British Sikhs recognised by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours List 2020
Numerous Sikhs have been honoured by the Queen today in the first Honours List of 2020. From heritage and education through to the world of business and charities, the Sikh community has received recognition for its dedication to the service of others.
Amongst the notable individuals is Jasvir Kaur Rababan, a renowned classical musician who has received an MBE for services to the Sikh community. Her work in music therapy has had an impact on over 13,000 people in Western Europe and North America over the last decade, and her commitment to the musical traditions of the Sikhs can be seen through her work with the Raj Academy. She is also the Executive Producer of an award winning documentary called ‘Sikh Musical Heritage – The Untold Story’.
Another recipient is Harpreet Singh Virdee, trustee of the City Sikhs Foundation, who has been awarded a BEM for his extensive charity work and his campaigning to improve awareness within ethnic minority communities for living organ donations and bone marrow transplants. Harpreet has volunteered with City Sikhs since its early days and he has been an integral part of the organisation throughout its history.
Also receiving a BEM is Sahdaish Kaur Pall, a director of the Sikh Women’s Action Network and a longstanding campaigner for victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse.
Other recipients of Sikh heritage in the list include:
- Paul Pavandeep Thandi DL CBE – Chief Executive Officer, NEC Group – For services to the Economy (Warwickshire)
- Arundeep Singh Kang OBE – For services to the Development of BAME communities (Warwickshire)
- Neena Lall OBE – Headteacher, St Stephen’s School and Children’s Centre, London Borough of Newham – For services to Education (Greater London)
- Manjit Darby MBE – Director of Nursing Leadership and Quality, Midlands, NHS England and NHS Improvement – For services to Nursing and Patient Care (Leicestershire)
- Michael Kuldip Johal MBE – Director, Johal, Munshi and Co – For services to the Economy and to Community Cohesion (Nottinghamshire)
- Baljinder Singh Rai MBE – For services to Parliament (Greater London)
- Sukwinder Kaur Samra MBE – Headteacher, Elmhurst School and Director, Elmhurst TSA – For services to Education (Greater London)
- Paramjit Singh Sandhu BEM – Immigration Officer, Home Office – For services to Community Engagement (Greater London)
Jasvir Singh OBE, Chair of City Sikhs, said “Sikhs across the UK work hard in their local communities and provide all kinds of sewa to benefit society as a whole. It is heartening to see the Queen recognising the efforts of British Sikhs in this way, especially just weeks after so many of us were marking the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Five and a half centuries on from the birth of the founder of Sikhi, we continue to be influenced by his teachings of selfless service. Congratulations to everyone who has received an Honour.”