AV 06th April 2024

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Advocating for autism awareness and empowering parents is vital


Acceptance and support to pave the way for South Asian women in football

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Eid Mubarak!

As the holy month of Ramadan draws to a c l o s e s o o n , M u s l i m s a r o u n d t h e w o r l d g a t h e r t o c e l e b r a t e Eid al-Fitr (10-12 April), a j o y o u s o c c a s i o n m a r k i n g t h e e n d o f f a s t i n g a n d s p i r i t u a l reflection. It's a time o f i m m e n s e happiness, unity, and blessings, as families a n d c o m m u n i t i e s c o m e t o g e t h e r t o s h a r e m e a l s , e x c h a n g e g i f t s , a n d o f f e r p r a y e r s o f gratitude Turn to our E i d s p e c i a l o n p a g e

1 6 - 1 7 a s w e e x p l o r e g i f t i n g i d e a s f o r E i d parties and amazing recipes among other stories Eid Mubarak to all!


Navigating poverty presents immense challenges for millions of children, who often endure cold bedrooms, empty stomachs, and missed social opportunities, their journeys, far from easy. The Easter school holidays, a joyful time for many, present additional difficulties for these children

Anusha Singh

Official figures reveal a stark reality where during the height of the cost of living crisis, approximately 300,000 more children were thrust into absolute poverty within a single year This surge in poverty levels coinciding with soaring rates of hunger and r e l i a n c e o n f o o d b a n k s , p a i n t s a g r i m p i c t u r e a n d h i g h l i g h t s t h e n e e d f o r a comprehensive overhaul of the UK's strained welfare safety net The latest poverty statistics underscored a distressing trend: during 2022-23, when inflation peaked at 10%, an additional 600,000 individuals fell into absolute poverty – the government's preferred poverty measure.

President confers Bharat Ratna on four luminaries posthumously

President Droupadi Murmu

Ratna, the highest civilian

of India, on former PMs P V Narasimha R a o a n d C h a u d h a r y C h a r a n S i n g h , agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, and two-time former Bihar CM Karpoori T h a k u r , p o s t h u m o u s l y , a t a c e r e m o n y held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday Awards for Rao, Singh, Thakur, and S w a m i n a t h a n w e r e a c c e p t e d b y t h e i r family members

Continued on page 25

Continued on page 12

INDIA Bloc raises voice for detained leaders and equal ground

Continued on page 22

52 - ISSUE 47
Let noble thoughts come
us from every
6 - 12 APRIL 2024
conferred the Bharat honour The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu presenting the Bharat Ratna Award to Shri L K Advani

King Charles makes Easter appearance amidst Cancer treatment

Arriving at St George’s Chapel with Queen Camilla, the 75-year-old monarch waved to onlookers before entering the chapel, the f inal resting place of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth

Accompanied by his sister, the Princess Royal, and brother, the Duke of Edinburgh, along with their spouses, King Charles attended the ser vice alongside other members of the royal family Although this public appearance does not signal a full return to royal duties,

it represents a cautious step back into the public eye for King Charles While the king attended the Easter ser vice, his son Prince William and his family were absent, with William's wife Catherine undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year

Additionally, Archbishop of Canterbur y, Reverend Justin Welby, offered prayers for the king and Queen Camilla during his Easter sermon at Canterbur y Cathedral, acknowledging their dignif ied response to their health challenges

First statue honouring person of colour in Edinburgh

Ed inburgh City Cou ncil has approved the installation of the city’s f irst statue d ed icated to a perso n of colou r Plans are under way to honour the legacy of Saroj Lal, a former teacher and advocate for race relations, with a permanent memorial Saroj Lal, who broke barriers a s o n e o f t h e f i r s t A s i a n w o m e n t o t e a c h i n a Scottish school during the 1970s, dedicated her life to f ighting for equal opportunities until her passing in 2020

Described as a "pioneer and an inspiration" by Lord P r o v o s t R o b e r t A l d r i d g e , Lal's contributions will be commemorated with a stat-

u e , a m o t i o n s u p p o r t e d

u n a n i m o u s l y a t a r e c e n t c o u n c i l m e e t i n g H i g h l i g h t i n g t h e l a c k o f statues representing women and people of colour in the c i t y, A l d r i d g e e m p h a s i s e d the signif icance of honouring Lal's achievements

Currently, the only statue in Edinburgh depicting a person of colour is the 1986 'Woman and Child' sculpt u r e a t Fe s t i v a l S q u a r e , which symbolises the city's stance against South Africa's Apartheid system but does not represent a specif ic individual T h e n e w m e m o r i a l , expected to be located in the S o u t h s i d e a re a wh e re t h e

Nikesh Mehta named British High Commissioner to Singapore

Nikesh Mehta OBE has been named as the new British Hig h Com missioner to Singapore, accord ing to an off icial announcem ent He will assume his duties in July, succeeding Kara Ow en C MG, wh o has been reassig ned to another dip lom atic role Mehta currently ser ves as the Director for Policy and Requirements at the National Security Community Previously, he held the position of Deputy Ambassador at the British Embassy in Seoul from 2018 to 2022

Having joined the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Off ice (FCDO) in 2002, Mehta has extensive experience

working in various countries including Iraq, Uganda, and Malaysia His assignment in Uganda held personal signif icance as his mother, a Ugandan-Asian, was compelled to leave the countr y due to Idi Amin’s regime in the early 1970s Mehta spent three years (2015-2018) as a Deputy

Director at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), where he focused on global cybersecurity initiatives

Additionally, he led campaigns aimed at enhancing the recruitment and development of staff from diverse backgrounds Recognised for his contributions to British foreign policy and diversity, Mehta was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2014 His father, Ashvinbhai, is a founding member of the Navnat Youth Association (NYA) dating back to the 1970s, inspiring Nikesh with a legacy of dedication and ser vice that he proudly continues

Sunak faces revolt over homelessness criminalisation plan

Conse rv ative MPs a re sta ging a re bel lion against the gover nme nt s plan s to crimina lise homel essness as part o f th e fl a gs hi p cr im e b il l , le ading t o a sign if ica nt challe nge for minist ers

L a l f a m i l y r e s i d e d fo r

d e c a d e s , w i l l c e l e b r a t e Saroj’s remarkable contributions to improving race relations and equality, particularly in education, policing, health, social work, prisons, and beyond Saroj Lal

Charity deceived donors for Clapham chemical attacker's funeral

T he ch arity responsible for arrang ing a Muslim burial for Abd ul Ezedi, the chem ical attacker, may face sanctions from th e reg ulator due to its use o f a false name to solicit d onations for the serv ice

The Muslim Burial Fund launched an appeal to the p u b l i c , s e e k i n g c o n t r i b utions to provide Ezedi, 35, with an Islamic burial cere-

m o n y i n e a s t London in March

The appeal, which raised over £6,000, f a l s e l y i d e n t i f i e d h i m a s "A b d u l Wahed" and falsely claimed that he had "d ie d t r a g ic a l ly i n suspicious circumstances " Ezedi's body was discovered in the River Thames in

Clapham, south London

Despite claiming at an asylum tribunal that he had c o n

The proposed bill seeks t o g r a n t p o l i c e a n d l o c a l authorities enhanced powers a g a i n s t " n u i s a n c e r o u g h s l e e p i n g " i n E n g l a n d a n d Wales, proposing measures to move rough sleepers along by imposing f ines of up to £ 2 ,5 0 0 , o r e v e n i n c a r c e r ation

However, this initiative has incited the ire of numer-

o u s To r y M Ps f r o m b o t h ends of the party spectrum, who have indicated they will o p p o s e t h e m e a s u r e s o u tlined in the Criminal Justice Bi l l c u r r e n t l y p r o g r e s s i n g t h r o u g h t h e Ho u s e o f Commons

In response to the backl a s h , s e n i o r g o v e r n m e n t sources revealed on Sunday that the legislation has been "paused" while negotiations

t a ke pl a c e w i t h d i s s e nt i n g


Over 40 Conser vative MPs, including many from t h e m o d e r a t e O n e Na t io n g r o u p , h a v e v o i c e d t h e i r intent to vote against the bill

Critics contend that as c u r r e n t l y d r a f t e d , t h e b i l l would unfairly penalise individuals solely for experiencing homelessness

A&E patients dying due to NHS wait times

Ac cordi ng to data compiled

b y e m er ge n c y ph ys i c ia n s , more than 2 50 i ndividuals in England are losing their lives each week due to prolonged waits for A&E ca re

T h e s e e xc e s s d e a t h s , o b s e r v e d a m o n g p a t i e n t s enduring waits exceeding 12 hours for a bed, stand as a challenge to Rishi Sunak's £1 billion commitment last year to enhance urgent and emergency care by reducing lengthy waiting times

T h e l a t e s t f i g u r e s , w h i c h e s t i m a t e 1 4 , 0 0 0 excess deaths occurred last year, were compiled by the

R o y a l C o l l e g e o f Emergency Medicine They were based on the persist e n t h i g h v o l u m e o f p a t i e n t s a w a i t i n g a d m i ssion and the mortality rates associated with such delays

In 2023, the NHS witnessed 1 54 million emerg e n c y p a t i e n t s e n d u r i n g waits of 12 hours or more, with one million awaiting a d m i s s i o n a s l i g h t decrease from the previous year s total of 1 66 million

The college derived its l a t e s t e s t i m a t e s f r o m a s t u d y p u b l i s h e d i n

Journal in 2021, which analysed over f ive million NHS p a t i e n t s T h i s s t u d y revealed that for ever y 72 patients spending eight to 12 hours in A&E, one excess death occurred The risk of mortality began to rise after f i v e h o u r s a n d e s c a l a t e d with longer waiting periods

Accordingly, the coll e g e p r o j e c t e d a p p r ox imately 268 excess deaths per week occurred last year, marking a reduction of 17 deaths per week compared t o 2 0 2 2 u s i n g t h e s a m e methodology

The paid subscribers of this newsweekly will receive a free copy of Asian Voice’s third edition of its popular magazine'British Asian Women’ along with their newspapers.

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p ublic app earance at the annual Easter church service
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Are traditional donors backing the wrong horse?

S u n a k ' s s t e a d f a s t l e a d e r s h i p b r o u g h t s t a b i l i t y t o t h e Conservative Party, fostering optimism Across the Western world, leaders like Rishi Sunak in the UK, Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora in Punjab, Antonio Costa in Portugal, and Pravind J u g n a u t h i n M a u r i t i u s s i g n i f y p r o g r e s s a n d i n c l u s i v i t y

Similarly, Vaughan Gething MS, the first Black leader of a government in the UK as First Minister of Wales, reflects a significant shift toward diversity and meritocracy, inspiring future generations globally

The political landscape in Britain is heating up as a looming election threatens to shake the foundation of the Conservative Party The forecast spells trouble for Sunak personally, with suggestions that he may even lose his own constituency seat Amidst fears of a humiliating wipeout for the Tories, some of Sunak's closest advisers are urging him to consider holding a summer general election to salvage the party's fortunes

Sunak's rise to prominence came during a tumultuous period for the Conservative Party, where he emerged as a beacon of hope amidst leadership changes and instability However, as the party hurtles towards a general election, recent polls paint a bleak picture for Sunak and his fellow Tories

According to a recent poll conducted by Survation on behalf of Best for Britain, the Conservative Party is facing a record low in prospects, with predictions suggesting they may win fewer than 100 seats On the other hand, Labour is projected to secure a landslide victory, potentially winning 468 seats and giving Sir Keir Starmer's party a commanding 286-seat majority

However, Sunak's leadership is not without its shortcom-

ings Critics point to his control freakery and indecision, which have reportedly paralysed the business of government and alienated key stakeholders

Meanwhile, the rise of Reform UK adds another layer of complexity to the political landscape With their vote share surging across the UK, Reform UK is poised to make significant gains in the upcoming election, potentially reshaping the balance of power in Westminster It is emerging as a potent force in British politics, fueled by discontent over migration, economic woes, and political stagnation Despite its growing popularity, the party faces a significant obstacle: a lack of financial resources

While the Tories and Labour boast multimillion-pound war chests, Reform UK operates on a shoestring budget of just £1 3 million, relying on the dedication of its small team and the personal contributions of figures like Richard Tice

This lean approach means Reform UK lacks the infrastructure and support enjoyed by its larger counterparts With no human resources department or dedicated press office, the party relies on passionate individuals working tirelessly to advance its cause Yet, despite its limited resources, it is now the third most popular political party in the country, according to recent polls

As Reform UK continues to gain traction, traditional Tory donors may reconsider their allegiances With the party inching closer to the Conservatives in the polls, it becomes clear that passion, not financial backing, is driving Reform UK's ascent As the political landscape shifts, the question arises: Are traditional donors backing the wrong horse?

The challenges of declining global fertility rates

By the end of this century, nearly every country worldwide could experience a shrinking population While advancements in healthcare and a reduction in poverty have led to longer lifespans, there's also been a decline in birth rates A recent study predicts a significant demographic shift due to falling fertility rates, with global implications By 2050, threequarters of countries are expected to fall below the population replacement birth rate of 2 1 babies per female While fertility rates decline universally, the rate of decline varies, leading to a redistribution of live births worldwide South Asia, for instance, will decrease its contribution to global births from 25% to 7% by 2100 In the UK, the total fertility rate has steadily declined from 2 19 in 1950 to 1 49 in 2021 Predictions suggest a further decline to 1 38 by 2050 and 1 30 by 2100, making the UK reliant on immigration for the next eight decades

The long-term drop in fertility rates is primarily driven by positive socio-economic trends First, global female labour force participation and education levels have risen, leading to fewer children or delayed childbearing Secondly, economic development, improved welfare systems, and lower childhood mortality have reduced the need for larger families to ensure financial security While fertility rates in d e v e l o p i n g c o u n t r i e s r e m a i n a b o v e t h e " w a n t e d r a t e , " advanced economies tend to have fewer children than desired due to increased parenting costs

Richer economies incur higher childcare and education expenses, alongside greater opportunity costs in terms of lost earnings or leisure time Rising living costs, sluggish wage growth, and soaring house prices further constrain dispos-

able incomes available for raising children In the UK, estimates suggest the cost of raising a child to 18 exceeds £200,000, while the average price of a first home is around £244,000 According to experts, low fertility rates could yield benefits concerning population growth, the environment, food security, health, climate change, and biodiversity However, they also warn of potential negative impacts on healthcare, pensions, social security, labour markets, and geopolitics

In the past, countries like China implemented population control measures such as the one-child policy However, the consequences of such policies have prompted a shift in approach Since scrapping the one-child policy, China is now encouraging its citizens to have more children In South Korea and Japan, governments have implemented policies to reverse the drop in fertility rate

Many Asian countries have long been affected by low population issues, and it's notable that India, known for its large population, is also experiencing a drop in fertility rates for the first time The total fertility rate in India has seen a steep decline over recent decades, according to recent findings From nearly 6 2 in 1950, India's fertility rate dropped to just under 2 in 2021 Despite this decline, the United Nations projects that India's population will surpass 1 6 billion by 2050 Despite posing challenges, India's large youthful population offers significant economic benefits, known as the demographic dividend However, capitalising on this advantage is crucial to prevent India from falling into the middleincome trap

World has finally recognised the Indian diaspora’s power

India's diaspora, numbering just under 17 9 million, stands as one of the world's largest and most influential migrant communities Their journey spans centuries, with roots tracing back to the colonial era

It was during India's struggle for independence that the diaspora truly came into prominence, playing a pivotal role in advocating for India's freedom, organising protests, and mobilising resources Their contributions, both financial and ideological, shaped history and paved India's path to liberation from British rule

Post-independence, a disconnect emerged between the global Indian diaspora and their homeland However, upon Narendra Modi's assumption of office as Prime Minister, he recognised the diaspora's potential like no other leader before him Modi skillfully tapped into this influential force, leveraging their support for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) both domestically and internationally

In 2015, during his visit to the UK, he coined the term "living bridge" for the diaspora, acknowledging their role as ambassadors of India to the world Economically, the diaspora's contributions serve as a form of soft power, bolstering India's global influence They serve not only as valued residents of their host countries but also as ambassadors, narrating the story of modern India through their achievements

The BJP's governance, on their part, has worked for the diaspora and has stepped up to assist them wherever needed Formerly regarded with scepticism for pursuing opportunities abroad, these individuals are now recognised as valuable assets for India, particularly in shaping its foreign policy This shift stems from PM Modi s vision embodying “Bharatiya”, marking a transition from brain drain to brain gain emphasis-

ing that every individual, regardless of their location, contributes to India's advancement and strengthens its global standing Various initiatives, such as the Know India Programme, Bharat Ko Janiye Quiz, and Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana, f a c i l i t a t e c u l t u r a l t i e s M o r e o v e r , p r o g r a m s l i k e t h e Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children and research initiatives such as the Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN) and Ramanujan Fellowship harness diaspora talent for India's development

Grievance redressal mechanisms like the Madad portal and Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayta Kendra ensure assistance to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in distress, while initiatives like P r e - D e p a r t u r e O r i e n t a t i o n T r a i n i n g ( P D O T ) u n d e r t h e Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana equip migrants with essential skills for successful transitions abroad Under Modi's leadership, nearly 1 29 lakh individuals have undergone training via PDOT and Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana since 2018

While some may label the diaspora as Modi's "secret weapon," it is more accurate to view it as a testament to the goodwill he has fostered, transcending political boundaries a n d e m p o w e r i n g o v e r s e a s I n d i a n s I t i s b e c a u s e o f h i s acknowledgement of the diaspora’s efforts and achievements that the diaspora rallies behind him and they are not wrong in doing so It is after decades that these NRIs are being identified for their potential and contribution

Through initiatives bridging geographical gaps and fostering shared responsibility, the diaspora has become integral to India's global narrative, contributing significantly to its development and proudly representing Bharatiya worldwide

To Whom It May Concern, We, at the Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India, find it imperative to address the unfolding s p e c t a c l e t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e s t h e c u r r e n t U S

Presidential Elections As the world's largest democracy, a title we uphold with immense pride and responsibility, it behooves us to cast a watchful eye over the democratic processes of our fellow nations It is in this spirit of global democratic camaraderie that we express our growing concern over the recent developments that have emerged from the United States of America, a nation with whom we share the values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law

It has come to our attention that there are worrying trends surrounding the legal actions against a prominent presidential candidate in the United States

These actions, perceived by some as attempts to derail a political opponent, are distressing indicators of the health of the democratic and legal systems in place It is a fundamental principle of democracy that the political arena remains a space for free and fair competition, unhindered by the misuse of legal frameworks for political gains The essence of a thriving democracy is the assurance that every voice has the right to be heard, every vote has the power to influence, and every individual stands equal before the law

In our esteemed opinion, and drawing upon our rich democratic tradition that spans millennia, we gently remind our American friends of the importance of maintaining the sanctity of these democratic norms It is crucial for the United States, as a beacon of democracy to the world, to exhibit the highest standards of electoral integrity and judicial fairness The eyes of the global community are indeed focused upon you, not just as observers, but as partners in the pursuit of a more democratic world

Furthermore, it would be remiss of us not to mention the unparalleled role that public faith plays in the sustenance of democratic institutions It is the trust of the people in these institutions that ultimately crowns a democracy with success or condemns it to failure We encourage our counterparts in the United States to nurture this faith with actions that reinforce the principles of transparency, accountability, and fairness

In closing, while we acknowledge that the internal affairs of a sovereign nation are primarily for its people and its judiciary to adjudicate, the ripple effects of such events do not recognize national borders They touch every corner of the democratic world As such, we express our fraternal concern and hope for the United States to navigate through these turbulent times with wisdom and justice, ensuring that the outcome of the u p c o m i n g e l e c t i o n s r e f l e c t s t h e t r u e w i l l o f t h e American people

We watch closely, with the hope that our shared democratic values will emerge stronger and more resilient in the face of adversity

Your s si ncere ly, Mi nistry of E xte rna l Affa ir s Rep ubli c of Indi a

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London council earns £1 mn monthly from LTNs Sunak's unexpected honours list sparks opposition ire

New data rev ea ls that a La bourcontrolled council in w est London i s ge nerating £1 mi lli on per month f rom a si ng le low -tra ffic n ei ghb ourhood (LTN)

H a m m e r s m i t h a n d F u l h a m c o u n c i l h a s a d m i n i s t e r e d o v e r

p e n a l t y c h a r g e n o t i c e s

within 11 months using five cameras situated in the South Fulham (west) LTN, as revealed by data

o b t a i n e d u n d e r F r e e d o m o f

Information laws by the Sunday Telegraph

From February to December l a s t y e a r , t h e c o u n c i l a m a s s e d nearly £8 million from 105,000 fines Additionally, there are 34,507 o u t s t a n d i n g f i n e s , p o t e n t i a l l y yielding £4 5 million if paid at the full rate of £130

