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February - March 2008


Honour for Baj Mathur

by Krishan Ralleigh

Bajrang Bahadur Mathur, popularly known as Baj was born on 1st January, celebrated his 70th birthday this year. His most surprise present came from the office of the Prime minister in the form of a letter, informing that her Majesty the Queen has graciously approved New Year Honours List 2008 and Baj is appointed a Member of the British Empire- MBE. This is in recognition of his services to the community. Mr Mathur is excited and feels privileged to receive the honour and looking forward to go to Buckingham Palace on 19 February 2008 and have the opportunity to meet the Queen.

Baj and his wife Sharda cared for his elderly mother who suffered from Dementia and Parkinson’s disease until she died. It is during this time Baj came in contact with Hillingdon Carers, a local charity with a mission to support Carers. He joined the organisation and was its Chairman from 1996 to March 2007. Hillingdon Carers provides an integrated, comprehensive and effective service to the Carers through which the Carers receive financial, emotional and practical support.

When asked who is a Carer? Baj said that a Carer is a person of any age, ranging from 7 years to 95, who takes on the responsibility of looking after a family member who is unable to manage his/her daily living without help, on account of illness, disability, special need or frailty. The carers are unpaid irrespective of the hours of care they give. The irony is that many Carers don’t even regard themselves as Carers as they think that they are only caring for their child, husband, wife, partner, father, mother, friend or a neighbour. These are the hidden Carers in our community who may not be aware of the help and support that is available. The task of supporting Carers is huge as it is estimated that there are some 6 million Carers in the UK, One in eight persons is a Carer and approximately 1,000 more people become Carers every day.

Mr Mathur has recently been elected to the Board of Directors of Hillingdon Crossroads. This charity is a leading provider of respite to Carers of all age groups and disabilities in their own homes. The main problem for Carers is that they don’t get rest. There are Carers who are looking after relatives 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Many of them don’t even get proper sleep. Hillingdon Crossroads can be called upon to send a care worker to the house to relieve the Carer for a few hours or if needed for a night.

Professionally, Baj is a retired Chartered Architect and Town Planner. He worked with Harrow Council till his retirement in 1993. He is still a member of the Executive Committee of Harrow Heritage Trust which is an amenity society.

An artist and fond of photography and travel, Baj Mathur writes regularly articles on Travels and Arts for India Link International which are highly appreciated by our readers.

Our best wishes to Baj for a happy future and may he continue with his charitable and artistic work for many more years.

Mr Mathur is with carer of disabled child and ex-carer discussing carer issues

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