Asians on Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020 recognises those who have delivered extraordinary services. We look at the British Asians featured.

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100-year-old Dabirul Choudhary was an inspiration to many

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020 has been released and 1,495 people across the UK have been recognised for their contributions to UK society.

This is the most ethnically diverse list to date, with 13% of recipients coming from a minority ethnic background.

A number of honours for 2020 have been given to recognise exceptional contributions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The list showcases exceptional contributions of unsung heroes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As for the Asian contributions, the list honours the hard work and efforts by men and women with South Asian roots who have made a major impact on communities around the UK.

Brothers and the founders of the EG Group Zubair and Mohsin Issa have received CBE’s for services to business and charity.

The Blackburn-based brothers made headlines for buying supermarket chain Asda in a deal worth £6.8 billion.

British-Pakistani Farmida Bi is the UK’s first female chair of major law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. She also received a CBE for her services to law and charity.

Asians on Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020

As a result of their contribution to society during the Covid-19 pandemic, Lavina Mehta and 74-year-old Rajinder Singh Harzall, also known as the ‘Skipping Singh’, both received MBEs for encouraging elderly citizens to stay active during the lockdown.

Another recipient of an MBE is Sandeep Singh Daheley. He took the initiative to create an online portal for prayers whilst the Gurdwara was closed during Covid-19, to keep the essence of community alive for the Sikh community across the UK.

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Similarly, 100-year-old Dabirul Islam Choudhary was an inspiration to many and has received an OBE.

Mr Choudhury challenged himself to walk 100 laps around his garden whilst fasting during Ramadan to raise money for Covid-19 relief.

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Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service, said:

“I congratulate everyone receiving an honour and thank them for their hard work and years of service.”

“The UK’s impact around the world depends on exceptional people like those recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“We are grateful for their outstanding contribution.”

Many of the names on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List were compiled before the ongoing pandemic.

The List was postponed in order to consider nominations for people playing major roles during the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The List has prioritised frontline and community heroes who went beyond their duties to help others.

Of those who have received an honour, 72% have worked for their local community.

Some more of the names from the Asian community on the Birthday Honours List include:

  • Professor Ramesh Pulendran Arasaradnam OBE – Consultant Gastroenterologist, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. For services to the NHS during Covid-19
  • Sufina Ahmad MBE – Director, John Ellerman Foundation. For charitable service particularly during Covid-19
  • Harmohinder Singh Bhatia MBE – For services to Race Relations in the West Midlands particularly during Covid-19
  • Dr Sarbjit Clare MBE – Deputy Medical Director, Clinical Lead Acute Medicine, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust. For services to the NHS during Covid-19
  • Jatinder Singh Harchowal MBE – Chief Pharmacist and Head of Quality Improvement, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. For services to the Pharmaceutical Profession particularly during Covid-19
  • Manvir Hothi MBE – Social Worker, Hammersmith and Fulham Council. For services to Social Care particularly during Covid-19
  • Sanjeev Kumar MBE – For services to the BAME community during Covid-19
  • Dr Gurjinder Singh Sandhu MBE – Consultant, Infectious Diseases, London North West University NHS Trust. For services to the NHS during Covid-19
  • Dr Carter Singh MBE – General Practitioner. For services to Healthcare in Nottinghamshire particularly during Covid-19
  • Rita Chohan BEM – For services to the NHS during Covid-19
  • Rani Kaur BEM – Food Services Assistant, J Sainsbury’s plc. For services to the community in Bedfordshire during Covid-19 
  • Vajid Mahmood BEM – PPM Strategy and Implementation Lead, NHS England and NHS Improvement. For services to the NHS during Covid-19 
  • Manju Malhi BEM – For services to the community in London during the Covid-19 response 
  • Nilima Rahman BEM – Bank employee, Virgin Money. For services to the Financial Services sector and the community of South Shields during Covid-19
  • Ajitha Sajeev BEM – Street Population Manager, Newham Council. For services to the Vulnerable and Homeless in Newham during Covid-19
  • Shagufta Shamim BEM – For services to the community in Grangemouth during Covid-19
  • Neeraj Kumari Singadia BEM – Branch Manager, Lloyds Banking Group. For services to the Financial Sector and the community in Birmingham during Covid-19
  • Professor Yadvinder Singh Malhi FRS CBE – Professor of Ecosystem Science, University of Oxford. For services to Ecosystem Science
  • Neeta Patel CBE – For services to Entrepreneurship and Technology
  • Manjit Kaur Gill MBE – Founder, Binti. For services to the Provision of Menstrual Products to Women in Developing Countries, the UK and the US
  • Baljeet Kaur Sandhu MBE – Founder, Centre for Knowledge Equity. For services to Equality and Civil Society (London)

This showcases the huge voluntary effort across the country in response to Covid-19.

Other notable BAME names on the List included:

  • Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford received an MBE for his services to vulnerable children in the UK during the pandemic
  • Yvonne Conolly receives a CBE for her services to education. She is Britain’s first black headteacher
  • Derrick Evans, better known as Mr Motivator, receive MBEs for their accessible, live workouts to encourage people to stay physically and mentally fit during Covid-19.

Many recipients worked together to supply millions of free meals to those shielding, delivering care packages to NHS frontline workers and working extra hours voluntarily to support those at risk.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”