The South Fulham (west) LTN, encompassing New Kings Road,

Wandsworth Bridge, and the River T h a m e s , w a s e s t a b l i s h e d i n December 2022 CCTV cameras capture number plates to identify vehicles from outside the borough Residents within the LTN can register a car's registration number on an app to avoid fines if they are expecting deliveries, taxis, guests, or carers Notably, 197,200 fines were labelled as "cancelled" during the 11-month p e r i o d , i n d i c a t i n g i n s t a n c e s where individuals were wrongly f i n e d a n d s u b s e q u e n t l y h a d these penalties overturned Statistics reveal that there were 45,283 fines for contraventions in February 2023, generating £1 3 million, although fines decreased by more than half to 21,299 in December of the same year

Educator banned for controversial remarks

A qib Khan, aged 30 , a Muslim teacher w ho made controversial s ta tem en ts su g g e st in g I sl am 's d o m i nan ce a nd d er og ato r y r em a rks ab o u t We s ter ni se d g ir ls , h a s be en bar red f ro m teaching K h a n w a s d i s m i s s e d f o r " u n d e r m i n i n g f u n d a m e n t a l British values" following a professional misconduct inquiry by t h e T e a c h i n g R e g u l a t i o n A g e n c y p a n e l H i s a c t i o n s included rejecting a female doctor's advances because of her h i g h e r i n c o m e a n d m a k i n g inappropriate comments to stud e n t s , s u c h a s i m p l y i n g t h a t babies born to women over 30 were more likely to have disabilities

E m p l o y e d a s a n E n g l i s h teacher at Harborne Academy in Birmingham from December 2 0 2 0 t o M a r c h 2 0 2 3 , K h a n engaged in various unaccepta b l e b e h a v i o u r s H e m a d e

d e r o g a t o r y r e m a r k s o n a Microsoft Teams group, openly criticised feminism during class, and even shared a topless photo of himself flexing his muscles with a student

Among his remarks, Khan predicted a Muslim population surge, claiming that by 2050, the UK, France, and Germany would r e s e m b l e B i r m i n g h a m d u e t o natural selection He also made controversial comments about feminism and Islam's teachings, suggesting that Muslim women were more valued for their roles as mothers and wives

The panel found Khan guilty of "undermining fundamental British values, including individual liberty, mutual respect, and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs " His conduct was reported to the school after a staff member raised concerns about his interactions with students on the safeguarding portal

British Indian teenager pioneers NHS' groundbreaking cancer therapy

Y uv an T ha k k ar , a B ri tis h Indian teenager w h o ba t tl e d c a n c er , expresses gratitude for l i f e - c ha n gi n g t re a tment made possi ble by a f und esta bli shed by t he N H S to pr ov i de i nnovative therapi es to thousands of patients T h a k k a r , a g e d 1 6 and hailing from Watford near London, became the first child in the UK to benefit from a groundbreaking CAR T therapy c a l l e d T i s a g e n l e c l e u c e l (Kymriah) through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), as reported by NHS England

ability to now enjoy activities he loves, such as playing snooker, spending time with loved ones, and going on vacations

Prim e Minister Rishi Su nak is facing criticism fro m opposition parties for a surp rise honours list that includes conferring a kn ig h th o o d o n a n E g y p ti anbo rn bu sinessm an who is a signi fi c an t d o n o r t o th e Conservativ e Party

T h e l i s t , u n v e i l e d l a t e o n Thursday just before the Easter weekend, recognises Mohamed Mansour, a prominent treasurer for the Tory party, for his contributions to business, charity, and p o l i t i c s A d d i t i o n a l l y , o t h e r s e n i o r T o r i e s , i n c l u d i n g Farming Minister Mark Spencer a n d C o n s e r v a t i v e M P P h i l i p

D a v i e s a r e r e c o m m e n d e d f o r knighthoods, while former mini s t e r s T r a c e y C r o u c h a n d Harriett Baldwin are nominated for damehoods

L a b o u r P a r t y c h a i r p e r s o n Anneliese Dodds criticised the move, describing it as either the act of an entitled individual or

the self-indulgence of someone not expecting to remain Prime Minister much longer Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper, on the other hand, has condemned Sunak for rewarding party donors amid economic challenges

D e s p i t e t h e b a c k l a s h , Downing Street sources highl i g h t M o h a m e d M a n s o u r ' s e x t e n s i v e p u b l i c a n d c h a r i t y work, including support for the Prince's Foundation

Four Asian men convicted of delivery driver's murder

Fo u r m e n o f A si a n de sce nt we r e fou nd guilt y of the mur der of a 23-ye ar-old d eliv -

e r y d r i v e r , a ls o o f

A si a n h e r i t a g e , i n Shre wsbury , weste rn

England , la st August

A u r m a n S i n g h was declared dead at the scene after West

M e r c i a P o l i c e responded to reports

o f a n a t t a c k i n t h e B e r w i c k Avenue area of the city and subsequently arrested the four men

o n s u s p i c i o n o f m u r d e r A r s h d e e p S i n g h , 2 4 , J a g d e e p Singh, 22, Shivdeep Singh, 26, and Manjot Singh, 24, armed with weapons including an axe, hockey stick, and shovel, were charged with Singh’s murder

D e t e c t i v e C h i e f I n s p e c t o r

( D C I ) M a r k B e l l a m y o f W e s t Mercia Police, who led the investigation, stated, “The attack on Aurman Singh was planned and organised by a group of men

w h o a r m e d t h e mselves with weapons and used a level of violence that can only suggest they intended to kill him ”

F o l l o w i n g a s i xweek trial at Stafford Crown Court, all four men denied murder but were found guilty by a jury this week

A d d i t i o n a l l y , a f i f t h m a n o f A s i a n o r i g i n , S u k h m a n d e e p S i n g h , 2 3 , believed to be the “inside man ” who provided information about Aurman’s deliveries on the day h e w a s m u r d e r e d , w a s f o u n d guilty of manslaughter

Throughout the trial, no evid e n c e e m e r g e d t o e x p l a i n a motive behind the brutal attack on Aurman Singh His family expressed their profound grief and emphasised the irreplaceable loss they had suffered, hoping to prevent similar tragedies for other families

Hospital discrimination case dismissed by the court

in brief


A significant investment drive is underway to enhance the support and facilities available for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Councils have been allocated an annual fund of £850 million to facilitate the creation of new places for these students in both mainstream and special schools as well as to enhance the accessibility of existing educational facilities This initiative aims to provide specialised support tailored to the needs of children with conditions such as autism, learning difficulties, and mobility challenges This funding forms part of a broader £2 6 billion investment spanning from 2022 to 2025, dedicated to supporting families in advocating for the appropriate support for their children with SEND Furthermore, schools and sixth-form colleges will benefit from an additional £1 8 billion in funding


Following a surprise inspection by the Waltham Forest Council in August 2022, a KFC outlet located on High Road in Leytonstone, East London, faced repercussions for endangering public health due to the presence of rats in its kitchen The inspection revealed gnawed bags of breading flour in the storeroom and a significant rat hole in the floor, prompting the immediate closure of the establishment Subsequently at Thames Magistrates’ Court on March 12 the company represented by franchisee Triple D Limited and director Abdul Daroowala was fined £22 000 along with £2 339 in costs Both entities pleaded guilty to two charges: failure to implement adequate pest control measures and maintaining substandard levels of cleanliness The outlet has maintained a four-star hygiene rating since 2023, according to the company


An Uber Eats driver of African descent, Pa Edrissa Manjang, has reached a settlement to resolve a legal dispute over "racially discriminatory" facial recognition checks Manjang commenced working for the food delivery platform in November 2019 however, he encountered obstacles when facial recognition checks prevented him from accessing the app to secure work The Uber Eats app powered by Microsoft intensified its verification protocols leading to Manjang's termination in 2021 due to discrepancies in his submissions Manjang asserted that he was frequently prompted to resubmit selfie images as the platform failed to recognise him despite no changes to his appearance Following his dismissal, Manjang initiated legal proceedings with the support and funding from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) Eventually, Uber Eats reinstated Manjang, who now operates in Oxfordshire


“ M y l i f e h a s t r a n s f o r m e d since receiving the CAR T therapy, ” said Thakkar, expressing appreciation for the remarkable care provided by Great Ormond S t r e e t H o s p i t a l ( G O S H ) i n London He reflected on the challenges he faced, including numerous hospital visits and extended absences from school, and expressed gratitude for the

Diagnosed with Leukaemia a t t h e a g e o f s i x , T h a k k a r u n d e r w e n t a t r e a t m e n t t h a t modifies the immune cells to target and combat cancer cells

His treatment journey began in 2019 at the age of 11 after experiencing relapses following prev i o u s t r e a t m e n t s l i k e chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant H i s m o t h e r , S a p n a , described the treatment's success as a "second chance" at life for the family

A n e m p l oy m e n t t ri b un a l i n Leeds has dis miss ed allegations of religious di scrim ination and rac ial profili ng agai nst Airedale

G en e r a l H os p i t a l i n We s t

Yorkshire, brought by ophthalm ology spec ialist Fahrat Butt

B u t t , w h o w e a r s a h i j a b

c o v e r i n g e v e r y t h i n g b u t h e r hands, feet, and face, claimed she was pressured by hospital managers to expose her fore-

a r m s , a l l e g i n g b u l l y i n g T h e

d i s p u t e a r o s e w h e n B u t t

entered a corridor she believed

e x e m p t f r o m t h e h o s p i t a l ' s

"bare below the elbow" hygiene policy

Managers challenged her, leading to a legal case Butt argued that hospital areas were a m b i g u o u s l y d e f i n e d , m a i ntaining compliance in what she deemed clinical spaces and covering her forearms elsewhere

Following an altercation with doctors in 2022, Tribunal Judge Kirsty Ayre ruled the challenge was not religiously motivated Ayre stressed not all incidents involving Muslim workers are religiously driven While acknowledging mishandling by both parties, the tribunal found no evidence of discriminatory behaviour toward Butt

Analysis by the Observer has uncovered that in over 100 neighbourhoods across England and Wales, police failed to apprehend any criminals involved in car thefts last year Additionally, in 558 neighbourhoods where vehicle crimes occurred at least once a week on average, less than 2% of cases were solved, with suspects being caught and charged These findings are based on data published on data police uk, a platform for open data on crime and policing In total, approximately 336,000 vehicle crimes, including thefts and break-ins, were closed without identifying a suspect across England and Wales This accounts for approximately 85% of all recorded vehicle offences In some instances police closed investigations into car theft within less than 24 hours

04 6 - 12 April 2024
www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
4 1 , 0
Yuvan Thakkar with parents Mohamed Mansour Victim: Aurman Singh

Advocating for autism awareness and empowering parents is vital

Reena Anand , a lawyer and former ombud sm an specialising in cases invo lv ing vulner abl e co n s u m ers u nd e r the Equality A ct 2010 , faced a u ni qu e ch a ll eng e w h en adv ocating for her family

Her eldest child, diagnosed with autism, prompted her to challenge cultural n o r m s a n d a d v o c a t e f o r openness about diagnoses

A n a n d e m p h a s i s e s t h e importance of empowering parents and embracing clari t y t h r o u g h d i a g n o s i s f o r i m p r o v e d u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d s u p p o r t S h e s p o k e exclusively to Asian Voice Reena, you've navigated complex legal cases and advocated for vulnerable consumers in your career

How did those experiences prepare you for advocating on behalf of your own family, especially regarding your son's autism diagnosis?

My experiences provided me with invaluable communication skills, empathy a n d r e s i l i e n c e T h e s e attributes have been instrum e n t a l i n a d v o c a t i n g f o r E v y ’ s n e e d s D e s p i t e m y legal background, I was conf r o n t e d w i t h l e a r n i n g a w h o l e n e w a s p e c t o f t h e legal system when it came to s e c u r i n g a p p r o p r i a t e s u pport and services for Evy and I ’ v e f a c e d m a n y s e t b a c k s

My experiences in consumer a d v o c a c y t a u g h t m e t h e p o w e r o f p e r s i s t e n c e a n d t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t e n aciously advocating for those we care about I’ve always been an activist with a pass i o n a t e b e l i e f i n e q u i t y , which is why I use my platform to amplify the voices of others

You mentioned cultural norms that discourage questioning authority and discussing personal struggles openly. How did you reconcile these cultural expectations with your decision to seek a diagnosis and support for your son's autism?

T h i s w a s v e r y c o nfronting for me but I knew

that I could only be the parent I wanted to be and the parent Evy needed me to be if I was prepared to keep the values which served us and d r o p t h o s e t h a t d i d n ’ t I educated and initiated conversations within my family, dispelling damaging myths about autism and fostering u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f w h a t i t really is I also sought support from parents in a similar situation who role-modelled to me what being a powerful advocate for your autistic child, looked like I saw that when I parented c o n f i d e n t l y , o t h e r s w o u l d r e c i p r o c a t e w i t h u n d e rstanding and acceptance but it wasn’t easy

Can you share some of the challenges you faced while seeking a diagnosis for your son Evy, and how did you cope with the uncertainty during that time?

The process was long, o v e r w h e l m i n g a n d f i l l e d w i t h u n c e r t a i n t y T h e r e were a myriad of professionals I was referred to and I didn’t even know many of t h e s e p r o f e s s i o n s e x i s t e d nor what part they played in helping to build a case to r e q u e s t a n a u t i s m a s s e s sment Trying to understand the diagnostic criteria, mana g i n g e m o t i o n s a n d c o ns t a n t l y q u e s t i o n i n g i f m y parenting was meeting Evy’s needs, were just a few of the obstacles I sought support from an amazing life coach whom I still work with and joined a local parent support group, whilst also engaging in research to expand my awareness on how to support Evy You've highlighted the importance of dialogue and support for parents of autist i c c h i l d r e n , p a r t i c u l a r l y regarding the involvement o f p a r t n e r s i n c a r e g i v i n g H o w h a v e y o u a n d y o u r husband navigated this journ e y t o g e t h e r , a n d w h a t advice do you have for other parents facing similar situations?

This involved open com-

m u n i c a t i o n , e m p a t h y a n d

u n d e r s t a n d i n g W e r e c o g -

n i s e d t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f

b e i n g o n t h e s a m e p a g e , a t t e n d i n g a u t i s m c o u r s e s t o g e t h e r a n d d i s c u s s i n g strategies as a team This d o e s n ’ t m e a n t h a t w e ’ r e always in agreement about our parenting but our foundation means we can discuss our perspectives and reach an outcome with Evy’s best interests at the heart My advice to other parents is to a p p r e c i a t e t h a t e v e r y o n e travels this journey at a different pace so we need to be compassionate Centre your a t t e n t i o n o n y o u r c h i l d ’ s well-being and be ok with how you parent looks different to others Overall, prioritise communication

Reena, you mentioned that obtaining Evy's diagnosis brought both clarity and adjustment to your family's life Could you elaborate on how the diagnosis impacted your family dynamics and daily routines?

E v y s d i a g n o s i s h e l p e d us understand his unique needs and strengths which enabled us to create tailored support and interventions

It led to a shift in our family dynamics, fostering greater empathy and acceptance, i e E v y u s e d t o b e c o m e d i stressed if the foods on his plate touched so we hono u r e d t h i s a n d k e p t h i s items separate Actions like this helped him to feel valid a t e d i n h i s h o m e W e adjusted our daily routines, i n c o r p o r a t i n g s e n s o r yfriendly strategies to create a more inclusive environment for Evy This sparked conversations about autism w i t h o u r e x t e n d e d f a m i l y members, promoting a supp o r t i v e n e t w o r k E v y h a s positively transformed our lives

Gargi Sequeira: Shaping the sound of South Asian DJ scene

Mrs Garg i Sequeira, a trailblazing S outh A sian woman

D J a rti s t w h o d ef i es a g e stereotyp es with h er v ibrant energ y and u nm atch ed talent Des pi te bei ng in h er 50s, she continues to captiv a te a u d i en ce s w i t h h er el ec tr if yi n g p er fo r m an ce s and innov ative m ixes, p roving that age is no barrier to s u cc es s i n t h e d yna m i c realm of DJing

S p e a k i n g a b o u t h e r music journey, she said, “I come from a Gujarati family in India In 2004, I arrived in England and made my debut p e r f o r m a n c e i n C r o y d o n Since then, I've graced various clubs and community e v e n t s w i t h l i v e s i n g i n g , showcasing a diverse repertoire ranging from Sanjhi a n d M e h f i l s t o w e d d i n g songs, Bhajans, and Garba “ L a s t y e a r , I h a d t h e honour of performing at the prestigious London Mayor's D i w a l i e v e n t i n T r a f a l g a r Square Leading my 10-piece band, we kicked off the festivities with a captivating p e r f o r m a n c e , s e t t i n g t h e t o n e f o r a n u n f o r g e t t a b l e

c e l e b r a t i o n A d d i t i o n a l l y , I've been privileged to lead

G a r b a c e l e b r a t i o n s d u r i n g Navratri for three consecutive years in the USA, “she added

T a l k i n g a b o u t s u p p o r t from the audience, she said,

“ T h r o u g h o u t m y m u s i c journey, I've been blessed w i t h u n w a v e r i n g s u p p o r t from audiences and peers

N e g a t i v i t y h a s b e e n n o nexistent as admiration and encouragement have fueled my passion A memorable instance was when a young girl marvelled at my perform a n c e a t 5 5 , a p p r e c i a t i n g my dedication and skill At my recent show, women, in particular, approached me with admiration, eager to capture a moment with me through photographs ”

S p e a k i n g a b o u t t h e m e m o r a b l e p e r f o r m a n c e , s h e s a i d , “ F o r y e a r s , m y band and I had been a staple at Navratri celebrations in Crawley, delivering electrifying live performances to c r o w d s o f e n t h u s i a s t i c attendees

H o w e v e r , a s c i r c u mstances changed and budgets tightened, the organisers approached me with a p r o p o s i t i o n : t r a n s i t i o n from live performances to D J i n g f o r t h e u p c o m i n g Navratri event, where 1000 to 1500 people were expected to attend Despite my reservations, I embraced the opportunity with determination and a willingness to a d a p t W i t h m e t i c u l o u s preparation and an unwavering commitment to perfection, I took to the DJ b o o t h w i t h c o n f i d e n c e While most DJs focus on beat matching, as a vocali s t / D J , I h a v e a u n i q u e a d v a n t a g e I u n d e r s t a n d notes and scales, enabling me to curate playlists that harmonise seamlessly,” she added

The Fed’s London district trade show

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

ed a nd h o no u re d f o ll o w i ng h er passing at th e age of 4 5 after battling cancer


Councillor Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council, shared her sadness at the loss

o f h e r c h e r i s h e d f a m i l y friend, Afsheen, and offered her thoughts and prayers to Zahid and their children in their time of grief


City Pavilion, Collier Row Road, Collier Row, Romford, Essex, RM5 2BH

Discover the successful regional trade shows hosted by The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed).

Join us and become part of a proud tradition of excellence.

Around 150 to 200 retailers are anticipated to participate in this trade event. It is an excellent chance for you to exhibit your company's brand, products or services.

Set up is at 15:00 where you will have space to exhibit stock/promotional materials etc.

Food will be provided for everyone attending the event.

