South Indian women have done particularly well in the Queen’s Honours List for 2016. Overall, women overall did well getting 48% of the Honours. In total, 1,196 individuals were honoured. Only around 2% of the awards related to politics, the majority (76%)of the honours went to people who are doing outstanding community work with 76% were awards for work in the community.
Thirty-Five people from the south Asian communities were awarded representing around 5.7% of the total. Amongst the high profile names, Mr Harpal Singh KUMAR Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK was knighted for services to cancer research. Dr Raminder Singh RANGER MBE Chairman, Sun Mark Ltd received a CBE for services to Business and Community Cohesion.HMN profiles some of the outstanding work done by women in the British Asian community.
Professor Meena UPADHYAYA of Cardiff University was honoured with an OBE for services to Medical Genetics and the Welsh Asian community. She is Trustee for Women Equality Network for Wales (Wen WALES), Mentor for students for University entrance and Governor for Hindu Cultural Association (HCA). She has a PhD from Cardiff University and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in Molecular Genetics.
In 2010, Professor Upadhyaya won the Inspire Wales Award for Science & Technology and has received a Recognition Award from the Welsh Government in 2011 for her many contributions to Medical Genetics. She is also the founder and chairman of the Wales Asian Women Achievement Awards (WAWAA) which aim to empower Asian women throughout Wales and to better promote and applaud their input and support of all aspects of Welsh life.
Mrs Kala PATEL Managing Director, Kiddycare Limited (Nurseries) was awarded an OBE for services to childcare business. At the age of 16 she came to the UK from Kenya. Unhappy at the lack of provisions for childcare, she established Kiddycare nurseries. Within a month of opening she had a waiting list of 300. Despite the cultural challenges then managed to get a bank loan which supported its expansion to a second site. Kiddycare was born. Today Kiddycare has five sites and provides quality childcare from 6 weeks to five years as well as out of school care for older children. Kala has won numerous industry awards and launched a consultancy arm recognising the business opportunity to provide childcare to corporate employees. She won the contract to manage Royal Mail’s nursery at its headquarters, a contract Kiddycare has proudly held for 16 years.
Dr Jayshree Mehta received an MBE for services to community cohesion in Peterborough. She is the President of Bharat Hindu Samaj and Chair of Sangam Indian Women's Association. Speaking to the Peterborough Telegraph, Dr Mehta said “I am really proud and very flattered. I received the letter a month ago, and had to read it a few times to take it all in. I have always done what I wanted to do with volunteering, and never wanted anything back. would like to know who nominated me for the award to say thank you. I don’t have a clue as to who it was who thought I was worthy of it. t has been difficult to keep it a secret - I have wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but have not even been able to tell my daughter. I think I will be telling a lot of people, and having a bit of a celebration.”