Dozens of UK Punjabi citizens have been recognised by the Queen on the New Year’s Honorary List 2022 — for their services to Britain across charity, philanthropy and voluntary work.
Around 8% of the total recipients on the honours list come from Asian ethnic backgrounds.
City Sikh Chair Jasveer Singh OBE said, “Volunteering for Sikhs is a fundamental part of our identity and with a significant number of honours this year, it is a real testament to the level of respect that the British community has for the achievements of the Sikh community.”
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson said the honors were an opportunity to thank the recipients as a country, “for their sacrifices and outstanding contributions.”
Davinder Singh Dhillon, chairman of the Chhatri Memorial Group, was given an OBE to commemorate the contribution of Indian forces in the First World War. He organises an annual commemoration ceremony on the second Sunday of June every year at Chhatri Memorial to honour the Indians killed in the First World War near Brighton, where 53 Hindu and Sikh soldiers who died in a hospital in Brighton during World War I were cremated.
Amritpal Singh Mann, a philanthropist from the Sikh community, was made an OBE for the service and charity work as part of the Sikh community. He sponsored 1.2m worth of food for the British public and catering to over 250,000 people and managing director of the restaurant in Covent Garden, Punjab.
“Service, selfless service to the community has been our family business policy since its inception in 1946, and I take this opportunity not only for myself, but also for the generations who have come before me who have made great sacrifices. And shared their spirit with me,” he said.
Jagtar Singh Gill, who has been active in the Sikh and interfaith communities locally and nationally for the past two decades, was made OBE. He helped pay লে 11 million to Leamington Spa and Warwick Gurdwara and was its general secretary from 2009 to 2011. He said, “I am grateful that my services have been recognised with this honour locally and nationally over the years.”
Others doing OBE include Dr. Hindpal Singh Bhui, Dr. Japinder Dhesi and Prof. Iqbal Singh.
Bimmi (Virinder) Kuljit Kaur Rai, MBE for services in the charitable sector. After losing both her parents at the age of 13, she gave up her dream of going to university so that she could take care of her siblings and grandparents.
That traumatic experience has transformed his outlook and he has volunteered for three decades. He said: “Serving others is my life’s honour. It is by the grace of Waheguru Ji (God) that I dedicate it to my dear parents and those who have supported me on this journey.”
Councillor Charan Kanwal Singh Sekhan, founder and chairman of SEVA Trust UK, was awarded an MBE for services to charity, diversity and the environment. During the pandemic, he assisted the elderly, the homeless, foreign students, and launched an emergency Covid-19 community support project.