City Pavilion - www.thecitypavilion.co.uk

Book your place

To register your interest or for any further information to exhibit, please contact: Nilesh Patel 07887721052

Alpesh Patel 07903080078

Mukesh Patel 07951690152

150 - 200 retailers are expected

The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) is the trading name of NFRN London District

05 6 - 12 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Condolences pour in for devoted Mayoress
h e " ki n d a nd d ed ic at ed " M ay o res s o f Ol d h am , Afsheen Chauhan, has been fo n d ly re m em b er
f s h e e n i s s u r v i v e d b y h e r h u s b a n d Z a h i d , w h o s e r v e s a s t h e M a y o r o f O l d h a m , a n d t h e i r t h r e e c h i l d r e n I n a g e s t u r e o f respect,
sunset on
day of
funeral H a r r y C a t h e r a l l , C h i e f E x e c u t i v e o f O l d h a m Council, expressed deep sor-
u p p o r t f o r h e r h u s b a n d t h r o u g h o u t h i s t e n u r e a s Mayor despite her illness, a t e s t a m e n t t o h e r c o m p a ss i o n a t e a n d c o m m i t t e d nature He
f e l
d o l e n c
the council has lowered The Borough Flag to half-mast at Oldham Civic Centre until
row over Afsheen's passing, highlighting her unwavering s
extended heart-
t c o n
t o t h e Mayor and his children during this challenging
Gargi Sequeira Reena Anand

Court allows sale of Nirav Modi's London apartment Nurse recruitment from global south criticised as 'Modern Colonialism'

F ollowing a high cou rt ruling in L ond on, a luxu ry apartm ent in L ond on, utilised by Nirav M odi and held in a trust, is set to be sold fo r a v alue not less than GBP 5 25 million

M a s t e r J a m e s B r i g h t w e l l , presiding over a remote hearing attended by the 52-year-old fugit i v e d i a m o n d m e r c h a n t f r o m Thameside prison in south-east L o n d o n , h a s a g r e e d t o t h e Enforcement Directorate's (ED) request The ED advocated for the proceeds from the sale of 103 Marathon House to be held in a secure account post-clearance of all "pressing liabilities" of the trust T h e c a s e c e n t r e s a r o u n d T r i d e n t T r u s t C o m p a n y ( S i n g a p o r e ) P t e L i m i t e d , t h e c l a i m a n t , s e e k i n g t o s e l l i t s apartment asset located in the M a r y l e b o n e a r e a o f c e n t r a l L o n d o n T h e E n f o r c e m e n t Directorate (ED) argues that the trust's assets are tied to the pro-

ceeds of a substantial fraud on t h e P u n j a b N a t i o n a l B a n k (PNB), for which Nirav Modi is currently facing extradition proceedings

"I am satisfied that it is a reasonable decision to allow for the property to be sold for GBP 5 25 m i l l i o n o r a b o v e , " M a s t e r Brightwell concluded

The judge acknowledged the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) additional concerns regarding t h e c r e a t i o n o f t h e t r u s t , although these were not pursued in the current stage of the case

Advocates urge easing restrictions for foreign healthcare

A ra pidly growin g online pet it ion is urging t he gover nme nt to g ran t foreign healthcar e work er s m or e t im e t o se cu re e m plo ym ent a ft er the ir spon sors falte r, g a r n e r i n g h u n d r e d s o f si g n at ures in just a few da ys T h e p e t i t i o n , i n i t i a t e d b y U K - b a s e d p r o f e s s i o n a l B a l a k r i s h n a n B a l a g o p a l , h i g hlights the severe challenges faced by affected individuals and their f a m i l i e s " S i x t y d a y s i s a n extremely short timeframe for families to organise their departure, potentially disrupting their c h i l d r e n ' s e d u c a t i o n , c a u s i n g loss of rental deposits, furniture expenses, airfare, and relocation

costs," the petition states

M a n y h e a l t h c a r e w o r k e r s who have arrived in the UK find themselves without employment due to their sponsors' inability to provide suitable positions or due to the absence of available roles upon their arrival Additionally, some firms lose their sponsorship licenses due to their own errors or missteps

The petition advocates for an extension of jobless healthcare workers' stay in the UK by a n a d d i t i o n a l y e a r , e n a b l i n g them sufficient time to secure alternative employment opportunities within the healthcare sector

Heart rhythm specialists to provide treatment in India

T he charity organis at io n A r rh yth m ia A lli a nc e P a ce 4 L i fe ( A -A P 4 L ) is d isp atching a team of h eart rhythm s pecialists to India to ad dress ind ivid uals s u f fe ri ng fr o m arrhyth mia, ch aracterised by irregular h eartbeat Medical experts from Milton Keynes Hospital

F o u n d a t i o n T r u s t a n d N o r t h Middlesex University Hospital will be treating 100 patients at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in Bengaluru, p r o v i d i n g t h e m w i t h c a r d i a c implantable devices and ablations

L e a d i n g t h e t e a m a r e D r Mark Davies, consultant cardiologist and electrophysiologist, a n d R a g u p a t h i Balasubramanian, chief cardiac physiologist, both from Milton Keynes Foundation Trust

The other members include Dr Irfan Kazi, cardiology spe-

A cc u sati o ns h av e been lev i ed ag ainst the UK and oth er affluent nations for engaging in what is perceiv ed as a "mod ern fo rm o f co l o ni al is m " by r ec ru i ti ng substantial num bers of nurses

fr o m ec o no m i c al ly d i s ad v antaged co untries to add ress their own staffing shortages

I n t e r n a t i o n a l n u r s i n g

a u t h o r i t i e s h a v e v o i c e d c o ncerns that this practice is resulting in a decline in patient care standards in developing nations, which are not adequately compensated for the departure of experienced healthcare profes-

s i o n a l s H o w a r d C a t t o n , t h e

c h i e f e x e c u t i v e o f t h e International Council of Nurses, noted a palpable sense of frustration among attendees at a

r e c e n t g a t h e r i n g o f n u r s i n g

a s s o c i a t i o n s f r o m v a r i o u s African nations held in Rwanda

He said: “These wealthier countries are effectively creating a new form of long-term dependency that hinders the development of health systems in the source countries ” They described it as “ a new form of colonialism”, he said T h e r e g u l a t i o n s o f t h e W o r l d H e a l t h O r g a n i s a t i o n (WHO) are designed to curb the practice of recruiting healthcare w o r k e r s f r o m c o u n t r i e s w i t h f r a g i l e h e a l t h s y s t e m s A c c o r d i n g t o t h e s e r u l e s , recruitment from nations identified on the WHO's "red list" should only occur with formal agreements in place

Tories delete attack ad showing New York

The Cons ervatives have removed a n on l in e v i de o t ha t f e a t ur e d sc enes of a panic ked crowd at a New Y ork s ubway s tation to critic ise Sadiq Khan’s crime record in London

The attack ad shared on X in support of Susan Hall, Khan’s opponent for the London mayoralty, depicted individuals panicking and rushing through New Y o r k ’ s P e n n S t a t i o n f o l l o w i n g false reports of gunfire in 2017

T h e c a p t i o n o n t h e v i d e o a l l e g e d t h a t " L o n d o n u n d e r

Labour has become a crime capital of the world" and included an emoji of a red rose – the symbol of the Labour Party – wilting and s h e d d i n g i t s p e t a l s F o l l o w i n g o b s e r v a t i o n s b y c o m m e n t a t o r s l i k e p o l i t i c a l j o u r n a l i s t P a u l Waugh, who noted that the video depicting scenes of London actually featured footage from New York, it was promptly withdrawn In its place, a revised version w a s r e l e a s e d , w h e r e t h e c l i p s f r o m P e n n S t a t i o n h a d b e e n removed


Ministers have postponed their proposed ban on no-fault evictions as part of the Renters Reform Bill, which has been significantly diluted The pledge to abolish Section 21 no-fault evictions was a key component of Michael Gove's comprehensive legislation aimed at overhauling the private rental sector However the proposal has faced strong opposition from certain Conservative backbenchers and landlords A letter from levelling up minister Jacob Young reported by the media outlines a set of amendments that the government plans to introduce to the legislation once parliament reconvenes following the Easter recess in April One proposed amendment involves assessing the readiness of courts before abolishing Section 21 for existing tenancies This aims to address potential delays in eviction cases due to court backlogs Additionally another amendment prohibits tenants from ending a tenancy within the first six months instead of the previous two-month notice period


Using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen may exacerbate symptoms of painful conditions and even lead to gut issues according to researchers at Semmelweis University Dr Zoltán Zádori, leader of the Gastrointestinal Research Group at the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, highlighted the long-known fact that excessive NSAID use can disrupt the balance of gut microbiota "We are now looking for the underlying mechanisms which are only partially understood " According to the NHS website individuals are advised to consult their doctor if they still require ibuprofen after 10 days of use (or 3 days if under 18) Hungarian researchers note that NSAIDs including ibuprofen are among the most widely used medications globally, with over 30 million people consuming them daily


ciality registrar at Milton Keynes Foundation Trust, and William Jesjuraj, chief cardiac physiolog i s t f r o m N o r t h M i d d l e s e x University Hospital

A - A P 4 L s u p p l i e s c a r d i a c implantable devices, including pacemakers, and offers training

t o l o c a l c a r d i a c t e a m s t o enhance skills or establish new s e r v i c e s i n l o w a n d m i d d l eincome countries In the UK, a r o u n d 3 5 , 0 0 0 i n d i v i d u a l s receive cardiac device implants

e a c h y e a r H o w e v e r , o n c e a p a t i e n t p a s s e s a w a y o r t h e device is no longer required, it is typically discarded

n informing deportation and visa p o l i c i e s " W e w o u l d w a n t t o apply a higher level of scrutiny to nationalities that are at higher risk," he said Following his resignation as i m m i g r a t i o n m i n i s t e r i n December in opposition to the prime minister's Rwanda deportation plan, Mr Jenrick's prop o s e d a m e n d m e n t , i n i t i a l l y reported by the media, entails presenting an annual report to Parliament This report would c o m p i l e t h e n a t i o n a l i t y , v i s a , and asylum status of all offende r s c o n v i c t e d i n E n g l i s h a n d Welsh courts over the preceding 12 months

S u p p o r t e d b y 2 5 M P s , including Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and Sir Robert Buckland, Mr J e n r i c k ' s p r o p o s a l s e e k s t o

Robert Jenrick

enhance transparency regarding the immigration status of convicted individuals If the amendment is submitted, it would be one of dozens submitted for the Criminal Justice Bill It would need to be selected to be voted on by the entire House of Commons as the over-

a l l b i l l c o n t i n u e s i t s p a s s a g e through Parliament, and would then become part of the government policy if it is backed by a majority of MPs

were taken Officers have launched an appeal for information regarding the incident DC Matthew Harburt has appealed for information regarding the stolen jewellery stating, "We have released images of a number of the pieces which were stolen in the hope it will help us locate it If you have been offered similar items for sale or know of its current whereabouts please get in touch " The stolen items include gold rings,

06 6 - 12 April 2024 in brief
of pounds worth of gold jewellery have been stolen from a home in Leicester Leicestershire Police responded to a burglary on March 16 at a home on Queniborough Road Leicester The incident occurred between 5:30 pm and 11:30 pm during which several items of 22carat Asian gold jewellery
earrings, bangles bracelets pendants, and chains OUTRAGE OVER RECORD SEWAGE DISCHARGES BY ENGLISH WATER FIRMS Water companies in England have come under heavy fire as data exposed that raw sewage was discharged into rivers and seas for over 3 6 million hours last year, marking a staggering 105% increase compared to the previous 12 months This surge in untreated waste discharge has made 2023 the worst year on record for stormwater pollution Early data seen by the Guardian put the scale of discharges at more than 4m hours, but officials said the figures were an early estimate Liberal Democrat leader
on the public www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Ed Davey has urged the government to classify the issue of
sewage contaminating waterways as a national environmental emergency He has called for an immediate meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) to assess the health implications of sewage pollution
Members of the A-A P4L Mission as they depart for Bengaluru
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Jasper Reid: Bringing British flavour to India's culinary scene and navigating identity

Jasper Reid, a multifaceted entrep reneur and restaurant brand expert, broug ht PizzaExp ress, Jam ie Oliv er, and Wend y's to India His TV show s include "Jasper’s Co ok In," "Billion Do llar Idea, " and "Th e Great Ind ian Pizza Ad venture "

He's known for his TED Talk, press contributions, and BritishIndian heritage, residing in Delhi He spoke to Asian Voice about living in India, his heritage, and more Can you share more about your family's unique journey of living and working in India for four consecutive generations, particularly after 1947, and how it has shaped your sense of identity and connection to the country?

Does not having an Indian passport make any difference to how you feel living in India?

My Grandfather was an engineer and left the UK in the 1950s to work with Tata Sons He was an aviation specialist and was part of the team building Dum Dum Airport in Calcutta

Later my Father ran the international operations for Help the Aged and worked in India with Help Age India who run eye camps and leper camps My Father travelled all around the country

In 1996 I was first posted to India where I was the deputy in charge of Cathay Pacific Airways for India, Nepal and Bangladesh I was based in Mumbai for two years and travelled everywhere

Later with Macquarie Capital, I came to India for business In 2011 I started my own business in London called IMM and we won the contract to help PizzaExpress expand in India and China This ended up as a JV with the Bharti Family Office (the Airtel promoters)

I wanted to own and operate my own restaurant brands under IMM and won the rights for Jamie Oliver Restaurants and Wendy's I raised money from well-respected UK investors then moved to Delhi in 2014 with my young family to set up and operate the business Our twin girls Cecilia and Elsa were then six years old

Now we have completed a decade in India and live happily in Delhi where the girls are at school Our household now includes two Persian cats, one labrador retriever

and three parrots My daughter Elsa flies her parrots in Delhi and she has trained them to return to her She is one of the only people who knows how to do this in India It's called Free Flying and she takes her parrots all over town

My wife Megan is heavily involved in charitable work in India and her American family funds a school in Gangtok, Sikkim Her cousin is also the Dalai Lama's representative in the US

I don't think not having an Indian passport matters but I do feel that there's a better way than having all foreigners renew their residency on an annual basis - especially those who are committed, have invested and create employment We are all three There was a law gazetted in 2014 which provided permanent residency for people like us (and allowed Megan to work which she cannot do now) but it seems to be taking a while to become active We want to be the first to take this up!

What inspired your mission to establish Jamie Oliver Restaurants in India, considering your deep-rooted connection to the country and its culture?

I saw the fast food giants, eg Domino's and McDonald's expanding and had a very strong belief that people would gravitate towards fresh, no junk, good quality Western food This is the heart of what Jamie does and he shared our vision We are also huge believers in the awesome culinary traditions of India and we wanted to compete in this great arena

We don t believe we have any rights in India except what we earn by being an active player in the Indian food scene

After a decade we feel we are making progress but the journey ahead will be as wild and exciting as the path to get here So far we

have 31 restaurants in 13 cities and we operate 3 formats - Jamie's Kitchen, Jamie's Pizzeria and Jamie s Cafe

How do you navigate the complexities of blending British culinary traditions with the diverse flavours and preferences of the Indian palate while maintaining authenticity and respect for both cultures in Jamie Oliver Restaurants India?

Jamie has a huge culinary repertoire and we don't customise to the market as such, we just choose the menu items we know will work We do classics and we do them well and a lot of this is about local sourcing India has amazing produce and we import very few items

About half our customers in India are vegetarian and again Jamie is super knowledgeable about veg which is a great starting point

Of course, India is vast and diverse and tastes change every 100 miles or so We have deep respect for every market in which we operate and we adjust accordingly For example, our Ahmedabad Jamie's Kitchen is 100% veg - the first all-veg Jamie's restaurant in the world In some areas we serve alcohol and in others, we don't

But most of what we do is the same across India and always fresh, always made to order, always served with love for our customers whom we are so proud to serve

In the end, we are there for customers who want good, authentic food with zero junk and highquality, ethical ingredients We are mostly Western with a little bit of the East in certain restaurants and our recipes are pure Jamie We feel like this is super relevant to the modern Indian consumer who of course wants the best

Worker gets settlement after comparison to MP's killer

A student lab worker, Waqas R ai , h as secured a p ayout after hi s manager accused hi m of r ad i c al i s a ti o n a nd l i k ene d h i m t o th e i nd i vi d u al wh o t ra gi c a l l y ki l l e d a Co nservati ve MP Rai initiated legal acti on for race and r el i g i o u s d i sc r i m i na t i o n a gai ns t Mi cr o p at h o l o gy , a l a bo r at o ry s p e ci al i s i ng i n rapid diagnos is and i nf ecti ous d i s ea s e r es e ar c h , ba s ed at Warwick University

However, the laboratory has now settled for an undisclosed sum, without admit-

t i n g l i a b i l i t y A l l e g a t i o n s emerged that Rai, aged 23, was terminated without notice by M i c r o p a t h o l o g y b o s s e s i n 2021, prompting legal action t h a t w a s s c h e d u l e d f o r a n employment tribunal hearing before the settlement

Several months after his dismissal, Rai said, his former manager gave a university lecture that was recorded and u p l o a d e d o n l i n e O n t h e recording, the manager could be heard openly discussing the laboratory’s reasons for sacking Rai, including a claim

that he had been “radicalised” I n f u r t h e r c o m m u n i c ation with the university, the manager directly likened Rai to "the man who killed the MP in Southend" a clear reference to Sir David Amess, who tragically lost his life at his constituency surgery in L e i g h - o n - S e a , E s s e x , i n October 2021 The lab manager characterised Rai as very i n t e l l i g e n t " b u t e x p r e s s e d c o n c e r n s a b o u t h i s " t o t a l l y passive" behaviour, suggesting that it indicated potential radicalisation

Humza Yousaf condemns racist graffiti near home

H u m za Y o u s af h as

d e no u nc ed ra ci s t g r af fi ti ai m e d a t h i m ne ar h is B ro ug h ty F er ry r es id e nc e Th e First M inister expressed concern, stating th at shielding his child ren fro m antiM u s li m ab u se b ec o m es m o r e c h all en g i ng w h e n such incidents occur in close proximity to their ho me

Police were notified of v a n d a l i s m o n w a l l s a n d fences in Hamilton Street

T h e o f f e n s i v e c o m m e n t s , deemed "sickening," include d t w o d e r o g a t o r y s l u r s

D u n d e e C i t y C o u n c i l h a s since removed the graffiti

S h a r i n g T h e C o u r i e r ’ s front page on social media, Mr Yousaf said: “I do my best to shield my children

from the racism and Islamophobia I face on a regular basis “ T h a t b e c o m e s i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f ic u l t w h e n r a c i s t graffiti targeting me a p p e a r s n e a r o u r family home “A reminder of why we must, collectively, t a k e a z e r o - t o l e r a n c e approach to hatred ” The SNP leader, who is o f S c o t t i s h - P a k i s t a n i h e ritage, has regularly spoken o f t h e h o r r e n d o u s r a c i s t a b u s e h e f a c e s B r o u g h t y Ferry residents voiced their disgust on Monday

“ I t ’ s a b s o l u t e l y s h o c k i n g “ Y o u don’t expect to see t h i n g s l i k e t h i s p a i n t e d o n t h e wall ” T h e g r a f f i t i a p p e a r e d o n t h e s a m e d a y t h a t S c o t l a n d ' s c o n t r oversial new hate crime laws, s u p p o r t e d b y M r Y o u s a f , were implemented

One told us: “We reported it to the council as soon as we saw it this morning

A n o t h e r r e s i d e n t s a i d : “It’s awful what’s been plastered on the walls but I don’t think the timing is a coincidence “Whoever has done this is clearly targeting Humza and one of the walls mentioned something about the new law ” Hamza Yousaf

07 6 - 12 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Jasper Reid

powerful column writer Bikram Vohara asked me if he could write about the Mandir HH Pramukh Swami always taught us to be with the truth and to bring the truth out so I suggested Bikram observe everything as an outsider a n d t h e n w r i t e w i t h o u t g e t t i n g

influenced I told him- be yourself and write yourself He mentioned in the book that being a critical writer and thinker he was amazed seeing that a religious organisation is so open-hearted

“On the other hand, it’s also a record of work done by Penguin Penguin takes almost 6 months to review a book, then they explore the market possibilities and after that, they start the project But Penguin finished the project of this book in only three weeks The book is doing great The first edition is sold and now the second edition is on the way It’s an amazing book, it's about spirituality

“Another good thing is that S Jayshankar wrote the forward He was flying in from Iran, arrived in Dubai for a couple of hours and was on his way to Kampala I requested h i m f o r a f o r w a r d B e f o r e h e reached Kampala, he wrote the forward in the plane and that’s how we got the forward

“The Abu Dhabi temple is a great message of hope and harmo-

BAPS Mandirs and Centres spearhead neighbourhood cleanup

Over the Easter bank ho lid ay w e eke nd , 2 1 6 v o lu nt ee rs fro m 13 BAPS S wam inarayan M andirs and centres across the UK too k to the streets to p a rti c ip a te in th e Gr eat

B ri ti s h S p ri n g C lea n, th e nation’ s larg est m ass-action env ironmental cam paign

T h i s i n i t i a t i v e a i m s t o tackle littering by mobilising volunteers to clean up their l o c a l n e i g h b o u r h o o d s , r e s u l t i n g i n t h o u s a n d s o f bags of litter being collected nationwide BAPS volunteers collected a total of 138 bags o f l i t t e r , s i g n i f i c a n t l y enhancing the surrounding environment and receiving gratitude from many local residents for their efforts

T h e a n n u a l e v e n t i s organised by Keep Britain Tidy, a leading independent environmental charity dedi-

cated to inspiring, educating, and empowering individuals across the country to appreciate and care for their l o c a l e n v i r o n m e n t K e e p Britain Tidy is commemorating its 70th anniversary this year

Seeing so many volunteers c o m e t o g e t h e r f o r s u c h a worthy cause is a testimony o f t h e c o m m u n i t y s p i r i t between the temple and its neighbours

