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August - September 2009

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Dispatches & Reports

Beauty Without Cruelty Acquires Young & Pure

Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC), the global ethical cosmetics brand, has acquired the UK’s leading teen skin care brand, Young & Pure. With shared ethical values, the acquisition of Young & Pure enables BWC to expand its customer base and introduce younger audiences to ethical products.

BWC pioneered cruelty-free beauty products in the 1970’s and has developed an internationally-recognised approach to quality control and ethical formulation development. Young & Pure products offer teen-focused skin care and the company strongly supported the international campaign for the removal of potentially harmful ingredients. The current Young & Pure product range is the leading skin care range especially designed for teenage skin. It has a loyal customer base and, like BWC, is 100% vegan.

Tim Green, Director of BWC, said “We are excited by this opportunity to provide an enhanced ethical offering for our customers and we commend the founder of Young & Pure for her achievements in promoting ethical skin care.”

Hinduism does not condemn gay people

The British Hindu homosexual community will welcome the news that their brethren in India are now be able to enjoy the same freedoms as they do in the UK. It is indeed good news that people are not discriminated against because of God's laws of nature.

The ancient Hindu scriptures describe the homosexual condition to be a biological one, and although the scripture gives guidance to parents on how to avoid procreating a homosexual child, it does not condemn the child as unnatural.

Hinduism prescribes 16 ceremonies to mark each major stage in one's life span. We would usually observe the birth, name, adolescence, marriage, retirement and death ceremonies but there is a little known ceremony called the "insemination" ceremony or the Garbhadan Sanskaar, which I am sure nobody observes nowadays.

This insemination ceremony talks about homosexuality. The ancient Rishis or prophets advocated that there are two elements, fire (agni for sun) and water (soma for moon), which determine the sex of a child. Of the 16 days from the end of the menstruation cycle, sexual intercourse for the purposes of procreation was forbidden as during these days the menses may continue. The theory goes that if insemination takes place in the night of an even number from six to 16, a male child will be born whilst on an odd number of fifth, seventh, ninth and 15th night a female child will be born.

The scripture further forbids insemination on the 11th or the 13th night after the end of the menstruation cycle, because then it says the child will be homosexual.

According to the scripture the sex of a child is determined by whether the fire element is dominant or the water element is dominant. Thus during those even nights the fire element dominates giving a male conception and during those odd nights the water element gives a female conception. However, if the fire element equals the water element then a homosexual conception takes place.

The point here is that the homosexual nature is part of the natural law of God; it should be accepted for what it is, no more and no less. Hindus are generally conservative but it would seem to me that in ancient India they even celebrated sex as an enjoyable part of procreation, where people would invite their priest even for a private ceremony in their home to mark the beginning of that process. In fact King Dasharath, who fathered Lord Rama around 2100 BC had one of the most lavish insemination ceremonies.

Homosexuals are full human beings, who in Hinduism even worship their own deity, the Mother Goddess Bahuchara, for their spiritual link to the Absolute Brahm. They marry for the right reasons of commitment, not just unadulterated sex, as a means of training their egos to give to the other person, a technique deified through the sacrament of marriage so that both souls can evolve towards their final salvation. (Anil Bhanot, General Secretary, Hindu Council UK)

Surgeon is Employee of the Year

A top surgeon at King George Hospital has been honoured with an annual award.

Aman Bhargava has been named as Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust’s Employee of the Year.

Consultant surgeon Mr Bhargava was nominated for the accolade by Stuart Wright – the son of one of his patients.

Mr Wright said: “Mr Bhargava is without doubt one of the most talented surgeons in the UK. Twice he saved my mother’s life with his expert surgical skill when she has been so desperately ill we thought she would not survive.

“ He is outstandingly professional and shows unique compassion and empathy at a very difficult and upsetting time.”

The Trust runs an Employee of the Month scheme, with 12 members of staff winning a prize for outstanding service throughout the year.

They then go through to the Employee of the Year final.

Mr Bhargava received a certificate and vouchers from Chief Executive John Goulston and Acting Chairman Barbara Liggins at a special ceremony held at Queen’s Hospital.



Founded in 1971 by Dr Kartar Lalvani, Vitabiotics (where nature meets science) is Britain’s leading and fastest-growing vitamin supplement company, with eight national brand leaders. The business is responsible for some of the UK’s best-known health prodcts and has built a reputation for producing effective treatments for multiple types of medical conditions. It is a family business with 100% shareholding by the Family Trust. Both the founder, Kartar and his son Tej run the business with world-wide sale amounting to £270 million. Their mission statement emphasises “We aim to be the leading international supplier of innovative, nutrient-based health care products.” The Evalutation Committee concluded, “Vitabiotics is the definitive Asian business success story.” Tej Lalvani, Senior Vice-President said, “We know we have the best products. Why can we not be Number 1?” Prof. Ajit Lalvani, Non-Executive Director at “Vitabiotics describes his vision, “We intend to hand the company vision down throught the generations like in a relay race.”

The business has won numerous awards including two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

Patron of the Maidstone Museums Foundation

Prince Mohsin Ali Khan

Prince Mohsin Ali Khan of Hyderabad has become the latest prominent supporter of the Maidstone Museums Foundation. The Prince is a great supporter of the arts and culture as well as being a recognised humanitarian and has in recent times visited and shown much interest in Maidstone and its community together with its many historic associations.The Prince was delighted at being invited to attend a classical concert with Primavera at Maidstone Museum on 21st May and said, “The people of Maidstone were very fortunate indeed to have such wonderful museums housing priceless collections from around the world.” It was for this reason that he was considered an ideal choice for honouring the Maidstone Museums Foundation with his patronage.

