Noor
Inayat Khan, who was born to an Indian father and an American mother in 1914.
In 1940 Khan volunteered for the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF),
before she was recruited by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) because
she had lived in France and was fluent in French. In June 1943, Khan arrived
in France under the codename "Madeleine" and was constantly on the
run from the German Gestapo. After being betrayed by an informer, she was captured
and interrogated by the Gestapo, however she refused to talk and made several
unsuccessful attempts to escape. After being taken to a prison in Germany,
where she was tortured and beaten, Khan was sent to Dachau Concentration Camp
where she was shot. She was posthumously awarded the George Croin 1949,
and a plaque in her memory can still be found today at Dachau.
Today, the Armed Forces are determined to become more representative of our
diverse society, harnessing the wealth of talent and skills of individuals
from different backgrounds acroall ethnic and religious groups.
Ethnic minority representation in the Armed Forces has risen substantially
in recent years from just over 1% in 1999 to around 5.6% today. The Armed Forces
aim to reach 8% representation by 2013.
GORDON BROWN PRAISES LABOUR PARTY CONNECTION WITH INDIA
On Tuesday 26th September, Chancellor of the exchequer, Gordon Brown met
with senior policy makers, captains of industry and leaders in civic society
at a reception organised by Labour Friends of India, on the fringes of the
annual Labour Party Conference in Manchester.
He said "I value my contacts with India and want to convey my thanks to
Labour Friends of India for the constructive and positive role it plays in
Parliament. I am looking forward to visiting India in the next few weeks with
a view of understanding how our two countries can work even more closely than
they already are."
The Chancellor added, "Our connections with India as a Party go back many
years and our relations are deep and so profound. I thank the team associated
with Labour Friends of India for ensuring this continuity. Please keep working
for the great relations between our two countries."
50 British Parliamentarians attended the annual conference reception: Jack
Straw MP – Leader of the House of Commons, Ms Hazel Blears MP – Party
Chair, Ms Tessa Jowell MP – Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport,
Stephen Timms MP – Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Tony McNulty
MP – Minister for Policing, Security & Community Safety, Margaret
Hodge MP – Minister for Industry & The Regions, Parmjit Dhanda MP – Minister
for Children, Young People & Families, Barry Gardiner MP – Minister
for Biodiversity, Ed Balls MP – Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Lord
Warner – Minister for NHS Reform, Lord Davidson – Advocate General
for Scotland, and Mike Gapes MP – Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select
NEW ENTERPRISE WELCOMED TO NEWHAM
Two new businesses, set up in Newham, were opened by Mayor Sir Robin Wales.
Restaurant Caribbean Scene, in Royal Victoria Dock, held a VIP reception to
mark its opening by Sir Robin. Guests included footballer Jermaine Defoe and
Tessa Sanderson MBE.
The mayor also performed the official opening of the first European branch
of international jeweller Joy Alukkas, in Green Street. Among those who attended
was Bollywood actreBoomika Chawla.
Opening of Joy Alukkas - Sir Robin with Boomika Chawla and chairman Joy Alukkas.
Sir Robin said: "It is great to see international enterprise benefiting
Newham. Both these businesses are bringing new jobs to the borough and enhancing
its reputation as an up-and-coming area for style and innovation."
Caribbean Scene created 30 jobs with the opening of its first branch in Western
Gateway, on September 18.
Managing director Patrick Marche said: "We are the first chain of upmarket
Caribbean restaurants in the UK.
"This is our flagship branch which will be followed by another branch
in Stratford’s cultural quarter and subsequently throughout London.
"It is a very exciting stage for us and I would like to thank our guests
and sponsors for their support."
Joy Alukkas was officially opened on September 15.
Vara made Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
Shailesh Vara, Member of Parliament for North West Cambridgeshire, has been
made Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons by David Cameron. Mr Vara’s
appointment was part of a mini-reshuffle carried out by the Conservative Party
Leader earlier today.
The new role means that Mr Vara will be deputy to Theresa May MP, Shadow Leader
of the House.
Mr Vara said:
“I was a little surprised when David offered me the job but delighted
to have an opportunity to be part of the Conservative Front Bench Team. It
will be a steep learning curve and hard work but I am thoroughly looking forward
to the challenge.”
BBC honours Nina
Nina Rajarani, who hails from Harrow and runs her dance classes at the Harrow
Arts Centre, has walked away with major prize in contemporary dancing.
A renowned choreographer with many hits to her name, she won against stiff
competition to win the Bloomberg prize for contemporary dancing. The award
has a similar status in dancing as the Booker prize has in literature. Beside
prestige of being the best in the country, it also carries prize money of £25,000.
There were over 200 competitors that took part in the competition, with 20
reaching semi finals and five making the finals. The finalists had to perform
for 10 days at the Place Theatre in Euston before the judges awarded the prize.
Nina Rajarani’s composition “Quick” won the prestigious place
prize rewarding her hard and dedication to Indian dancing.
It involved four classically trained South Indian male dancers in businesuits against the background of city life. She had four musicians playing live
music for the accompaniment of the dancers.
Nina Rajarani was ecstatic after winning the award stating that she has now
proved to everybody in the field that you do not need to dilute the classical
form to make it relevant to the contemporary dance world. Some people think
that the Indian classical dance is inaccessible and can only be appreciated
by the Asian, but the majority of the audiences who watched the dance during
the competition were not Asians.
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