“We would also like to c o n g r a t u l a t e K e e p B r i t a i n T i d y f o r i t s t r e m e n d o u s work over the past 70 years a n d l o o k f o r w a r d t o s u pp o r t i n g t h e i r c o m m u n i t y projects in the future ”

A m b r i s h L i m b a c h i a , a n a t i o n a l c o m m u n i t y o u treach volunteer for BAPS, a d d e d , “ H i s H o l i n e s s Mahant Swami Maharaj, the global spiritual leader of the BAPS Hindu fellowship and t h e i n s p i r e r o f N e a s d e n T e m p l e , t e a c h e s u s t o respect and care for the environment and to serve our local communities as a part of our social responsibility

Vaisakhi festivities to grace Trafalgar Square

T raf algar S qu are is s et to ho st this year's V aisakhi cele br at i o ns i n Lo n do n o n April 6th, as annou nced in a statement

The free family-oriented e v e n t , c o o r d i n a t e d b y t h e M a y o r o f L o n d o n a n d backed by the Vaisakhi community advisory group, will be jointly hosted by DJ and presenter Tommy Sandhu, alongside entrepreneur, disability specialist, and speaker Shani Dhanda

V a i s a k h i s t a n d s a s t h e p a r a m o u n t f e s t i v a l i n t h e S i k h c a l e n d a r , c o m m e m orating Sikh and Punjabi culture, and the establishment of the Khalsa (modern-day Sikhism) The festivities will feature Kirtan performances by Grewal Twins and Kirpal Singh Panesar, along with captivating demonstrations of Gatka, a traditional Sikh m a r t i a l a r t , p r e s e n t e d b y

The Dhol Academy drummers

ny for humanity A temple of love and harmony, when the world is being polarised That is the role of a s p i r i t u a l p l a c e ” a d d e d Brahmaviharidas Swami ”

C B s a i d h e r e m e m b e r e d t h e w o r d s o f H H P r a m u k h S w a m i Maharaj that Shri, Sarasvati and Shakti are necessary for success He said every Satsangi should read this book Devote some time from every day and exchange knowledge from this book with all

He shared the moment that he was supposed to join the historic i n a u g u r a t i o n o f t h e A b u D h a b i Temple but due to ill health during the India visit, was not able to make that He said, “When I was back in London, I was a bit upset that I could not be there to feel the making of history- the opening of the First Hindu Temple in the Middle

E a s t I c a m e h e r e t o N e a s d e n T e m p l e o n M a h a s h i v r a t r i a n d s h a r e d w i t h P u j y a Y o g v i v e k d a s Swami that I felt very sad regarding m y a b s e n c e i n A b u D h a b i Yogvivekdas Swami gave me the

book A Millennial Moment I know Bikram Vohra Earlier I had some reservations about him but after this book, I have developed a special respect and admiration for him

“On day one, I read 32 pages I believe that this book has broken many myths This book says that 6 0 % o f S a t s a n g i s ( D e v o t e e s o f B h a g w a n S w a m i n a r a y a n ) a r e women Bikram explained nicely all about BAPS It is so catchy and knowledgeable that I read this book two times The book tells what is the Satv of Satsang and what is the Satv of BAPS I was so impressed and I decided to spread that knowledge to other people I wrote a fourpage special article- Ran Na Kan Kan Ma Brahmnaad “ E v e r y b o d y c a n n o t r e a d t h e book, but it’s our responsibility to spread the message The teachings of BAPS will show you how a man c a n b e a h u m a n b e i n g H H Pramukh Swami’s teachings will guide you on how to become a better person ” Praising the leading efforts of

A t t e n d e e s c a n p a r t i c ip a t e i n t u r b a n - t y i n g s e ssions, enjoy film screenings, e n g a g e i n s p o r t i n g e v e n t s l i k e t h e S i k h G a m e s , a n d partake in discussions led by expert chefs Moreover, Sikh artists will showcase their c r e a t i v e w o r k s , e n r i c h i n g the celebration with their talents Additionally, a child r e n ' s m a r q u e e f e a t u r i n g c o m p l i m e n t a r y a c t i v i t i e s from Kiddie Sangat will be part of the festivities

Brahmaviharidas Swami, CB added, “In the article, I mentioned about y o u , y o u r f a t h e r Y o g v i v e k d a s S w a m i , N i t i n P a l a n , P a r e s h R u g h a n i a n d c o n n e c t e d a l l t h e efforts of the past with the present You are always alert and able to sense the changes and convert the c h a l l e n g e s i n t o o p p o r t u n i t i e s I t was you who suggested Pramukh Swami to have a temple in the Middle East This is the indication of a leader to sense the opportunities and act accordingly ”

BAPS Trustees Jitubhai Patel, V i n u b h a i B h a t t e s s a a n d J i g n e s h Patel also joined the meeting

B r a h m a v i h a r i d a s S w a m i w i l l j o i n t h e Z o o m m e e t i n g t h i s Thursday

In the meeting, CB also said that, “We organise a Special Zoom Get-together every Thursday at 3 pm This Thursday's meeting (4 April) will focus on the First Hindu Temple of the Middle East in Abu Dhabi Temple I request you to join the Zoom event and share various facts and knowledge with the audie n c e a n d m o t i v a t e t h e m

Brahmviharidas said he would be very happy to join ”

Brahmavihari Swami, who is in charge of international relations at BAPS, is a motivational speaker and champion of humanitarian causes He grew up in the UK and became a monk in 1981 Brahmavihari Swami has played a pivotal role in the creation and design of various BAPS t e m p l e s w o r l d w i d e a n d w a s t h e driving force behind the temple in Abu Dhabi

08 6 - 12 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Brahmaviharidas Swami expresses special gratitude towards CB’s selfless service to the community Mahesh Liloriya Head of BAP S Hindu Mandir in A bu Dh a bi a nd I n ter nat io n al C o o rd i n ato r o f BA P S S w am i n ara yan S a ns th a, Brah maviharid as S wam i was on a short v isit to Lo nd on During his busy schedule, on 1 April 2024, he met the Publisher and Ed ito r in Chief o f Asian Voice and Gu jarat Sam achar CB Patel and expressed special gratitude toward s his selfles s s er v i ce to t h e c o m m u n i ty P u jy a S w am i j i a lo n g w i t h Yogv ivekd as Swami Head Swami of Nea s d en T e m p le a nd BA P S Swaminarayan Sanstha in the U K and P aram tattva Sw am i ad m ired C B’ s c o lu m n “ J i v an t P ant h ” i n w h i ch h e w ro te a bo u t th e A b u Dhabi M andir, the vision, p eop le and efforts beh ind it A t B A P S S h r i S w a m i n a r a y a n Mandir Neasden, Brahmaviharidas
had a detailed discussion w i t h C B H e s h a r e d t h e s t o r y b e h i n d t h e b o o k‘ A M i l l e n n i a l M o m e n t ’ a n d s a i d , “ R e n
o w
Editor and a
Brahmaviharidas Swami and CB Patel with the book- A Millennial Moment and Gujarat Samachar Paramtattva Swami, Yogvivekdas Swami, Brahmaviharidas Swami, CB Patel, BAPS Trustees Jitubhai Patel, Vinubhai Bhattessa and Dharma Patel in Centre

ABPL marks International Women's Day with Soneri Sangat

A s i a n V o ic e an d G uj a r a t S a m a c ha r ho s t e d a Z o om p r og r a m m e t i t l ed ' Son e r i Sangat,' on M arch 14, 2 02 4 t he t hird epis ode was dedic a te d to in t er n a t io na l women ’ s day and dis cuss ed women em powerment with p r om i n en t wo m e n ac r os s d i ve r s e f i el d s Th e e v e n t drew num erous par tic ipants who joined in the evening, m aking it a n unforget tabl e a nd enriching experie nce for a ll involved C o n s u l t i n g e d i t o r o f

u j a r a t S a m a c h a r , K ok il a

a t el w e l c o m e d e v e r y o n e

E O o f E n f i e l d S a h e

societal norms, my parents defied expectations and prio r i t i s e d m y e d u c a t i o n a n d autonomy I vividly recall the pivotal moments where their u n w a v e r i n g s u p p o r t p r opelled me forward As the f i r s t g i r l i n m y f a m i l y t o

sist As we strive for empowerment, we must prioritise women's health as a cornerstone In my field, I've specialised in Ayurveda, recognising its unique ability to address individual needs and promote holistic well-being Through practices like medit a t i o n a n d m i n d f u l n e s s , Ayurveda empowers not just o u r b o d i e s , b u t a l s o o u r m i n d s I u r g e e v e r y o n e t o take a moment each day for m e d i t a t i o n a n d m i n d f u ln e s s a s i m p l e p a u s e t h a t can yield profound benefits,” she added

6 P r e s i d e n t s graced the event and shared the same planform

K ri s hn a P uja r a g u i d e d t h e proceedings as event moderator The programme commenced with a prayer led by M a y a b e n D e e p a k N i l e s h Parmar, Bureau Chief, then d e l i v e r e d t h e l a t e s t n e w s u p d a t e s d u r i n g t h e e v e n t , k e e p i n g p a r t i c i p a n t s informed and engaged

The first speaker of the programme, Chinu Kis hor e

who is representative of the A s s a m e s e c o m m u n i t y f o r promoting arts and culture s a i d , “ W o m e n a r e o f t e n incredibly busy, so I've found t h a t o f f e r i n g s e l f - c a r e through dance is a wonderful way to provide them with joy a n d r e l a x a t i o n I o r g a n i s e workshops during their free time, particularly catering to r e t i r e d w o m e n s e e k i n g a l e i s u r e a c t i v i t y T h e s e s e ss i o n s a l l o w t h e m t o l e a r n s i m p l e d a n c e s t e p s a n d immerse themselves in a new art form, providing a reprieve from the demands of daily life By fostering connections w i t h o t h e r w o m e n a n d encouraging them to learn from each other's strengths, I aim to empower them not only in the realm of art but also in supporting each other and engaging in community initiatives

L e c t u r e r a t G B S M in al J a is wa l, w h o m a n a g e s t h e community forum "Indians in London," reflecting on the significance of International Women's Day in her life said, “International Women's Day holds deep personal significance for me, rooted in the e m p o w e r i n g e n v i r o n m e n t my family cultivated Despite

attend an English medium

s c h o o l , I d e f i e d o u t d a t e d c o n v e n t i o n s S i m i l a r l y , m y decision to marry at 39, after fulfilling familial responsibilities, underscored the freedom and agency instilled in me ” “Witnessing women like the hijab-wearing cab driver a n d m y A f g h a n c o l l e a g u e s pursuing education and professional careers reinforces the ongoing global struggle for women's rights Despite living in 2024, many women worldwide still face systemic b a r r i e r s O u r p r i v i l e g e demands action-to leverage our opportunities for the betterment of all women, ” she added

Speaking about women ’ s health, Sushma Bhanot MBE

who is Ayurveda Consultant and Co Director Coolherballs said, “Over the past three to four decades, I've dedicated m y c a r e e r t o w o m e n ' s h e a l t h a f u n d a m e n t a l aspect often overlooked in discussions about empowerment While empowerment i s c r u c i a l , w i t h o u t s o u n d health, its realisation remains unattainable Women are the bearers of Shakti, the driving force of the world, but to harness this power, we require energy and vitality It's disheartening to observe how even in developed nations, women lack access to basic healthcare services, including m e n s t r u a l a n d p o s tmenopausal care, and contraception ” “ D e s p i t e t h e p r o g r e s s made, significant gaps per-

D i r e c t o r a t G o l d e n Tours, K amu Palan said, “As

s o m e o n e w h o p r i o r i t i s e s wellbeing, I'm acutely aware of the challenges faced by young mothers in the workp l a c e D e s p i t e t h e s u p p o r t they receive from partners, it's often the women who feel compelled to take time off for childcare While I encourage their participation, the lack of affordable childcare options poses a significant hurdle I believe the government should invest in supporting young mothers with a l t e r n a t i v e w e l l b e i n g s o l utions, such as yoga It offers immense benefits for those with stressful jobs and anxie t y M a n y i n d i v i d u a l s attempt self-guided practice, risking injury due to a lack of p r o p e r g u i d a n c e Q u a l i f i e d teachers play a vital role in ensuring safe and effective p r a c t i c e , b e n e f i t i n g b o t h women and men balancing

c h i l d c a r e a n d h o u s e h o l d responsibilities

Participant Ravi Bhanot asked a question regarding h o w m e n c a n s u p p o r t w o m e n ' s a d v a n c e m e n t W h i l e r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e question, Chinu emphasised the importance of recognising limitations and prioritising self-care, advocating for a balanced approach akin to m e n K r i s h n a P u j a r a a l s o highlighted the role of men in advancing gender equality a n d t h e n e e d f o r p o l i c i e s a d d r e s s i n g p a y e q u i t y a n d s u p p o r t i n g w o m e n ' s w o r kforce participation On the o t h e r h a n d , M i n a l s h a r e d p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s i l l u strating societal expectations limiting women's autonomy, despite their capabilities She stressed the importance of

Concerns mount as nursery places dwindle with expanded child care rollout

The av ail a bil it y of nur se ry p l a ce s fo r y ou n g chi l d r e n decrea sed towards t he en d of t h e pr e v i ou s y e a r , a d d in g strain to the sector as the implement ation of e xpanded free chil dcar e looms

Starting April, a significant number of working parents nationwide became eligible for government-funded childcare, providing up to 15 hours per week for two-yearolds

D e s p i t e t h i s p r o v i s i o n , c h i l d c a r e p r o v i d e r s h a v e e x p r e s s e d c o n c e r n s a b o u t their financial viability under the expanded scheme, while parents continue to grapple with high costs and lengthy waiting lists

R e c e n t r e s e a r c h b y Coram, the children's chari-

ty, revealed that less than half of local areas reported sufficient childcare availability for working parents, repr e s e n t i n g a n 1 1 % d e c r e a s e f r o m t h e p r e v i o u s y e a r A d d i t i o n a l l y , 4 3 % o f l o c a l authorities reported a reduction in the number of funded early education places provided by childcare providers

A d d i t i o n a l l y , a c c o r d i n g to a new research conducted b y I n d e e d F l e x , a n o n l i n e marketplace for flexible and t e m p o r a r y w o r k , n e a r l y a third (31%) of women with children under the age of five s p e n d m o r e t h a n 4 0 % o f their salary on childcare

T h e a n a l y s i s a l s o r e v e a l e d t h a t a s t a g g e r i n g three-quarters (77%) of these women have experienced an

increase in their childcare costs over the past year A t h i r d ( 3 2 % ) o f t h e 2 , 0 0 0 women surveyed expressed the view that the measures

a r e n o t b e i n g r o l l e d o u t quickly enough, and a quarter (29%) believe that even w i t h g o v e r n m e n t s u p p o r t , p r o f e s s i o n a l c h i l d c a r e w i l l remain unaffordable A quarter (25%) of mothers with children under five reported taking on additional work to help cover these e x p e n s e s , w h i l e a n o t h e r quarter (25%) have turned to temporary work Of those who have taken up temporary work, one in five (20%) stated that it is the only form o f e m p l o y m e n t t h e y c a n m a n a g e a l o n g s i d e t h e i r childcare responsibilities

09 6 - 12 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
l i ,
o r m s a n d r e c o g n i s i n g w o m e n ' s i n n a t e s t r e n g t
a n d resilience The Vote of thanks was g i v e n b y C h a i r m a n a n d E d i t o r - i n - C h i e f o f A s i a n Voice and Gujarat Samachar, CB Patel
c h a l l e n g i n g g e n d e r n
Krishna Pujara Kokila Patel Chinu Kishore Sushma Bhanot MBE Minal Jaiswal
Honouring retiring trustees at LCNL Lo hana C omm unity North L o n d o n o r g an i se d a v er y special event on
to honour M anishbhai S an g an i a nd P ra ti bh a be n Lakhani,
er trustees o f L o h a na C h ari ta bl e
14 years in A pril 2024 The event
V i n o d b h a i T h a k r a r , C h a i r p e r s o n o f t h e L C F Trust and Janubhai Kotecha, Secretary which was held at Dhamecha Lohana Centre in South Harrow Members f r o m v a r i o u s b o d i e s o f L C N L , T r u s t e e s a n d P a s t P r e s i d e n t s a t t e n d e d t h i s v e r y s p e c i a l c e l e b r a t i o n This was a special historical e v e n t w h e n 1
Left to
Kamu Palan
6th Marh 2024
was hosted by
From Left
Right : Jayantibhai Tanna, Dineshbhai Kotecha, Chandubhai Rughani, Narendrabhai Thakrar, Kiritbhai Karia Janubhai Kotecha Vinodbhai Thakrar Manishbhai Sangani Meenaben Jasani Pratibhaben Lakhani Kokiben Vasani Urmilben Thakker Shantoobhai Ruparell Deepakbhai Jatania
Shonchhatra, Yatinbhai Dawada and Sudhirbhai Karia Honouring Retiring Trustees Manishbhai Sangani and Pratibhaben Lakhani
Right: Dineshbhai Kotecha, Janubhai Kotecha, Maheshwariben Kotecha, Shailaben Sangani, Manishbhai Sangani, Meenaben Jasani, Pratibhaben Lakhani, Dakshaben Thakrar, Vinodbhai Thakrar
Photo courtesy of Raj Bakrania Photo courtesy of Raj Bakrania
‘Appreciation Ceremony’ Bhadran Bandhu Samaj UK organised an event on Sunday 31 March at the Gerrads Cross Community Association, to appreciate and extend heartfelt gratitude to all those who have provided unwavering support to nurture the community for the last 40 years A detailed report with photos will be published in the next issue Seated from Left to Right: Gargiben Sulochnaben Devikaben Bhadranwala Nilaben Snehlataben Jyotiben General Secretary Nirupaben Patel and Kinnariben Standing from Left to Right : Kirtibhai, Jayrajbhai Bhadranwala, Kiranbhai, President Bimalbhai Patel, Narendrabhai and Vice President Nitinbhai Patel
Bhadran Bandhu Samaj hosts

Western culture: Is it an asset or a liability?

There was a time when everything Western was considered to be the best, gold-plated, whether it was Britishmanufactured household goods or cars like Ford, Princess, Rovers, Jaguars, and a few more But we miserably failed to take advantage of this goodwill, reputation, and people’s trust in everything made in Britain!

Then relations and interactions with the British, the ruler, and the ruled were minimal; their public association on political, economic, and social fronts were more like servant and master's relations!

At one time, there was hardly any difference between Eastern and Western cultures Christian culture and the Eastern one led by Japan, India, and Buddhist influence that prevailed in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, when war was the main weapon to conquer, expand, and rule as many nations as possible

It was Emperor Ashok, the founder or rather spreader of Buddhism, whose ambassadors of peace travelled Asia and beyond to spread peace, prosperity, and harmony without firing a single shot in anger Ashok was the greatest king in world history, although Western historians have more or less ignored this period of history when the E a s t o u t s h i n e d t h e W e s t p r a c t i c a l l y i n e v e r y f i e l d ! Unfortunately, even now it is barely mentioned, not on any curriculum, even in India

Asia, especially Bharat, was divided into many small kingdoms, ruled by tin-pot maharajas who were more interested in their personal wealth and family fortunes than the well-being of their citizens or loyalty to a huge empire!