The Maidstone Museums Foundation is a registered charity whose objectives are to support the town’s museums. Chairman Mark Baker said, “The involvement of Prince Mohsin Ali Khan once again highlights the importance of our museums. Maidstone Museum is the de facto county museum of Kent and we are delighted that the Prince has chosen to lend his support for our campaign to make our excellent museums even better.”

Established in 1858 and situated in the heart of Kent’s County Town and housed in a range of historic listed buildings, Maidstone Museum contains over 600,000 artefacts and specimens, making it the largest collection in Kent and one of the best regional museums in the South East of England. Its collections are outstanding in their diversity and quality and consist of approximately 660,000 artefacts and specimens. They include regionally significant holdings of fine and decorative art, archaeology, palaeontology, natural history, costume, ethnography and military history. The Anglo-Saxon and Japanese art collections are of national importance.

Maidstone Borough Council operates three museums; Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery; the Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages; and the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum.

The Shaheed Nanak Singh Foundation

“Honouring those who honour India”

The Hon. Chief Minister of Delhi, Mrs. Sheila Dixit, handed over 100 Ice Boxes donated by The Shaheed Nanak Singh Foundation UK to Auto Drivers at her residence on Janpath Road on the 25th July 2009. This will enable them to supplement their income by selling cold drinks to their passengers.

This is the beginning of a Historic Welfare project initiated with the pioneering support of the Shaheed Nanak Singh Foundation UK and has been coordinated by ‘MISSION VIJAY’, Nafisa Ali's ‘ACTION INDIA’ and the Delhi Government under the banner of the ‘Bhaghidari Project’.

The profit generated from the sale of the cold drinks will go towards alleviating poverty. The aim is to eventfully supply over 0.4million Auto Drivers in the country with these ice boxes. The Auto Drivers would also be trained to be Home Guards and Tourist Guides by Ex Servicemen. All coordinators/distributors will be ex-servicemen, disabled soldiers or War Widows.

Overcoming Obstacles

Munira Panjwani, MBA

Student of the Year 2009

Anyone who attains an MBA has made an undeniable achievement; however, some students stand out from the crowd for one reason or another.

In the MBA class of 2009 there is such a student in Munira Panjwani. Munira’s drive and commitment to achieving her dream has brought recognition as ‘Student of the Year’. To understand her impressive achievements, it is necessary to understand the culture and background of Munira.

She was one of the participants in an international MBA conference at the University of Leicester on 8 June.

Munira is the eldest daughter in a family of five children, from whose family is first generation Asian immigrants from Malawi, Africa. Her family brought with them their religion and strong adherence to their Asian culture and heritage. For Munira, being female meant an expectation of early marriage and she was not allowed to pursue an academic qualification beyond a basic level of education. She was not expected to have a career of any kind.

Having completed her A levels, and against the advice of her teachers, Munira abandoned her education and prepared for marriage.

At just eighteen, she married and began her new life as a wife and mother in Birmingham. Munira was lucky though, her chosen husband was a liberal minded, educated man and she was at least able to pursue a career or sorts.

Success at work

In her first job, her line manager recognised a spark in Munira and, within eighteen months she became the team leader for the West Midlands region Client Liaison Team.

In 1999, her husband’s new job meant a move to Leicester, where Munira found more success as a Sales and Marketing Assistant. As with her previous job, Munira achieved recognition for her hard work and commitment.

Family Comes First

Sadly, her young son’s ongoing health issues required Munira to give up her hopes of a career to devote her time to helping her son overcome his illness.

As his condition improved, she was able to return, albeit on a part-time basis to the challenges of the workplace.

Finding a work life balance

Realising that she needed to balance the challenge of work with the vital role of mother, Munira took the plunge and set up her own business.

In 2003, Munira launched Occasion Cakes, a bespoke specialist wedding cake company catering to a growing niche Asian market specialising in original creative designs and personal service ( Six years on, she now employs one part-time member of staff and the company is successful in its area of expertise.

Most women would be content with this success, not Munira. Recognising the seasonal nature of the wedding cake business, Munira started another one. In the winter, she runs a small business creating and selling handmade jewellery.

Giving back

Again, most women would be more than happy with these achievements. But there is yet more to Munira. She is also a regular contributor to an orphanage in Malawi, where 30 orphans are cared for in a family environment and, equally as important, receive a full-time education.

Bringing up three children, running two businesses and giving back into the land of her heritage and taking on an MBA, It is understandable why Munira is the MBA Student of the Year for the University of Leicester.

What next for Munira

Munira’s career aspirations are to progress into senior management in a large national or multinational organisation, and manage Occasion Cakes as a side business.

In recognition of her work to help other students settle into University life, many of whom come from all over the world, Munira was chosen as Student of the Year 2009. Her gift for languages and her easy-going personality enabled her to offer help and support to a variety of students.

Munira says, “My MBA, once completed, will truly be a great asset for me but I believe it’s the beginning of my learning curve which I expect to get steeper while I put my acquired knowledge, expertise and tuition to use. While not everyone has the choice and means to pursue their dreams, we all have an inherent capacity to try which is an embodiment of the human spirit.”

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