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December 2008 - January 2009
World Punjabi Organisation UK bestows PUNJAB RATAN AWARD on Lord Swraj Paul of Marylebone
The 7th annual function of the WPO was a great success as the Banqueting Hall was overflowing with Punjabi dignitaries from all over England. They had gathered to celebrate their success, recognise the new milestones in the community and interact with each other in a typical Punjabi way.
The President, Ranjit Baxi welcomed the guests of honour that included Lord Navneet Dholakia, Lord Swraj Paul, Mr Shailesh Vara MP, Asian front bench spokesman for the Conservative party, Justice Mota Singh and Dr Kartar Lalvani, Chairman Vitabiotics among others.
The President in his address set the tone of the function when he announced that one of the aims of the WPO was to promote ‘greater environmental awareness’.
Despite the current financial crunch, Mr Baxi hoped that it would be of short duration, “whereas climate change is a continuing and growing long term problem for all of us.” He pointed out that there has to be a balance between climate change and economic growth. Mr Baxi, being the head of a recycling business organisation, is himself an expert on environmental problems being faced by the world today. After describing graphically the dangers of global warming on India and Africa, Mr Baxi emphasised that the partial remedy was decreasing CO2 emissions. This, he pointed out, is far greater in the countries of West than in India and Africa. “Today”, Mr Baxi declared, “As President of the WPO European Division, I am proud to launch our very own campaign to raise environmental awareness both in India and the UK. We will call it “Plant a tree, save the Planet”.
Mr Baxi, declaring Lord Swraj Paul as the winner of this year’s PUNJAB RATAN award, said that Lord Paul was one of the first Asians to become the Captain of Industry in Asia after independence. His career, “besides business spans politics, public service, academia and philanthropy.” Lord Swraj Paul makes every Punjabi proud. He has been a role model for a generation of PUNJABI ENTREPRENEURS settled all over the world; and will continue to be so for years to come.