As a result, they were in the pockets of ruthless invaders, mainly from economically deprived and culturally bankrupt Central Asian nations, who took advantage of their greed and enslaved the citizens, often pitting one ruler against another, although they had lived side by side for centuries in perfect harmony

Maharana Pratap and Shivaji Maharaja are the perfect examples of how other Rajput kings like Jaichand the Traitor and a few more were used by Moghuls to bring these patriotic kings down from within, by treachery rather than on the battlefield

Unfortunately, we have learned nothing from our past mistakes In Gandhiji, Nehru, and a few more politicians, we could see the trend of Jaichand However, we had S a r d a r P a t e l , S u b h a s h C h a n d r a B o s e , a n d n o w P M Narendra Modi to save Bharat from the clutches of traitors within Let’s hope Modi and the BJP will rule long enough to put Bharat on the path of permanent success, establishing colonies on our moon and beyond

Bhupendra M Gandhi

Islamic month of Ramadan

Ramadan is observed in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar This one month is dedicated to reflection, peace, spirituality, and community People start observing the fast at dawn and break it after sunset The pre-dawn meal is known as suhur, and the post-sunset meal is known as iftar Traditionally, the fast is broken by having water and dates Muslims believe that in A D 610, the angel Gabriel appeared to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and revealed to him the Qur'an That revelation, Laylat Al Qadar, or 'Night of Power, is believed to have occurred during Ramadan Muslims fast during that month as a way to commemorate the revelation of the Holy Qur'an Fasting is purely out of love for God and to thank Him for what He has blessed us with in our daily lives

There are many reasons to fast, including the Muslim tradition Other reasons include self-control If a person is able to abstain from food and water for that amount of time, he or she learns to control his or her desires and temptations and thus has greater self-control

Jubel D'Cruz, M umbai, India

A cohesive society

The article in Asian Voice dated March 30, 2024, about Kate's battle with cancer beautifully illustrates the strength individuals show in tough times, reminding us all to support one another with empathy and compassion It also raised important questions about the role of the monarchy in modern Britain Balancing tradition with accountability is key to ensuring its relevance in today's diverse society

Additionally, the piece shed light on immigration, emphasising the valuable contributions immigrants make to British society Despite challenges, they enrich our culture and economy It's vital to foster inclusivity and recognise its positive impact

Overall, the article sparked meaningful reflection on how we can create a more compassionate and cohesive society By embracing empathy and celebrating diversity, we can navigate these challenges together and build a brighter future for all

Wage disparity among single mothers

Income disparities among single parents, particularly highlighting the significant wage gap faced by single mothers, prompt a crucial conversation about financial security and retirement savings It's deeply concerning that single mothers earn 53% less than men, underscoring the urgent need for policy interventions to address this issue

Appropriate measures are vital in ensuring that single parents, especially women, can build adequate retirement savings

Neha Mehta's remarks on similar challenges faced by single mothers in Asia highlight the global nature of this issue Additionally, Shaista Gohir's insights on the challenges faced by minority women, particularly in saving for pensions, emphasise the need for targeted support and awareness campaigns to address these disparities

By supporting efforts to change systems and promoting initiatives that ensure gender equality, we can strive for a future where everyone, no matter their situation, can retire with dignity and financial stability

Kanan P atha k

Inspiring wedding feature

Thank you, Asian Voice, for the special wedding feature included in this week's edition As I prepare for my upcoming wedding in May, I've been feeling overwhelmed with decisions However, your insightful feature has been a guiding light on this journey, offering invaluable advice and inspiration

Each article and photograph beautifully captured the essence of weddings, highlighting the diverse traditions and cultural shades within our community

As I continue to navigate through the wedding planning process, I am grateful to know that I can always refer back to this feature for guidance and inspiration

Your publication has been a source of comfort and encouragement, and I am honoured to be a part of the Asian Voice family as I embark on the journey towards my wedding day

Shraddha Deshmuk h

Smartphones not smart enough

Since long, the debate has been on whether we should give smartphones or other relevant gadgets to our kids or not As a parent myself, I am deeply concerned about the impact of technology on our children's well-being The statistics cited regarding the staggering amount of time teenagers spend on their screens and the decline in meaningful social interactions are alarming Limiting access to social media apps and implementing automatic monitoring systems are practical steps that could help minimise the negative effects of excessive screen time

The responsibility ultimately lies with parents to monitor and limit their children's screen time While smartphones offer undeniable benefits, such as learning digital skills and ensuring safety, it is crucial to strike a b a l a n c e a n d p r i o r i t i s e c h i l d r e n ' s w e l l - b e i n g o v e r convenience

Rather than physical activities or outdoor games, kids are now more prone to video games, which do affect their physical health and even mental health Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to violent video games can numb children to real-life violence and lead to aggressive behavior Additionally, excessive gaming can c o n t r i b u t e t o p o o r a c a d e m i c p e r f o r m a n c e , s o c i a l isolation, and disrupted sleep patterns

I t i s i m p e r a t i v e t h a t w e t a k e p r o a c t i v e s t e p s t o safeguard the well-being of our future generations

V Gowtham

Bengaluru facing water scarcity

India's Silicon Valley, Bengaluru facing water scarcity is very painful to read Now water is most precious A day without food is not new to Indians; many can't afford it, and some fast A day without electricity is shocking, but a day without water is unimaginable

TS Karthik

We are grateful to all letter writers for more and more versatile letters well within word limit

Please keep contributing as always.

If you are new, then write to Anusha at anusha.singh@abplgroup.com

Out About & Upcoming show

Gear up for another exciting weekend at Zee TV's popular community show, "Out & About".

This week, the focus will be on a unique panel discussion called 'WOMEN IN CONVERSATION', an initiative by Asian Voice in association with the Royal Air Force (RAF), held at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate in London.

Watch the programme on Sunday 7 April, 6:00 PM BST on Zee TV at

SKY 707/VIRGIN 809

Soneri Sangat

Last Thursday, on March 28, 2024, marked an exciting week as we celebrated Easter and embarked on a virtual journey through Kenya during our 'Soneri Sangat' zoom event We were privileged to have Mr Rohit Vadhwana (IFS), the Deputy High Commissioner of India in Kenya, and the Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the UNEP and UN-Habitat, join us as our Guest Speaker The s e s s i o n o f f e r e d a n i n t e r a c t i v e d i s c u s s i o n , p r o v i d i n g insights into the diverse culture and rich Indian Diaspora present in Kenya

He provided comprehensive facts into the Indian diaspora in Kenya, covering various aspects such as their historical background, demographics, professional activities, businesses, community participation, affiliations w i t h o r g a n i z a t i o n s , a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s , a n d r e l i g i o u s establishments

Discover extensive coverage of this event in this week's edition of Gujarat Samachar, accessible on pages 21-22 Additionally, the report will be featured in the upcoming issue of Asian Voice

You can also v iew the complete episod e on our You Tube channel: @abplg rou p8772

Ne arly 1,000 pharm acies in England have s huttere d since 2017, a revelation exc lusively unc overed by The Guardian England has over 11,000 p h a r m a c i e s , b u t G u a r d i a n analysis of the official register reveals that nearly 1,000 have closed since 2017 This

t r e n d d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y a f f e c t s p o o r e r a r e a s , w i t h s o m e r e g i o n s e x p e r i e n c i n g more than a fifth of pharmacies shutting down in the last six years Since the end of 2017, England has witnessed the disappearance of 953 pharm a c i e s , c o n s t i t u t i n g m o r e than 7 7% of the total In contrast, Wales has experienced a 4 % r e d u c t i o n , w h i l e S c o t l a n d ' s n u m b e r s h a v e remained stable T h e G e n e r a l P h a r m a c e u t i c a l C o u n c i l ' s data reveals a rapid escalation in England's pharmacy closures, with a staggering 372 closures occurring last year alone more than triple the number in 2022 and the highest count since at least 2016 In comparison, Wales l o s t 1 2 p h a r m a c i e s a n d Scotland six in 2023 Nearly 1,000 pharmacies shut in England since 2017 Lack of internet skills leaves older people disconnected

A report by Age UK stated that over 4 5 million indivi duals aged 65 and above struggle to pe rform bas ic tas ks necess ary for suc cessful internet use The c harity's analysi s raises c oncerns that millions of older indivi d ua l s r i s

10 6 - 12 April 2024
www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
ingly transition online I n A g e U K ' s l a t e s t report titled "Offline and O v e r l o o k e d , " i t w a s r e v e a l e d t h a t 4 7 m i l l i o n i n d i v i d u a l s a g e d o v e r 6 5 struggle to perform eight essential tasks necessary for internet use These tasks include turning on devices, entering login details, utilising settings and controls, opening applications, connecting to WiFi, accessing i n t e r n e t b r o w s e r s , m a i ntaining password security, a n d u p d a t i n g p a s s w o r d s w h e n p r o m p t e d A n d despite an increase in the n u m b e r o f o l d e r p e o p l e g o i n g o n l i n e i n r e c e n t y e a r s , t h e c h a r i t y s a i d around one in six – equival e n t t o 2 3 m i l l i o n o l d e r people – did not use the internet at all
k b ei n g l e ft behind as essential servic es, such as healthcare, banking, and utilities, increas-
“I am in this to fight for the rights of our residents”
Anusha Singh

Smita Rajesh, a p olitician representing the Liberal Democrats, serves as bo th a C h e lm sf o r d C i ty C o u n ci l lo r an d a P a rl i am en t ar y Ca n di da te for North West E ssex With a dedication to commu nity service sp anning 1 5 years, sh e h as actively engaged at the grassroots level, advocating fo r underrepresented i ndividu als i n so ci ety Rajesh was initially elected a s a Ch e l ms f o rd C i ty C o u n ci l lo r i n No ve mb er 2019 and subsequently reelected in 2023

I n a n i n t e r v i e w w i t h Asian Voice, she discusses her election candidacy, the main issues she plans to address and the key initiatives being undertaken by the Liberal Democrats

As a Liberal Democrat politician and Chelmsford City Councillor, what inspired you to enter the world of politics, and what values do you bring to your candidacy for North West Essex?

T h e m a i n t h e m e h a s been to make people feel c o n f i d e n t a b o u t t h e mselves for better inclusion and cohesion with the larger society In 2019, one of t h e L i b D e m c o u n c i l l o r s who frequented the community events that I helped organise suggested that I should join them It was the push I needed as my father also kept telling me that I would be able to help c o m m u n i t i e s m o r e i f I went into active politics

I j o i n e d p o l i t i c s because I am dedicated to serving the community and I believe this is a positive way to do so As a North West Essex parliamentary

candidate, I bring my deeprooted love for the community, positivity, and the intention to serve them to the best of my capabilities

What are the main issues you aim to address in your campaign, and how do you plan to represent the interests of the constituents in North West Essex?

I love talking to people a n d l i s t e n i n g t o t h e m , door-knocking and finding out the issues that affect residents The main issue that North West Essex resi d e n t s f a c e i s t h a t a l l patients are struggling to see their GPs or at the hospital despite needing medical advice, especially our elderly It's not right that our community is suffering due to this government's n e g l e c t o f t h e N a t i o n a l Health Service I continue to fight for our residents and the Liberal Democrats are calling for a rescue plan f o r o u r h e a l t h s e r v i c e s , bringing in a carer's minimum wage to tackle staff shortages in social care

The second issue that people are worried about is the environment The raw s e w a g e d u m p i n g i s n o t only polluting our rivers but is a health risk to many This level of pollution is unacceptable and the gove r n m e n t s i d e s w i t h t h e w a t e r c o m p a n i e s t h a t haven't bothered to update their storm tanks for years despite the rising population in the area I visited t h e l o c a l W a s t e W a t e r T r e a t m e n t W o r k s a n d i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e i r w o r ki n g s L o c a l L i b e r a l Democrat councillors succ e s s f u l l y p u t f o r w a r d a motion to the Uttlesford district council raising conc e r n s o v e r t h e t h r e a t t o local wildlife I, along with t h e L i b e r a l D e m o c r a t s , continue to press the government to do more No one listens to the p e o p l e o f N o r t h W e s t E s s e x T h e i r v o i c e s a r e being muted by this government and their power is taken away from their h a n d s T h e y n e e d t o w n planning that works for t h e m a n d s e r v e s t h e i r

requirements They need a f f o r d a b l e a n d g r e e n housing that young people can afford I continue to visit people, talk at their doorstep and fight for the issues they feel strongly about

How do you differentiate yourself and your party's platform from other candidates and political parties running in the upcoming elections?

T h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n b e t w e e n other party candidates and m y s e l f f o r t h e L i b e r a l Democrats is that we take pride in working closely w i t h t h e c o m m u n i t y t o ensure that we represent their needs in Parliament

We care I am not a career politician, I am in this to fight for the rights of our residents and serve them to the best of my capabilities

Can you highlight some of the key initiatives or policies that you and the Liberal Democrats are advocating for, particularly concerning the local community and broader national issues?

R e c e n t l y , a p r o p o s a l was put forward by the L i b e r a l D e m o c r a t s t o allow people who fall sick

d u e t o i l l e g a l s e w a g e d u m p i n g t o c l a i m c o mpensation, an issue faced in both North West Essex and nationally I was saddened to hear that Kemi

B a d e n o c h v o t e d a g a i n s t this proposal when this is one of the most pertinent issues faced by the resid e n t s o f N o r t h W e s t Essex

Finally, what message would you like to convey to the voters of North West Essex as they consider their choices in the upcoming elections?

I would like to convey to people that they should r e m e m b e r t h a t t h e r e a l power is in their hands They have the power to throw out the government

t h a t ' s f a i l i n g t h e m , i s ignoring their needs and vote for a candidate that will serve them not just serve themselves

New survey reveals voters view tax cuts as election 'bribe'


g h t e e n

In a sig nificant new opinion p o ll, nearly th ree-qu arters o f i nd i v i d u a ls p er ce i v ed Rishi S unak's g overnment's tax c uts as a p re-electio n tactic to g arner v otes rath er t h an as a g en u i ne m o v e d eem ed benefi cial for th e cou ntry According to the latest Mood of the Nation survey c o n d u c t e d b y T h i n k s Insight & Strategy, seventyfour percent of respondents are inclined to agree with t h e n o t i o n t h a t m i n i s t e r s are cutting taxes "to try and persuade people to vote for t h e m " C




e a n towards the belief that tax reductions are motivated by the government's conviction that it is the "right thing to do for the UK economy and public services" C o n d u c t e d b e t w e e n March 22nd and 24th, the

Twenty Lancashire councillors resign from Labour

Tw en ty L an ca sh ire co un-

c i l l o rs h a v e pa r t e d w a y s wi th the Labour Party, citin g di ssati sfac tion with Si r Keir Starm er's lead ership

These councillors, representing Pendle Borough

C o u n c i l , N e l s o n T o w n Council, or Brierfield Town

C o u n c i l , h a v e o p t e d t o s e r v e a s i n d e p e n d e n t s , asserting that the current Labour leadership does not align with their perspectives This mass resignation marks one of the largest defections during Sir Keir's tenure In a similar incident last November, 11 council-

l o r s i n B u r n l e y l e f t t h e party in protest against its stance on the Gaza ceasefire

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, among the group of 2 0 r e s i g n i n g c o u n c i l l o r s , expressed concerns about a growing trend within the national Labour Party to control the expression of councillors' views He highlighted a perceived effort to dictate candidate selection

a n d s p e e c h , p r o m p t i n g their decision to resign

In response, a Labour Party spokesperson emphasized the party's commitment to focusing on winning the upcoming general election, to better the lives of constituents

A referendum on immigration might bolster Tory support

New research su ggests th at C o n se rv a ti v e v o ter s w h o have shifted their sup port to Reform U K may reconsid er th e i r al leg ia nc e i f C h a nc el lo r R i sh i S u n ak com mits to a natio nal referend um on migration

The largest survey yet of Reform supporters, the successor to the Brexit Party b a c k e d b y N i g e l F a r a g e , i n d i c a t e s t h a t a m a j o r i t y h a v e s w i t c h e d f r o m t h e Tories, with many seeming unlikely to return regardless of government assurances

H o w e v e r , 4 2 p e r c e n t express openness to backing Sunak in the next election if the Prime Minister takes a tough stance on migration, including proposing a referendum on the issue

Tory MPs now confront a c h a l l e n g e f r o m R e f o r m , which vows to field candidates in every constituency a c r o s s E n g l a n d , S c o t l a n d , and Wales, a departure from the previous election when i t s t o o d a s i d e t o s u p p o r t Boris Johnson's victory In the Midlands, polling indi-

cates that Reform is on par with the Tories, while a survey for The Sunday Times p r e d i c t s a s u r g e i n t h e party s vote share nationw i d e , p o t e n t i a l l y s e c u r i n g second place in seven seats with an overall vote share of up to 8 5 per cent

Despite the potential for a national referendum on m i g r a t i o n t o s w a y s o m e Reform voters back to the C o n s e r v a t i v e f o l d , t h e report suggests that a signifi c a n t p o r t i o n r e m a i n s unlikely to return

11 6 - 12 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Cllr Smita Rajesh Sir Keir Starmer
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y , e x c l u s i v
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P o l i t i c s H o m e , g a t he r e d o p i n i o n s f r o m o v e r
i o u s p o l i t i c a l a f f i l i a t i o
s n a t i o n w i d e I t a i m e d t o gauge sentiments regarding t h e c o u n t r y , p o l i t i c s , a n d p e r s o n a l l i v e s a s t h e U K e d g e s c l o s e r t o a g e n e r a l election
a s t
o f t h e E x c h e q u e r J e r e m y Hunt unveiled an additional two per cent reduction in National Insurance contrib u t i o n s F u r t h e r m o r e , S u n a k h a s e x p r e s s e d h i s intention to unveil further t a x r e d u c t i o n s b e f o r e t h e country heads to the polls
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With Rishi Sunak required to call an election before the end of the year, the findings carry particular significance
u r i n g l
n t h ' s Spring Budget, Chancellor

Overall, this meant that 12 million people, comprising 18% of the population, including 3 6 million children, were living in absolute poverty – reminiscent of levels last seen i n t h e a f t e r m a t h o f t h e 2 0 1 1 - 1 2 financial crash

The severity of inadequate welfare benefits was starkly illustrated b y s i g n i f i c a n t i n c r e a s e s i n f o o d i n s e c u r i t y a n d r e l i a n c e o n f o o d banks Shockingly, one in ten individuals in poverty turned to food banks for support, while 41% of universal credit claimants experienced food insecurity, unable to a f f o r d s u f f i c i e n t n o u r i s h m e n t Rising poverty levels are further a c c o m p a n i e d b y a n i n c r e a s e i n extreme forms of hardship, such as destitution, where individuals lack the means to afford basic necessities like food, shelter, and clothing

Moreover, the Department for Work and Pensions latest households below average income statistics paint a grim picture:

- Over two-thirds (69%) of children in poverty resided in families with at least one working parent, while 44% of children in single-parent households lived in poverty

- An estimated 2 9 million children experienced deep poverty, w i t h t h e i r i n c o m e f a l l i n g a t least 50% below the poverty line Nearly half (46%) of families with three or more children were living in poverty

T h e s e s t a t i s t i c s o f f e r i n s i g h t into the challenges faced by children across the UK However, during school breaks, these hardships often intensify as access to free meals is suspended, and children lose the vital support they receive in schools for an extended period Cost-of-living doe sn’t ma ke t hings ea sie r T h e c o s t o f l i v i n g c r i s i s i s w r e a k i n g h a v o c o n c h i l d r e n n a t i o n w i d e , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e i n low-income households and those facing food insecurity This dire situation impacts every facet of their l i v e s , f r o m e d u c a t i o n t o s o c i a l interactions and development, as well as their physical and mental w e l l - b e i n g , e f f e c t i v e l y d e p r i v i n g them of a normal childhood

Community battles child poverty

Antonia Jennings, chief executive of the Centre for London think tank, has highlighted that housing and the cost of living take precedence over crime as primary concerns for Londoners and that goes on to show the kind of hardships

t h a t f a m i l i e s a n d c h i l d r e n a r e enduring

In these difficult times, Asian are facing a much harder battle

According to statistics published by t h e H o u s e o f C o m m o n s i n

D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 3 , h o u s e h o l d s o f Pakistani or Bangladeshi ethnicity demonstrate the highest rates of relatively low income

Pre-housing costs, individuals

f r o m B a n g l a d e s h i o r P a k i s t a n i b a c k g r o u n d s f a c e d t h e h i g h e s t poverty rates, with 39% experiencing poverty – a staggering 23 percentage points higher than those from White ethnic groups, during

t h e p e r i o d s p a n n i n g 2 0 1 9 / 2 0 t o 2

P o s t - h o u s i n g c o s t s , t h e s i t u a t i o n e x a c e r b a t e d , w i t h

B a n g l a d e s h i h o u s e h o l d s t o p p i n g the list at 53%, a significant 33 percentage points higher than White households

In the same timeframe, 46% of c h i l d r e n i n B a n g l a d e s h i o r Pakistani households experienced poverty, with a particularly alarmi n g 6 2 % o f c h i l d r e n f r o m

B a n g l a d e s h i b a c k g r o u n d s f a c i n g poverty after housing costs

centres (especially London), larger household sizes, and comparatively lower benefit levels, notably following the implementation of the ' b e n e f i t c a p ' , u n d e r s c o r i n g t h e urgent need for targeted intervent i o n s t o a d d r e s s t h e s y s t e m i c inequalities faced by ethnic minority communities in the UK

S h a r o n Bh a r a j, r e p r e s e n t i n g

M i d la n d L a n g a r S e v a So c ie t y (M LSS), feels that the rising cost of living is one of the root causes contributing to the rise in child poverty along with the stigma of social media where children look up to a specific lifestyle and makes parents

w a n t t o c o n t r i b u t e t o t h i s Additionally, there is also a lack of education around food and money

b u d g e t i n g w h i c h c o n t r i b u t e s t o this

“If the society, at a young age, is introduced to healthy and nutritious meals and how they can budget this, it can go a long way MLSS currently runs healthy lifestyle sessions for those families that strugg l e w i t h f o o d p o v e r t y ” , s h e explained

