British Asian Hafta will showcase various events which take place during a stretch of two weeks, from the 28th October-9th November, with a theme of British Asian talent running through them. Events are accessible on the website www.britishasianhafta.co.uk.
The special guest of honour, Gloucester MP Parmjit Dhanda, the Minister for Cohesion and Neighbourhoods in the Department of Communities and Local Government, MP Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council immensely enjoyed the unique night. Another V.I.P guest was the glamorous and stunning Miss. England. A vibrant choreographed dance production by “Storm,” and a vivacious trendy fashion show hit the stage and were some of the exiting features of the night. An exclusive track written and produced by highly acclaimed artist Taz from ‘Stereonation’ lyrically told the story of community cohesion.
Gurjeet Bains, CEO for the Women of Cultures opened the night with her inspiring speech, which took the guests on a journey through time, when the first British Asians arrived in the UK to the present day second and third generations.
A one minute silence to pay tribute to those who laid down their live for the Independence of India and Pakistan, “They gave us freedom and dignity” said Gurjeet.
“The success of the Asian community is continuing to grow, but has never been celebrated, and this contribution never recognised.
Today we have paved the way for this celebration, from this recognition, British Asian Hafta is born. For us the journey has been very challenging, enormously exiting, but it is a journey that has only just started.
As the challenge does not end with BAH, it only starts, AS Women of Cultures has ambition to work with young ethnic girls aged 14 -18 to inspire to aspire them either on to further education or into employment. Tonight you are all here to make history, I am grateful you have given us the opportunity to celebrate the success and contribution of the Asian community to Britain.”
MP Parmjit Dhanda expressed his delight in his opening speech for the dinner and awards ceremony. He touched upon how important it is for British Asian success to be recognised and rewarded. Referring to the time when his family settled in the UK, they supported themselves through working hard to establish themselves. He highlighted how this progression within the British Asian communities across the nation is truly a mark in history.
MP Mike Whitby, “This is an evening of celebration, looking at the exceptional contribution the British Asian community has made to the life of our nation. I am delighted that Birmingham City Council is supporting this week-long Hafta. Today, our City has thriving cultural, educational, trade and political links with countries and regions across the world, from America to India, the Caribbean to Pakistan, and from Europe to China. We have seen how Asian-owned businesses are increasingly linking our City – and the United Kingdom as a whole – to new foreign markets, and in doing so contributing to community cohesion and racial integration.”
Women of Cultures were proud to present the awards for the much deserved winners. The crème de la crème of Asian businesses proudly walked away with a shiny award for their dedication and achievements over the past year. For those bright sparks hidden within the community, six awards were scooped up by the lucky winners. These are Most Diverse Company sponsored by Birmingham Professional Divercity; Male and Female Category for Best Employee Pricewaterhouse Coopers; Male and Female Category for Best Employer Bullring and Wragge and Co; and someone of huge accolade for the Pioneer Award sponsored by Birmingham City Council.
The winners who shone brightly in their limelight were finally announced after weeks of nerve wracking wondering and waiting.
Best Female Employee: Reshma Sheikh – Eversheds International business law firm, has used her role as a young solicitor to increase the value of Birmingham’s Future.
Pioneer : Bibi Gurdev Kaur- currently works as a primary school teacher. She was previously a youth leader of a Young Girls Association, and has presented a Punjabi programme at BBC WM radio station.
Best Male Employee: Mr Rajpal Mander- takes his senior role manager very seriously within the HM prison service in Birmingham. His priority is to help younger Asian members of staff to develop and progress their abilities.
Best Female Employer – Kulvinder Kaur Dehl- Housing Care strives, they believe in investing in people and creating an environment where ‘satisfaction is the highest priority.’
Best Male Employer – Mr Harvir Sahota- from Mahirs recognised the potential growth of the Indian catering food market. He has achieved his dream of running his own business and has employed an experienced professional mentor to help him.
Most Diverse Company – West Bromwich Building Society. The company applies an integral role within the multi-cultural community and has built up a trust with its customers
All winners were extremely overwhelmed and ecstatic to be rewarded for their achievements.
Another quirky element to the night was the face of British Asian hafta. What a race it has been! All ages, young and old, uploaded their best photos on the website in the hope of being crowned the ultimate winner. Fingers crossed!
Now introducing the winner at long last! The grand winner of the ‘Face of British Asian Hafta,’ is 5 year old Dhruv Sharma. His Father, Kamaljit Sharma felt very proud of hearing this brilliant news!
“I feel very good about Dhruv being the Face of British Asian Hafta. I am very grateful and thankful to the public with their help and support in making this possible. I am also proud of all those people who voted for him. His Mother is overjoyed and so are all of our friends, its great! I told him that he is the star of the night and he was very happy! I am glad I participated in the initiative!”
The Zee Roadshow ended the spectacular night, with performances from XS-BASS, PANJABI MC, Shin (DCS), Hard Kaur, TigerStyle, Specialist ‘n’ Tru Skool, Surinder Rattan, Notorious Jatt, Metz & Trix, DJ ViX.
Hosting the event, Gurjeet Bains, CEO for the organisation, expressed her delight: “Asians have contributed to British life in every aspect, their culture and music have already made significant inroads, their entrepreneurial skills are unique and the drive to succeed is exceptional”
“This successes has never been accredited before, we feel its time to celebrate the significant contribution, our sponsors have enabled this to happen”