She points out that the main c h a l l e n g e f a c e d b y f a m i l i e s a n d children who rely on school meals during term time is access to food during the holidays “Children who rely on free school meals find it hard to have breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the holidays

food”, she said

S h a r o n a l s o s h a r e d h o w t h e MLSS helps support families and children affected by food insecurity

d u r i n g s c h o o l h o l i d a y s , s t a t i n g , “Every holiday we run a Holiday, Activity and Food project This is a project where children come in to have breakfast, access sports, arts and crafts, a hot nutritious lunch and a food parcel kit to take home to their families We take the children on trips so they feel like they have done something in the holidays and we also provide toiletries and essentials to these children and their families ”

T h e o r g a n i s a t i o n s i g n p o s t s f a m i l i e s i f t h e y n e e d h e l p w i t h things such as council tax, school a d m i s s i o n s , e a r l y h e l p , C A M H S and any other service they may r e q u i r e a n d m e n t o r s c h i l d r e n , offering them a space at our community hub where they can come and utilise the boxing sessions at no cost

Cha rities, or gan isa tions and in div iduals can w or k tog ethe r When it comes to government p o l i c i e s a n d f u n d i n g a l l o c a t i o n s having an impact on addressing child poverty and food insecurity

Sharon feels that the government is putting effective measures like the Holiday, Activity Food project in place but believes that a lot more can be done as these projects are not run each holiday and put a strain on charities

On the other hand, Cha ran Sek hon MBE, t he Founde r & Chair of SEVA Trust U K feels that while poverty poses huge challenges to the impacted individuals and families, especially children, the government alone cannot fix the root causes It needs a collective effort, with the government, local authori t i e s , c o m m u n i t y c h a r i t i e s a n d l o c a l g r o u p s w o r k i n g j o i n t l y t o tackle it

sleep hungry and it is our duty to give collective input and work in partnership I feel local authorities should also take a proactive role in setting up local support groups and b o t h t h e g o v e r n m e n t a n d l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s m u s t s u p p o r t l o c a l charities and groups who can reach out to needy families and children effectively ”

R a d h i k a I y e r , Di r e c t o r o f C o m m un ic a t i on s a n d Su p p or t e r En gage men t at t he Ak shaya Patr a Foun dat ion shared statistics stating that over 2 million pupils are eligible for free school meals in England in the academic year of 2022/23, compared with 1 89 million pupils in 2021/22, not including children of households who are not eligible for free school meals but are still at a high risk of hunger

She said, “While a large part of the country is so prosperous, millions of children live in poverty, lacking access to adequate nutrition and fresh food Food banks r e p o r t i n c r e a s e d d e m a n d , h i g hlighting the severity of the issue Government policies and community initiatives continue to address these pressing concerns, but more comprehensive solutions are needed to ensure all children have a stable and nourished upbringing for our children ”

She also shared that during the holidays, Akshaya Patra UK school holiday food service is the busiest and in great demand as there is no g u a r a n t e e d f r e e m e a l “ A k s h a y a Patra steps in to meet that necessity of a nutritious lunch We offer h o t m e a l s w h i c h a r e f r e e f r o m preservatives, and processed foods a n d a r e f r e s h l y p r e p a r e d e a c h morning ”

A n a t i o n w i d e M R P p o l l , released by The Food Foundation in 2023 revealed strong backing for t h e e x p a n s i o n o f F r e e S c h o o l Meals The survey indicated that e i g h t o u t o f t e n i n d i v i d u a l s i n England (80%) endorsed calls for t h e g o v e r n m e n t t o e x t e n d F r e e School Meals to all children living in households receiving Universal C r e d i t A t t h e t i m e , a r o u n d 800,000 children in England were ineligible for Free School Meals despite residing in poverty Continued

The Runnymede Trust's report, "The Colour of Money," identifies v a r i o u s f a c t o r s c o n t r i b u t i n g t o these disparities, including lower wages, higher unemployment rates, increased part-time employment, elevated housing expenses in urban

Lord Ranger triumphs in landmark legal victory

L ord Ram i Rang er C BE and his company, S un

M ark L td , em erged v ictorious in a significant legal dispute following

t h e d i s m i ss a l o f a n a p p ea l b y a f o rm e r em ployee, Ram and eep

K aur Kaur had soug ht £ 673 ,00 0 from S un Mark Ltd and S ea, Air and L and Fo rward ing Ltd , alleging d iscrimination Ho wev er, Dame Jennifer Eady, th e Presid ent

the truth would prevail “So, it prevailed in the end because even the j u d g e c o u l d s e e t h r o u g h t h e l y i n g , manipulating and exagg e r a t i n g W h i l e s h e [claimant] had nothing to lose, I had everything to lose because of my standing in the community ” The ruling ends a six-year legal battle over disputed

The schools do sometimes provide a food parcel or a £15 food voucher but this is inadequate The families struggle as they have the rising cost of living meaning they have to pay for bills, rent etc and at the end of the month they have no money for

He said, “Whilst the government needs to do more, local charities equally need to work with families to support them We have been supporting a lot of families and vulnerable people for the past few years and our Bedford-based charity SEVA Trust UK, is run by all unpaid volunteers “No child and no family should

Heart failure risk research by British Indian medic

A research team , inclu di n g P r o fe ss o r P ar d ee p

J hu nd , a Briti sh Ind ian expert in C ardiolog y and E p i d e m i o lo g y a t th e S ch ool of C ardiov ascular

o f th e E m p lo ym ent A p p ea l

T ri bu nal, u pheld a prev iou s tribunal ruling, stating that Kaur's condu ct was deem ed "scand alous, u nreasonable, and vexatious " This ruling marks a win for the two companies and their founder, L o r d R a n g e r , a l o n g w i t h C h i e f Executive Hamreet Singh Ahuja

Lord Ranger said: “It has been a long six years and nearly £1mn in legal fees but I stood my ground If I had settled, that would imply I am guilty of something I had full faith in British justice, and I knew

Dame Eady upheld a 2023 ruling by Judge Hyams, who found that the claimant had intentionally obstructed the course of justice by destroying crucial evidence related to the case This evidence included a phone used to covertly record a conversation with Lord Ranger in October 2018, as well as a notebook containing details of alleged incidents Concluding that it was a p p r o p r i a t e t o s t r i k e o u t t h e appeal, Dame Eady brought the matter to a close C

c l a i m s o f s e x u a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and harassment

a nd M eta bo l i c H ea lt h , U ni v er si t y o f G la sg o w , h as u nv ei led p ro m is in g f i nd i n g s re g ard in g a b lo o d t es t ca p ab le o f id entifying indiv iduals at the h ighe st ris k of h ear t fa il ur e-r elat ed m ortality

The groundbreaking study, led

b y N e i l H e r r i n g , P r o f e s s o r o f

C a r d i o v a s c u l a r M e d i c i n e a n d

C o n s u l t a n t C a r d i o l o g i s t a t t h e University of Oxford, was published this week in the 'European J o u r n a l o f H e a r t F a i l u r e ' T h e potential of this blood test to be implemented in clinics within five years marks a significant advancem e n t i n c a r d i o v a s c u l a r h e a l t h assessment

Heart failure occurs when the heart can’t pump blood around the

b o d y a s w e l l a s i t should It is a lifel i m i t i n g c o n d i t i o n resulting in frequent h o s p i t a l v i s i t s a n d r e d u c e d q u a l i t y o f life and there is currently no cure Now, t h e r e s e a r c h t e a m s u g g e s t s t h a t m e as u r i n g a p r o t e i n c a l l e d n e u r o p e p t i d e Y ( N P Y ) a l o n g s i d e h o r m o n e B - T y p e Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) could h e l p d i a g n o s e h e a r t f a i l u r e patients, pinpointing those who may be at higher risk of dying

Drug dealer convicted in Walsall

Ad eeb A hmed, a dru g dealer operating in the Black C ountry, h as confessed to orch estrating a cou nty li nes o pera tio n, 'F las h L ine , ' which supplied Class A dru gs to Walsall

“Our work shows that NPY is a promising marker that can be measured in the blood to determine which patients are more likely to die We hope that this will allow us to identify patients who may benefit from new therapies ” Pardeep Jhund

Professor Jhund said: “Patients with heart failure are still at a high risk of dying despite the advances in treatment

Acting on intelligence, West Midlands Police conducted a raid on a property in the Delves area of W a l s a l l D u r i n g t h e o p e r a t i o n , officers discovered thousands of pounds in cash, suspected to be proceeds of crime, as well as Class A drugs in a car associated with Ahmed The 25-year-old, hailing from Walsall, was subsequently arrested and charged with drug dealing and possession of criminal property A

Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, March 27 Following his admission, he was remanded in custody

scheduled for Monday, April

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Charan Sekhon MBE Radhika Iyer
r e d t R o g e r H a r
r s P h o t o g r a p h y Lord Rami Ranger CBE
d c o n f e s s e d t o t h e o f f e n c e s a t W o l v e r h a m p t o n
p e n d i n g a s e n t e n c i n g h e a r i n g
h m e

Acceptance and support to pave the way for South Asian women in football

Millie C ha ndarana, a midfi elder for Black burn R overs , made hi story by bec om ing the first B ritis h South As ian wom an to s ecure a profes siona l contrac t with the club

She also stands as the sole player from her community with a professional deal in the Barclays Women's Championship and has been honoured with the world's inaugural South Asians in Football Leadership scholarship

Her football journey commenced at the age of eight when she joined a local girls' club, where she discovered a supportive community of fellow football enthusiasts Since then, Millie has not only showcased her talent in England but also in various countries including San Marino, the United Arab Emirates, and Italy

In an interview with Asian Voice, Millie discussed the cultural expectations and stereotypes often associated with women in sports, along with her aspirations and goals for the South Asian women's football community

How do you navigate cultural expectations or stereotypes associated with women in sports, and specifically in football within your community?

Over the past few decades, women's participation in sports has faced significant challenges and discrimination, with notable progress seen only in the last five to ten years Previously, women were barred from playing football, but now there's a growing recognition of their ability to excel in the sport Despite this progress, there are lingering stereotypes and barriers, particularly for South Asian women Cultural factors and broader societal attitudes have made it difficult for them to engage in sports, including football

However, there's a positive shift underway, with more South Asian girls getting involved in football While there's still work to be done, the increasing participation suggests a hopeful trend toward greater inclusivity and opportunities for South Asian women in sports

There are persistent

stereotypes surrounding women in football, as well as South Asians in the sport, which, in my view, are completely unfounded However, one challenge we faced in the past was the lack of professionalism within the game Now, with football becoming more professional, we are treated as full-time athletes, which helps dispel these stereotypes

As women's participation in sports increases, we see more representation in the media, both on the field and in broadcast studios

Personally, as a South Asian woman in football, it has been challenging at times However, I've always focused on my love for the game and remained dedicated Perseverance and staying true to my passion for football have been key in overcoming obstacles

Could you elaborate on the support system you have had throughout your football career, both within your family and from the broader community?

My family has been incredibly supportive of my football journey since I was young Coming from a football-loving household, sports have always been a big part of our lives They've been there every step of the way, attending games, guiding me through academies, and encouraging my passion for the sport Now that women have the opportunity to pursue football as a career, they fully support my decision to pursue it professionally

While there's generally a lot of support for women in football, especially from the wider community The community must encourage and accept younger girls who aspire to play football and pursue it as a career There needs to be a shift in perception to recognise football as a viable and

“I'm a daughter of immigrants”

- Prof Adeeba Malik CBE DL

Shefali Saxena

Professor Ad eeba M alik CBE DL h as m ad e h i st o ry as West Yorksh ire's first eth nic m i no ri t y fe m al e H i g h

Sheriff Sh e to ok her oath in a c ere m o ny led b y H i g h

C o u rt Ju d g e S i r N i ch o l as Hilliard, marking a trad ition dating back ov er 1,0 00 years

Ms M ali k, fro m th e QED

Fo undatio n, h as ded icated over 3 2 years to com munity s erv i c e, ai m i ng to fo s ter social and econo mic oppo rtun iti es f or di sad v an tag ed


stable career option, rather than adhering to traditional career paths

Greater acceptance and support from the community will pave the way for more South Asian women to thrive in football

What are your aspirations and goals within football, both personally and for the broader South Asian women's football community?

I aspire to continue playing football at the highest level possible for as long as I can, striving to compete as a professional and dedicating myself as a full-time athlete In terms of the broader community, I envision a future where South Asian girls have increased opportunities to enter academies, pursue careers in football, and make their debut in first teams

I hope to see more representation of South Asian players in leagues like the Championships and the Women's Super League (WSL) in the coming years

What steps can be taken to further promote and support women's involvement in sports, particularly in football, both on and off the field?

Investing in women in sports is absolutely crucial We've witnessed the tremendous success of women's sports, particularly in football, with events like the World Cup and the Euros drawing huge crowds and global viewership These achievements not only inspire countless individuals but also bring significant funds to the game It's essential to have women advocating for other women in sports, whether they're players, coaches, or involved in the business side of football This support and representation are vital for the continued growth and success of the sport

A s H i g h S h e r i f f , s h e p l e d g e s t o s u p p o r t c r i m e p r e v e n t i o n e f f o r t s a n d a c k n o w l e d g e t h e p o s i t i v e impact of various sectors in the region With a wealth of experience in public service, M s M a l i k ' s a p p o i n t m e n t symbolises progress toward inclusivity and representat i o n H e r e ’ s h e r e x c l u s i v e interview with Asian Voice: As a wom an in lead ership with ov er 32 years of experien ce at th e QE D Foundation, wh at strateg ies have you em ployed to navig ate c halleng es and break barriers in your career?

Every person has their c h a l l e n g e s W h e n t h e y ' r e trying to progress in their c a r e e r , r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e i r background What we know i s t h a t e t h n i c m i n o r i t y w o m e n h a v e a d d i t i o n a l challenges in terms of their race, their ethnicity, their r e l i g i o u s b a c k g r o u n d , maybe And so those challenges, you know, have surfaced on many occasions I think you have to be very focused and have self-belief that, you know, it's about w o r k i n g h a r d I t ' s a b o u t h a v i n g g o o d s u p p o r t n e tworks around you Having people that have confidence in you, regardless of their background, to support you Wh at have been some o f the most rew arding asp ects of yo ur wo rk in your career?

A c t u a l l y , a l l o f i t I t ' s b e e n e x t r e m e l y r e w a r d i n g my work with QED And it's a very, you know, ground-

breaking charity in the UK, which has worked with ethnic minorities for 34 years, has had a huge impact on h e l p i n g c o m m u n i t i e s t o progress Working with fantastic organizations in terms of policy and strategy, and being able to influence them

a b o u t s o c i a l i n c l u s i o n a r o u n d d i v e r s i t y a r o u n d e n g a g e m e n t A l l t h o s e things in whether it s health

e d u c a t i o n , e m p l o y m e n t , regeneration, business universities, you know, it's been an array of opportunities

I ' v e h a d t o w o r k w i t h a r a n g e o f b o d i e s t h a t w i l l hopefully help communities

t o g e t t o h a v e a b e t t e r lifestyle in the UK

Wh at ad vice do you h av e for aspiring leaders, particularly wom en from eth nic m inority background s, aiming to make a significant imp act in their com munities?

I think one of the things I would suggest is to find women like that, that they can talk to, who can advise t h e m w h o c a n s u p p o r t them, who ve done it I think t h a t s i m p o r t a n t t o h a v e some kind of mentor or supporter from those communities, who can give them that guidance And just hear their stories Because quite often, our stories are very similar But it's also just getting some inspiration from t h e m a b o u t h o w t h e y ' v e managed to do it Because you have to accept that you have to accept unfortunately that there will be challenges And then the question is you know, what do you do with that? You some-

times overcome those challenges, and sometimes you don't Sometimes you have to look at other things to help you But I think listening to women of those backgrounds is a good thing To do that I never had that because when I was going t h r o u g h m y c a r e e r , I l i v e n e v e r c a m e a c r o s s e t h n i c minority women who were leaders So the models I had were women of white background And they were very good role models, but it's also about the character of yourself Having a sense of determination, and I think, f u n d a m e n t a l l y , i s i f y o u believe in what you want to do, and you believe in it, you can make things happen

What is the imp ortance of the contribution of ethnic m i no ri ty c o m m u n i ti es i n Britain?

I'm a daughter of immigrants I'm a second generat i o n o f s o m e b o d y o f Pakistani heritage in the UK

So I've lived my whole life here, and seen how the contribution of ethnic minorities has been made in this c o u n t r y A n d I f e e l t h a t t h o s e t h o s e t h i n g s , t h o s e k i n d s o f c r i t i c i s m s w i l l always be there by certain p e o p l e , n o t e v e r y b o d y though And I think when we see more and more ethn i c m i n o r i t i e s i n m a i ns t r e a m j o b s , w h e t h e r i t ' s h e a l t h e d u c a t i o n , p o l i t i c s , m e d i a , t e l e v i s i o n , f i l m , whatever it is, I think we're seeing that people genuinely make those contributions

What matters is what you're capable of doing and what is left is what you are achieving, and the change you're making And then hopefully, colour or being an ethnic m i n o r i t y b e c o m e s n o t a n i s s u e f o r s o m e b o d y w h o isn't of those backgrounds

So you, you've got to unfortunate that will be there But I t h i n k a s w e a r e s e e i n g more and more people from t h e s e c o m m u n i t i e s c o ntributing more hoping we t i m e t h a t b e c o m e s s e condary

PwC presents female candidates for UK boss role for the first time P w C c o u ld p o te nti a lly ap point its first female leader in the UK , m arking a signific ant m ilesto ne for the Bi g Fo u r ac c o u nti ng an d consulting firms A s the firm prepares for the up coming partner v ote to elect its next le ad e r, i t h a s un v e il ed a d iv ers e sh o rtlist of seni or partners com peting to succeed ou tgo ing UK chairm an Kev in Ellis, wh o will step dow n in June

For the first time in its history, the final shortlist includes female candidates, with Laura Hinton, UK head

Thomas, the chief operating officer, who was previously

c o n s i d e r e d a f r o n t r u n n e r b e f o r e w i t h d r a w i n g f r o m c o n t e n t i o n S h o u l d e i t h e r Hinton or Hudson emerge victorious, it would mark a historic moment as the first time a woman has led any of t h e B i g F o u r a c c o u n t i n

of consulting services to businesses, including tax advice, mergers and acquisitions, and technology solutions In 2023, the UK business generated fees totaling £5 8 billion, marking a 16 percent increase from the p r e v i o u s y e a r A m o n g i t s 26,000 employees, there are 1,057 partners, who earned an average of £906,000 in 2 0 2 3 T h e s e p a r t n e r s w i l l play a pivotal role in deciding the next chairman or

13 6 - 12 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
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Bridging cultural diversity through Bharatanatyam

M BE is the A rtistic Director of the C hitraleka Dance Co mpany and w ith ov er thirty-five years of experience as an artist, teacher, and choreog rapher, she h as performed extensively in theatres, sch ools, and comm unity v enues Her innovative approach to creatively adapting the classical art form has played a pivotal role in fostering cultural diversity and understanding through dance in educational settings This has earned her a distinguished reputation as both an artist and an educator, alongside her accomplished career as a performer and choreographer

In an interview with Asian Voice, Chitraleka discusses her art, how it has influenced her life and her academy

Can you share with us your journey as a dancer and how your training in Bharatanatyam has influenced your artistic vision?

I resided in a small village in Kerala, near the border with Karnataka, called Kasargod My journey into Bharatanatyam commenced with the influence of my father He was a Kathak dancer in his youth, and though I never witnessed his performances, his past remained a picture in my mind His experiences as a young dancer touring with a company instilled in him a fervent wish for me to follow in his footsteps, particularly in the realm of Bharatanatyam Thus, at the tender age of five, he initiated my dance education My Bharatanatyam journey progressed alongside my academic pursuits

Upon marriage, I immigrated to the UK in 1978 Initially, the landscape for Bharatanatyam in Birmingham was barren, with scant resources or fellow practitioners Yet, my passion for the art propelled me forward, despite the initial struggles to establish its presence Thankfully, the support of my community provided essential resources and my art evolved into a personal passion, a dedication to preserving and promoting

this rich cultural tradition

What inspired you to establish the Chitraleka Dance Company, and what are the core values that guide its artistic endeavours?

Actually, I didn't have any set plans initially; I just knew that I wanted to have my own dance school It has been a dream of mine for many years and I started with the primary idea of sharing my dance knowledge That was my main goal My father instilled in me the importance of sharing knowledge when you enjoy something, so I began teaching in community centres Initially, I followed the ISTD syllabus, which stands for the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance They offer exams in Bharatanatyam I helped my students prepare for these exams, and that's why we call our classes an academy We follow a structured progression, starting from primary grades and then advancing to higher levels as students show interest and commitment I also offer additional training for students interested in pursuing further examinations or independent performance careers

As an advocate for arts education, what are your thoughts on the integration of dance and cultural expression into school curriculums in the UK?

Here, children acquire what they call UCAS points, which are crucial for university admissions While not all universities consider these points, some value the wellrounded development of young individuals who engage in various activities alongside their studies They appreciate youngsters who demonstrate organisational skills and involvement in extracurricular activities like dance, arts, and sports This trend has led many students to pursue dance alongside their ambitions in fields like medicine or engineering They find value in balancing academic pursuits and arts and sports interests, including volunteering Therefore, students have the flexibility to explore different paths and choose what resonates with them


In my experience, many of my students have pursued careers in medicine, and they have excelled in their studies while continuing to engage in dance

How has your background in dance influenced your approach to interdisciplinary collaboration?

I've worked across various settings, from countless schools nationwide, spanning London to Edinburgh and Cardiff I ve engaged in diverse subjects like science, mathematics, literature, and culture, often collaborating with schools to develop projects aligned with their curriculum Dance, especially my dance form, has provided me with a versatile toolset adaptable to any challenge For instance, during my time at the university, I collaborated with the science department on projects like carbon research I’ve also made diverse explorations, from delving into novels to incorporating folk dance tours and Panchatantra stories Each project has been an enriching experience, allowing me to delve into various domains and expand my horizons

What advice would you give to aspiring dancers and choreographers who are looking to make a meaningful impact through their artistry?

If you commit yourself to the art form, it will demand your time Teaching youngsters, for example, may require a significant investment of time Many youngsters may shy away from teaching because they fear it will hinder their own progress However, teaching has actually strengthened my own dance practice When you teach, you must articulate your techniques clearly, which helps refine your own understanding Conducting workshops also allows for continuous learning and selfdevelopment

My advice is to pursue your passion for dance with dedication and find joy in every aspect of it Don't make money your sole focus, although financial stability is necessary Fame and recognition will come in due time if you remain patient and dedicated

Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt host the Hope Gala in London

M a nd a ri n O ri ent al H o te l Grou p, in collaboration w ith

I nd i an act res s A li a Bh a tt, h o s ted a d az z li ng c h ar it y g ala at Mandarin Oriental

H yd e P a rk, L o nd o n T h e ev ent featured a blend o f entertainm ent and culinary d elig hts, all in sup po rt o f

A l i a's ch o se n ch a ri ty , t h e S al aa m B o m ba y Foundation

This foundation aims to p r o v i d e e d u c a t i o n a n d employment opportunities for underprivileged adolescents in India, helping them c o m p l e t e t h e i r s c h o o l i n g and secure better employment prospects

T h e h o t e l ' s r e n o w n e d ballroom, which has hosted n u m e r o u s d i s t i n g u i s h e d guests throughout its 135year history, was adorned w i t h v i b r a n t c o l o u r s a n d cultural references inspired b y I n d i a , r e f l e c t i n g Mandarin Oriental's Asian heritage

In addition to Alia Bhatt, notable guests at the charity g a l a i n c l u d e d a c t r e s s a n d m o d e l P o p p y D e l e v i n g n e ,

Keith Weed Other distinguished attendees included Omnicom Group Executive Vice President Asit Mehra, Natasha Poonawala, Tania

Chaddha, Sanjay Newatia, and hotelier Girish

charity gala in collaboration with the Salaam

Group has been an incredib l e e


e Hope Gala at such a prestig i o u s v e n u e i s a g e n u i n e privilege, as I've always been a fan of Mandarin Oriental's e x c e p t i o n a l h o s p i t a l i t y Today marks just the beginning of our efforts, and with the support of our generous contributors, I'm confident

A c tr es s S o nam K ap o o r expresses h er ho nour as the g l o ba l ar t m u s eu m T a te

Mo dern ap points her as a member of th eir South Asia

A cquisition C omm ittee In a statement shared by the actress’ team, Sonam said, “I’m deeply honoured to join the prestigious Tate Modern as a member of t h e i r S o u t h A s i a A c q u i s i t i o n C o m m i t t e e My fascination with Indian a n d S o u t h A s i a n a r t h a s b e e n a l i f e l o n g j o u r n e y , d u r i n g w h i c h I h a v e endeavoured to champion our artists at every opportunity ” “South Asia’s rich legacy of art is finally gaining the g l o b a l r e c o g n i t i o n i t

deserves As an Indian and a South Asian, it’s a privilege

t o w i t n e s s o u r a r t t a k i n g

c e n t r e s t a g e T h i s r o l e a t

Tate Modern allows me to actively endorse and advo-

cate for our remarkable artworks and artists on a historic platform It is a proud moment, not just for me, but for our entire art community, as we work together to elevate the presence of S o u t h A s i a n a r t , w o r l dwide,” she added

O n t h e a c t i n g f r o n t , Sonam Kapoor was recently featured in the film Blind, d i r e c t e d b y S h o m e M a k h i j a T h e m o v i e a l s o starred Purab Kohli, Vinay Pathak, and Lillete Dubey i n s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e s T h i s marked Sonam's comeback to acting following a maternity hiatus, as she welcomed h e r s o n V a y u i n A u g u s t 2022 The actress has signed two new projects as well

Traditional Indian storytelling in 'Sri Krishnarpanamastu' musical

I n S a lfo rd, Manc h es ter, a collective of British Indian f am i li e s o r c h es t ra te d a s p ec ta cu l ar mu s ic al e ven t t it le d ' S ri K r i s h na rp an am as t u ' T h e p erformance aimed to celebrate the rich tradition of sto rytelling in I ndian culture wh ile fo stering c onnections and unity acro ss vario u s a ge g ro u p s , ba c kgrou nds, and creative talents

The two-hour-long play showcased four of Krishna's childhood stories, known as leelas From illustrating the e t e r n a l b o n d b e t w e e n mother and son to recount-

ing the lesser-known tale of K r i s h n a s b e l o v e d c o w , ' P u n y a k o t i , ' t h e p e r f o rmance delved into narratives of love and devotion triumphing over pride and a r r o g a n c e , e n c a p s u l a t i n g t h e e s s e n c e o f K r i s h n a ' s childhood

Featuring a total of 28 children, along with trained d a n c e r s a n d a m u s i c a l orchestra, one of the central objectives of this production was to actively engage parents and their children in its creation

“I remember telling parents right at the start that this was not going to be one

o f t h o s e a c t i v i t i e s w h e r e you drop the kids off and c o m e b a c k l a t e r t o p i c k them up This had to be a f a m i l y - m a d e a n d f a m i l ycentric project It is everyo n e ’ s p l a y , ” s a i d D r Anuradha Venugopal, a surgeon by profession, a student of Bharatnatyam for the last 14 years and a mother of two

The captivating musical featured songs from various r e g i o n s o f I n d i a , e

14 6 - 12 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
r o u p L a u r e n t K l e i t m a n , C h a n e l C E O L e e n a N a i r , a n d R o y a l H o r t i c u l t u r a l S o c i e t y P r e s i d e n t a n d C h a i r m a n
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Alia Bhatt and Asma Khan Sonam Kapoor

Rushab Shah: Educational Equality

R usha b is the co-founde r of a n AI power ed on line tutorin g hub, TutorHive , which is dr iven by the values of c o lla bo r a t i o n , co n f id e n ce , a nd cont en tmen t He is the win ner of SME’s CEO of the Ye ar Awa rd (2023) A s we ll a s co n n e ct i n g c ur io u s l e a r n e r s w i t h t h e m o st i nspi rin g t ut or s for t he m, t he p la t fo r m is b r e a k i n g d own ed uca tiona l barr iers N atur ally a dven turous and o u t g o in g h i m se lf , R u sh a b sought to cre ate an en terpr ise that w ould mee t not on ly a g ap in the tut oring m a r ke t , but a lso th e wa y t hat we ha bit ua lly lea rn as a society “You re member the t ea che rs you got on with, ” he sha red wit h us, “ an d it ’ s hig hly likely y ou did bett er in class!” Tutor Hive , t hen, wa s cre at ed to cent re e mot ional con nection a s the p rima ry vehicle thr ough which t o boost aca dem ic p er form a n ce Ho bbi e s a n d pa ssions a re used t o ma tch persona lit ies “This is why the Fin nish d o so we ll,” Rushab comme nte d: “t hey per sona lise t he le arn ing ” ***

A d d i t i o n a l l y , R u s h a b believes in tech playing a p i v o t a l r o l e i n e q u a l i s i n g education where he champions the reformatory idea t h a t t e a c h i n g s h o u l d b e e x c i t i n g , p r o d u c t i v e , a n d accessible Here, he shared a v e r y s o b e r i n g s t a t i s t i c o n t h e m a t t e r : “ T h e Department for Education has found that 24% of child r e n w h o a r e c u r r e n t l y receiving free schools meals will be on our-of-work benefits by their late twenties because they are from lowincome households which hugely affects employment

The truth is that students w h o c o m e f r o m h i g h e r earning families are likely to h a v e t h o s e m o t i v a t i o n a l conversations around ambitions and receive the practic a l a d v i c e o n p r o g r e s s i o n around CVs and career etc Children whose parents are struggling to support them financially are likely busy in exhausting jobs where the kids then lose the benefit of valuable personal guidance In short, the system is broken ” As a result, TutorHive w a s c r e a t e d a s a s o c i a l l y c o n s c i o u s b u s i n e s s t h a t u t i l i s e s a n i n t e r p e r s o n a l algorithm which meaningf u l l y p a i r s t h e f a v o u r a b l e tutor to any deserving learner, offering quality tailored learning at a truly affordable price There is also a focus on recruiting tutors who are recent graduates by way of a deeply constructive model of private teaching where m a n y y o u n g p e o p l e d o struggle initially and turn to tutoring to earn an extra i n c o m e T h i s a l l c o m e s together in TutorHive Black – the world’s first AI pow-

ered education concierge –empowering parents to take control of their child’s education Giving parents back countless hours by supporting them along the journey w i t h i n s t a n t a c c e s s t o experts on demand and visib i l i t y o f t h e i r c h i l d ’ s progress

munally means you do better overall This is also an important aspect of business Rarely do we do anything alone in life – even when you are an academic, you are being supported by professors and your institut i o n ” I n d e e d , e m b r a c i n g this inherent fact, Rushab

R u s h a b f i r s t became interested in e f f e c t i v e m e n t o r s h i p during his time study-

i n g a t W a r w i c k U n i v e r s i t y W o r k i n g w i t h t h e n a t i o n a l charity, Phab, he cre-

a t e d a y o u t h c l u b t h r o u g h w h i c h s t udents could volunteer to help those with disabilities: “I found that it was a challenge to get students to c o m m i t t o v o l u n t e e r i n g where those with the disa b i l i t y w o u l d r e s p o n d b y also finding it hard to relate, especially young ones with a u t i s m H o w e v e r , t h e potential for a slightly older support worker to positively impact those who needed it a n d i n t u r n e x p o s e u n igoers to other parts of life was great It seemed that the way to realise this was to h a v e a g e n u i n e p e r s o n a l connection that kept both parties mutually motivated I f t w o p e o p l e l i k e e a c h o t h e r , t h e y a r e n a t u r a l l y invested in the shared proj e c t i n t h e l o n g r u n ” R u s h a b ’ s d e g r e e i n Mechanical Engineering has a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e shaping of TutorHive which o f f e r s g r o u p l e a r n i n g t o e n h a n c e f r u i t f u l s o c i a l engagement: “ M y h i g h e r l e a r n i n g taught me that teamwork is necessary in problem-solvi n g : y o u a r e e x c h a n g i n g thoughts with other engin e e r s a n d d i f f e r e n t t y p e s people in terms of complex physics to collectively arrive a t a n a n s w e r Y o u a r e f o c u s s i n g o n d e t a i l s a n d working together towards a wider aim Doing well com-

morally, you are likely maki n g t h e r i g h t c o m m e r c i a l move

It see ms you ha ve cr eat ed a n ide a t hat can be expa nde d, an d not sim ply limite d to priv ate t uition, in its over all init ia tive ?

Y e s W e a r e c u r r e n t l y working with Brent council to introduce a tech hub for t h e y o u t h i n t h e a r e a t o engage with an educational s i x - w e e k c o u r s e t h a t w i l l help them learn new digital skills They will have the opportunity to learn about topics such as AI, VR, coding, cyber security, and data analytics We are also partn e r i n g w i t h c o m p anies who have an outr e a c h p r o g r a m m e already such as SKY

has integrated the help of AI w i t h t h e p l a t f o r m o f TutorHive where they are piloting innovations such as a u t o m a t i c a l l y p r o v i d i n g summaries of the sessions between tutors and as well as the option to keep track of their academic progress

a n d e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r a c h i e v e m e n t s “ T e c h c a n h u g e l y f a c i l i t a t e l e v e l l i n g up, if presented in a comp r e h e n s i b l e w a y ” F i n a l l y , not only does Rushab successfully democratise additional education, but further reveals the secret to strong contemporary business: “it is fine to have a profitable product but best to have one that leaves the w o r l d a m a r k e d l y b e t t e r place ” Ultimately, Integrity and prosperity do go hand in hand

Do you think online fr anch is e s a n d a pp s g e n e r a lly h a v e a r e s p on si bi li t y t ow ards socie ty ?

James Cleverly hosts Iftar reception at No 10

On Tuesday 27 March 202 4, the Home Secretary of the United Ki ngdom hos ted a comm unity I ftar at N o 10

"Genuine personal connection keeps both parties mutually invested"

It is tricky because on the one hand you cannot limit freedom to do what one wants too much and the right to free speech but on the other you do have an o b l i g a t i o n t o a n s w e r f o r what is happening on your platform – take the recent fiasco around X (formerly Twitter) and certain opinions returning to the mainstream for example There has been a loss of trust in tech and media recently and i t i s s m a r t e r t o w o r k t o w a r d s r e g a i n i n g i t a n d being a force for the good

a n d M i c r o s o f t w i t h the aim of setting up a mentoring scheme to w i d e n o p p o r t u n i t i e s We want to give kids who have the passion a c c e s s t o c o m p a n i e s that are notable in a way that they may not have h a d b e f o r e I t e v e n s t h e playing field in terms of networking

Do you hav e an y plan s for fut ur e p ro ject s t ha t y ou ’d lik e to shar e?

I a m w o r k i n g w i t h a charity to organise a ricks h a w t r i p f r o m R a m e s h w a r a m t o B h u j –“Shishukunj Tuk Tuk” is not only a once in a lifetime journey for 108 individuals, but a sewa trip unlike any other As we travel 3,300 in one of the most unsuitable vehicles out there, we will be supporting local communities along the way Watch t h i s s p a c e f o r m o r e announcements soon!

I am always open to collaborating, discussing and partnering and would love for anyone to reach out and c o n n e c t v i a L i n k e d I n t o e x p l o r e t h i s f u r t h e r Otherwise, find out more

a b o u t T u t o r H i v e , T u t o r H i v e B l a c k a n d o u r journey through our socials

W: https://tutorhive co uk/how -it-works

W: https://tutorhive co uk/blac k Insta : https://instagram com/tuto r hive

Facebook: https://web facebook com/tutorhive learn Link edIn (C ompan y): https://www linkedin com/ company/tutorhive/ Link edIn (P ersona l): linkedin com/in/rushabmsh ah/

D ow n i n g St re e t i n W e s tm i n s te r 3 0 di s t i ngu i s he d M u s li m s f r om across the United Kingdom were invited to share their ex pe ri en c e s a nd b re a kf as t with the Home Secretary T h e c o m m u n i t y I f t a r , although led by the government, was first pioneered a n d s u p p o r t e d b y t h e C o n s e r v a t i v e M u s l i m Forum (CMF) It was the b r a i n c h i l d o f t h e C M F Chairman, Hashim Bhatti, w h o o r g a n i s e d l a s t y e a r ' s r e c e p t i o n a n d t h e C o n s e r v a t i v e p a r t y ' s v e r y own iftars

T h i s y e a r , o n c e a g a i n , t h e C o n s e r v a t i v e M u s l i m F o r u m p l a y e d a n i n t e g r a l r o l e i n s u p p o r t i n g t h i s e v e n t G u e s t s w e r e h o no u r e d t o h e a r f r o m t h e H o m e S e c r e t a r y b e f o r e opening their fasts with a sit d o w n m e a l i n t h e S t a t e R o o m s a t N o 1 0 T h i s i s something that has never h a p p e n e d b e f o r e a s l a s t year's reception was a full b u f f e t c a t e r e d f o r b y t h e renowned entrepreneur and c h e f S u l e m a n R a z a f r o m

Spice Village H a s h i m B h a t t i , Chairman of CMF said, "this was an initiative I pioneered last year and I am grateful t h a t b o t h N o 1 0 a n d t h e Home Secretary did all they c o u l d t o m a k e i t h a p p e n again It was a great way to b r i n g t o g e t h e r B r i t i s h Muslims from all walks of l i f e t o d i s c u s s m a t t e r s important to the communit y e s p e c i a l l y g i v e n t h e events in the Middle East I am glad the Home Secretary took time to listen to our concerns and frustrations "

C M F S c o t l a n d Chairman, Naveed Asghar Rana said, "it was an honour to be supporting the second Iftar at the Prime Minister's residence We look forward to guiding and supporting the government on matters

o f i m p o r t a n c e r e l a t i n g t o our communities across the United Kingdom

TikTok troll leaves Bangladeshi women 'suicidal'

A B BC i n v es ti g a ti o n h as revealed that wom en from the Banglad eshi com munity in the UK are facing sig nificant disruptions in their lives

d u e to h ar as s m en t by a TikT ok troll Desp ite reporting the threats and abuse to au th oriti es in th e UK and France, as well as to social m ed i a p la tf o rm s , m a ny w o m en ex p res s ed fee li ng suicid al and desperate as no action has been taken to sto p the harassm ent

O n e v i c t i m d e s c r i b e d f e e l i n g d e v a s t a t e d , e x p e r ie n c i n g e m o t i o n a l d i s t r e s s , and struggling to maintain b a s i c a c t i v i t i e s l i k e e a t i n g and sleeping "I felt like I did not want to be here anymore ” S u l t a n a ( n o t h e r r e a l name) resides in Yorkshire and utilised TikTok as a platf o r m t o a d d r e s s p e r t i n e n t issues such as misogyny and toxic relationships In 2021, she became a target of the t r o l l o n t h e s o c i a l m e d i a platform after coming to the defence of a friend who was also subjected to his harassm e n t W h i l e a t w o r k , S u l t a n a r e c e i v e d m e s s a g e s from her TikTok followers, i n f o r m i n g h e r a b o u t t h e videos the troll had posted about her


A sp ecial memo rial service

co m m em o r ati ng P a ki s tan

Da y 2 0 2 4 to o k p la ce at Westm inster A bbey, continuing a trad ition uph eld in previo us years

I n a s y m b o l i c g e s t u r e , the Pakistani flag was flown atop the north tower of the A b b e y , e c h o i n g t h e r e v e rence and significance of the occasion

T h e P a k i s t a n H i g h

D u r i n g t h e s e r v i c e , Westminster Abbey organised a special Evensong in honor of Pakistan's National Day This annual event holds profound significance as it m a r k s t h e L a h o r e R e s o l u t i o n ' s p a s s a g e o n March 23, 1940

This resolution, advocated by the Muslim League, called for the creation of a separate nation for Muslims w i t h i n t h e B r i t i s h I n d i a n Empire

C o m m i s s i o n i n t h e U K shared a video capturing this poignant moment, showcasing the pride and unity of the P a k i s t a n i c o m m u n i t y i n London

15 6 - 12 April 2024
Sunetra Senior
U l t i m a t e l y , i f y o u a r e r e m a i n i n g p e o p l e - c e n t r i
AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Pakistani flag hoisted on north tower of Westminster

Insights from Ramadan: Personal stories and Eid anticipations shared

A s the holy m onth of Ramadan draw s to a close, M uslim s around th e world reflect on their journeys o f sp iritu al growth , selfreflection, and com munity solidarity From fasting from d awn to d usk to engaging in acts of charity and prayer, each perso n's experience d uring Ram ad an is d eeply personal yet p rofoundly com munal

Speaking to Asian Voice, some members of the community delve into their experiences of individuals during Ramadan, exploring the unique ways in which they have embraced the spirit of the month and navigated its challenges and blessings They also delve into the plans and preparations as they anticipate the joyous occasion of Eid

Through these personal stories and reflections, we gain insight into the richness and diversity of Muslim culture and tradition and celebrate the universal values of faith, family, and community that unite us all

“I look forward to spending time with family”

Dr Irfan Khawaja is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education at Birmingham City University (BCU), and previously spoke to Asian Voice about developing groundbreaking Ramadan guidance aimed at fostering a more inclusive school environment for Muslim students and staff participating in physical education (PE) activities during the Holy Month of Islam

Sharing his Ramadan experience, Dr Khawaja said, “As with every year, Ramadan continues to be a purifier and a month of refocus Each year I feel the awareness of the holy month is spread wider, not least for the use of social media This year I have been overwhelmed with messages of support, and I was particularly impressed with a national conference which accommodated fasting attendees This is a sign of how our multicultural society is aware of the diverse religious practices we celebrate as one community ”

Of his Eid plans, he said, “My plans for Eid firstly include the most important element of prayer My personal highlight is listening to the annual Eid Islamic preaching, which often leaves one with much to ponder for the next year Following this, I always

allocate time to remember and pray for those who are no longer with us but paved the way for us I then look forward to spending time with family, including respected older generations, and the youngest generations, including my young beautiful nieces and nephews, who I have a habit of spoiling!”

He also provided an update about the success of his guidance and how it has helped support fasting students and teachers stating that over 2,500 downloads and implementation of the guidance were made within six weeks of publication It is estimated that currently 75-85% of schools nationally have embedded the guidance into their practice

He said, “I am delighted to share that the Ramadan Guidance document was showcased as part of the Association for Physical Education (afPE) ‘Breaking Down Barriers to Physical Education’ event at the House of Commons on Wednesday 6th March 2024 ”

“Praying shoulder-toshoulder with the community was deeply meaningful”

Abid Taluquedar is a Consultant Audiologist with a decade of expertise, garnered from esteemed institutions such as the NHS and Harley Street As the visionary founder of London Audiology, Abid spearheads a revolutionary approach to hearing

Leicester College hosts first big Iftaar with over 250 attendees

Leicester C ollege collaborated with The C ity Retreat to o rg ani s e th e ' Bi g If ta ar, ' co mm emo rating Ram adan, the Islam ic ho ly month of fasting At th e event, Shaykh Sh afi C howd hury from Th e C ity Retreat emphasised th e significance o f Ramadan for Mu slims

T h e A d h a a n ( c a l l t o prayer) resounded from the rooftop of the Abbey Park Campus building, gathering a congregation for Maghrib Salah, the sunset prayer, for b o t h m e n a n d w o m e n

Following this, staff and students from the College gene r o u s l y p r o v i d e d c o m p l imentary Iftaar meals a trad i t i o n o b s e r v e d a t s u n s e t during Ramadan to break the day's fast

healthcare, catering to the needs of adults and children Proud of his upbringing in London, enriched by his Bangladeshi heritage, Abid actively leads a Muslim youth club and football team, striving to cultivate a brighter future for all

Sharing his Ramadan experience, he said, “This Ramadan has been truly remarkable I've cherished the sense of community and had the privilege of organising an iftar at a local mosque for the youth club I manage What made it even more special was the participation of a nonMuslim colleague, who fasted alongside me Leading my mother in prayers and collaborating with her to plan and prepare the iftar and suhur menus were among the month's highlights Our culinary spread featured a variety of dishes, from samosas and aloo chaap to dahi baara and biryani The camaraderie of praying shoulder-to-shoulder with the community was deeply meaningful, and I know I'll miss these moments once Ramadan concludes

“As I reflect on my blessed experience, my heart goes out to Muslims worldwide facing tougher circumstances during this sacred month, particularly those in Palestine Despite witnessing instances of Islamophobia perpetuated by certain public figures, I've remained grateful for the overall positive experience of Ramadan My focus has been on countering divisive narratives and uplifting my community ”

Looking ahead to Eid, Abid anticipates following cherished traditions such as donning new attire, visiting Regent's Park Mosque with parents for prayers, and sharing a festive meal with extended family “I'm also eager to spend time with friends and continue celebrating the joyous occasion”, he said

T h e e v e n t w a s s p o nsored by One Nation and

College for hosting this first Big Iftaar It was a wonderful event, bringing together so many different people to celebrate Ramadan with us ”

Celebrate Eid with thoughtful gifting ideas

E id al-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast, marks the end of Ramadan, a month of f as t in g , p ra ye r , r ef l ect io n, an d c om mu ni ty As families and fri ends come together to celeb rate this j oy ou s oc c a s i on , i t' s c ustomary to exchange gifts as a gesture of love, gratitude, and unity

C h o o s i n g t h e p e r f e c t gift for your Eid party can be a delightful way to show appreciation for your loved o n e s I f y o u ' r e s e e k i n g inspiration for thoughtful presents that capture the spirit of Eid, here are some ideas to consider:

1 Tra di ti ona l s we ets an d treats:

Delight your loved ones with a delicious assortment

o f t r a d i t i o n a l E i d s w e e t s such as baklava, maamoul, or Turkish delight These delectable treats not only satisfy the taste buds but also add a touch of authenticity to the festivities

2 E xquis ite perfumes:

E n h a n c e t h e j o y o u s ambiance of Eid with the gift of fragrance A beautifully packaged bottle of perfume or attar is a timeless a n d e l e g a n t p r e s e n t t h a t s y m b o l i s e s l u x u r y a n d s o p h i s t i c a t i o n O p t f o r scents with floral or oriental notes that evoke a sense of celebration

3 Decorative lanterns:

I l l u m i n a t e y o u r l o v e d one's home with the warm glow of decorative lanterns These intricately designed l a n t e r n s s e r v e a s b o t h a stylish home accessory and a symbolic representation of the spiritual light that a c c o m p a n i e s E i d c e l e b r ations Choose from a variety of designs, from traditional Moroccan lanterns to modern geometric styles

4 Personalis ed gifts:

Show your thoughtfulness with personalised gifts tailored to each recipient s interests and preferences

C o n s i d e r c u s t o m - m a d e j e w e l l e r y e n g r a v e d w i t h meaningful Arabic calligraphy, monogrammed leather goods, or embroidered textiles featuring their initials or a heartfelt message

5 Artis anal crafts:

S u p p o r t l o c a l a r t i s a n s a n d c r a f t s m e n b y g i f t i n g h a n d m a d e g o o d s t h a t showcase traditional craftsmanship and cultural her-

i t a g e F r o m h a n d - p a i n t e d c e r a m i c s t o i n t r i c a t e l y w o v e n t e x t i l e s , t h e s e unique artisanal pieces add a touch of authenticity and charm to any home

6 Books and literature:

I n s p i r e a n d e d u c a t e your loved ones with meaningful books and literature that celebrate Islamic culture, history, and spirituality Whether it's a beautifully illustrated Quran, a collection of Rumi's poetry, or a thought-provoking work o f I s l a m i c p h i l o s o p h y , books make for cherished gifts that nourish the mind and soul

7 Charitable donations: In the spirit of giving a n d g e n e r o s i t y , c o n s i d e r making a charitable donation on behalf of your loved ones to support causes that a r e c l o s e t o t h e i r h e a r t s Whether it's providing food for the less fortunate, sponsoring an orphan's education, or contributing to a c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t project, the gift of charity is a meaningful way to spread j o y a n d m a k e a p o s i t i v e impact

8 E co- fri endly gifts:

Encourage sustainability and environmental cons c i o u s n e s s b y o p t i n g f o r eco-friendly gifts that minimise waste and promote eco-conscious living From reusable bamboo kitchenw a r e t o o r g a n i c s k i n c a r e products packaged in recyclable materials, there are plenty of eco-friendly gift options that align with the values of Eid

9 Wellness and self-care:

P r o m o t e h e a l t h a n d well-being with gifts that p r i o r i t i s e s e l f - c a r e a n d relaxation

Treat your loved ones to luxurious bath and body products, aromatherapy essential oils, or soothing herbal teas that encourage mindfulness and rejuvenation

16 6 - 12 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Dr Irfan Khawaja shared the Ramadan guidence at the House of Commons Abid Taluquedar
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” Shaykh Shafi from The C

Eid feast extravaganza

As the joyous occasion of Eid approaches, families and communities around the world eagerly anticipate the opportunity to come together and celebrate

From mouth-watering mains to decadent desserts, Eid is a time to indulge in culinary delights that have been passed down through generations

In this article, we invite you

on a culinary journey to explore a selection of delightful recipes that capture the essence of Eid as Chefs Sabrina Gidda and Jomon Kuriakose share easy recipes for you to try


I think my affinity for parle g comes from their similarity to malted milk biscuits The iconic little child smiling on the biscuit packet and their dinky little size makes for perfect tiffin-ing. An appropriately delicious treat for about 10 minutes of effort. If you can’t get parle g then you can use malted milk biscuits, or whichever you like.



² 40g golden syrup

² 160g salted butter

² 1 x tbsp caster sugar

² 2 x heaped tbsp 70% dark cocoa powder (without sugar)

² 60g milk chocolate

² 120g parle g or malted milk

² 150g dark chocolate

² small handful of pistachios chopped


1 Melt together your syrup, sugar, butter & dark chocolate until smooth and silky, stirring continuously over a bain marie

2 Break your biscuits into medium chunks, add to the chocolate and stir well

3. Line a tin with cling film – I like to use a small loaf tin or a brownie tray.

4. Press this into the tin as flat as possible. Melt the milk chocolate and pour over the top, followed by the chopped pistachios

5 Set in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight

6 Cut into bars or little cubes

Grilled yam


² Yam 250gms (3 roundals)

² Coconut oil 1 tbsps

² Shallots 6 nos

² Chilli powder 1 tsp

² Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

² Tamarind pulp 2 tsp

² Ginger 30gms

² Curry leaves 1 string (finely chopped)

² Salt to taste

² Butter 50 gms


² Avocado 1 half

² Shallots 4 nos

² Green chillies 2 nos

² Tomatoes (deseeded and chopped)

1 nos

² Maldon salt to taste

² Lemon juice a dash


E peel and wash the yam nicely and make 1/2” thick roundels

E Par boil the yam with some salt in boiling water

E drain them and wait until It reaches room temperature

E keep all the marinades in a mixer blender jar and make a fine paste

E apply the paste or marinate the yam with the marinade paste

E grill them on a moderately heated griddle pan on both the sides

E add a spoon full of butter to pan which will enhance the flavour and taste


E cut avocado, shallots, chilli and tomato into small dices treat them with Salt and lemon juice

17 6 - 12 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Book Recipe Credit : Modern South Asian Kitchen by Sabrina Gidda | Published by Quadrille Books
Chef Sabrina
P h o t o C r e d t M a r i a B e C r e d iT a r a n W k h u
Chef Jomon Kuriakose

Dear Financial Voice Reader, Alpesh Patel

There is a shocking dest ruction of UK pensions Sadl y it is by funds ent rust ed by employer s or IF As or w ealt h managers

I did a simple experiment I selected a group of funds, not too few to be fair I selected household names and different brands I picked ones which were not just UK but also Europe, US too and indeed China (the world’s second largest economy)

I selected ones which were linked to innovation –ie important themes of the day and technology

I didn’t just look at one year, but two A bad and a good year I didn’t just look at big companies, but included funds focussed on small companies too

What more diversification could there be

The results were shocking

They all fell in 2022 A bad year But they fell regardless of country or sector focus They fell more than even the market

That would be fine but the next year, 2023, one of the best in history for the markets, they not only didn’t make up for the 2022 losses, but actually some fell even more, yet again

This is a clear evidence of the failure of professional fund managers to deliver value for their clients They charge high fees and commissions, but they cannot beat the market or even match it They are not experts, but gamblers who rely on luck and hype They are not accountable, but hide behind complex jargon and obscure benchmarks They are not transparent, but conceal their holdings and strategies from public scrutiny

What can you do to protect your pension from this shocking destruction? The answer is simple: learn to DIY Do not entrust your hard-earned money to someone else who does not care about your future Learn how to invest yourself, using low-cost and diversified tools such as index funds, exchange-traded funds, or robo-advisors Learn how to assess your risk tolerance, set your goals, and plan your asset allocation Learn how to monitor your performance, rebalance your portfolio, and adjust your strategy as needed

DIY investing is not rocket science It is a skill that anyone can acquire with some time and effort It is a way to take control of your financial destiny and avoid the shocking destruction of UK pensions It is a way to secure your retirement and achieve your dreams

Minimum wage increase gives boost to 2.7 million low-paid

The government-set mi nimum wage, referred to as the National Living Wage, i s e x pe ri e n c i n g i ts f i rs t increase of over £1, benefit-

i ng 2 7 m i ll i on l ow - p ai d workers

The primary wage rate is escalating from £10 42 to £11 44 per hour and will be applicable to workers aged 21 and above, rather than those aged 23 and above

A d d i t i o n a l l y , y o u n g e r workers will also witness an

increase in their respective wage rates

H o w e v e r , s o m e b u s in e s s e s a r g u e t h a t t h e increased labour costs will p o s e c h a l l e n g e s i n m a i ntaining competitive prices

The adjustments entail significant pay rises for workers: full-time adult employees on minimum wage will e x p e r i e n c e a n a n n u a l increase of £1,800, while 21y e a r - o l d s t r a n s i t i o n i n g from the lower minimum

wage rate to the main rate will receive a £2,300 raise Additionally, the minimum

w a g e f o r 1 8 - 2 0 - y e a r - o l d s will rise from £7 49 to £8 60 per hour Apprentices will also benefit from an above-

i n f l a t i o n i n c r e a s e , w i t h hourly pay rising by over 20% from £5 28 to £6 40

S a m u e l , a 2 6 - y e a r - o l d

e m p l o y e e a t G r i n d s m i t h coffee house in Salford, is among those set to benefit

f r o m t h e w a g e i n c r e a s e

P r i o r t o t h e p a y r a i s e , Samuel found himself with a p p r o x i m a t e l y £ 4 0 0

r e m a i n i n g a t t h e e n d o f each month after covering r e n t a n d b i l l s , y e t h e noticed his finances were b e c o m i n g i n c r e a s i n g l y s t r a i n e d M a y b e o n e month you ll feel financially secure, but the next might prove challenging," Samuel r e f l e c t s , d e s c r i b i n g t h e recurring cycle of financial stress

Small business VAT relief takes effect Bank alerts on private equity risks

As pa rt of Ch ancellor Je re my

Hunt 's spr ing budge t, small businesses a re se t to ben efit fr om v arious incen tives ta kin g e f fe c t f r o m A p r i l 1 Among t hese me asures, t he VAT re gistr at ion thr eshold has bee n raise d t o £90, 000 fr om £85,00 0, r esulting in 28 , 0 0 0 bu si n e ss e s b e i n g exe mpt fr om pa ying t he tax Addition ally , sm all busine sses will see a free ze on ra tes for the fourth con secutiv e yea r, shield in g over a million rat epa yer s from a 6 6 pe rce nt in cr ease in t heir bills

As part of the £4 3 billion business rates support package announced in the A u t u m n S t a t e m e n t , m e as u r e s i n c l u d e a 1 2 - m o n t h extension of the 75 percent

relief for 230,000 retail, hospitality, and leisure properties

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Gareth Davies visited the Chai Guys business in London, accompanied by Enterprise Nation, a small business support network, to discuss the anticip a t e d b e n e f i t s o f t h e s e changes for businesses

Davies said these measures will reward and supp o r t B r i t a i n ’ s s m a l l b u s inesses “Combined with our action to reduce inflation from over 11 per cent to 3 4 p e r c e n t , t h e s e m e a s u r e s will help ensure the local, independent businesses will continue to thrive and help our economy grow ”

The Ba n k o f E ng l a nd h a s is sued its most seve re c aution yet regarding the ris k to financial stability emanating from t he $ 8 t ril lion private equity m arket Amidst rising interes t rate s, both b uy out f ir m s a nd t he ir a f f il i at e d companies ar e f acing challenges

R e f l e c t i n g i n c r e a s i n g concerns, the financial policy committee announced in its q u a r t e r l y u p d a t e t h a t i t i s conducting a thorough examination of the potential risks embedded within the private equity sector, which expanded rapidly during the era of ultra-low rates following the 2007-2009 financial crisis

T h e c o m m i t t e e a l s o warned that financial mar-

kets, in general, are overly optimistic about the potent i a l m a g n i t u d e o f f u t u r e interest rate reductions by central banks This optimism heightens the possibility of a significant market downturn if policymakers fail to meet investor expectations

Buyout firms traditionally rely on debt to fund business acquisitions, a strategy now strained by increasing b o r r o w i n g e x p e n s e s B a n k officials advised that these risks must be meticulously handled, particularly given the opaque nature of asset valuations and overall leverage levels in private markets, w h i c h p o s e c h a l l e n g e s f o r r e g u l a t o r s i n e v a l u a t i n g potential threats

Thames Water enlists restructuring advisors

Thames Wate r has mob il ised a t eam of Cit y expert s to lead ur gent r est ructuring discussions t his wee k amid concer ns that its par ent compan y co ul d fa c e c ol l a ps e b y mont h's en

' s l a r g e s t w a

Centrica CEO's pay increases by £3.7 mn

O'Shea remarked earlier in the year that there was "no point" in justifying his salary The remun e r a t i o n p a c k a g e c o m p r i s e d

£810,000 in salary, approximately £1 4 million in annual bonuses, and £5 9 million in longer-term bonuses tied to the company's share price performance

The rise in stock price over the past year, along with reported profits of £2 8 billion, the second highest in the company's history, contributed to the substantial increase in compensation

Centrica reaped significant benefits from the surge in energy prices triggered by the

Russian invasion of Ukraine and Ofgem's decision to lift the price cap on household bills This regulatory move permitted energy suppliers, including Centrica, to charge consumers higher rates, bolstering the company's financial position

The publication of the annual report comes two months after O’Shea, 50, said “ you can’t justify a salary of that size” w h e n q u e s t i o n e d o n B B C B r e a k f a s t

Speaking about his £4 5 million pay from the year before, he said: “It’s a huge amount of money, I am incredibly fortunate I don’t set my own pay, that’s set by our remuneration committee That’s the first bonus I’ve taken in my time at Centrica, for a number of years, I’ve given up bonuses because of hardships that customers were facing ”

amidst an investor standoff, heightening apprehensions regarding the future of its p a r e n t e n t i t y , t h e K e m b l e Water Group Additionally, Thames Water is collaborati n g w i t h a d v i s o r s a t Rothschild to explore potential financing solutions for the company L a s t w e e k , Thames announced that Kemble's owners, including major p e n s i o n f u n d s Omers and USS, as well as Abu Dhabi a n d C h i n e s e sovereign wealth funds, had engaged restructuring advisors at Alvarez & Marsal

were initially reported by the media They arise foll o w i n g K e m b l e ' s o w n e r s ' decision to withdraw £500 million in emergency funding amid a deadlock with t h e i n d u s t r y r e g u l a t o r r e g a r d i n g p r o p o s a l s t o increase household bills

T h i s f i r m o v e r s a w t h e C h a p t e r 1 1 b a n k r u p t c y o f W e W o r k i n t h e U S l a s t November T h e s e d i s c u s s i o n s , a i m e d a t c h a r t i n g a p a t h f o r w a r d f o r t h e h e a v i l y i n d e b t e d w a t e r c o m p a n y ,

With over £18 billion in d e b t , t h e c o m p a n y f a c e s m o u n t i n g p r e s s u r e a s K e m b l e i s s c h e d u l e d t o repay a £190 million loan by month s end This situation has raised fears that the parent company could poten-

t i a l l y b e c o m e i n s o l v e n t without government intervention

Morrisons' sales up, complaints down in revitalisation efforts

18 6 - 12 April 2024
China Investment Company -23% 2023: Invesco Mortgage Capital -33% Schroders Capital Global Innovation -5% Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust +22% Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust +12% Baillie Gifford European Growth Trust +7% Abrdn UK Smaller Companies Growth Trust -1% Schroder British Opportunities Trust +9% BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust +20% Abrdn Property Income Trust -15% Abrdn China Investment Company -23%
2022 : Invesco Mortgage Capital -54% Schroders Capital Global Innovation -53% Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust -52% Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust -46% Baillie Gifford European Growth Trust -42% Abrdn UK Smaller Companies Growth Trust -39% Schroder British Opportunities Trust -36% BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust -32% Abrdn Property Income Trust -23% Abrdn
www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
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Mo rrisons' tu rnaround strategy seem s to be yielding results as the U K's fifth-largest grocer repo rted its stro ng est quarterly sales growth since the £7 billion takeover in 20 21 U nd er the lead ership of Ram i Baitiéh, wh o assumed the role of chief executiv e in No vem ber, th e sup erm arket c h ai n i s un d er g o i ng a t ran sf o rm a ti o n Baitiéh h as initiated innov ativ e measu res such as inv iting shop pers to board meeting s and cond ucting custo mer "round tables" in sto res to rev italise and reshape the comp any Acknowledging that Morrisons had not performed optimally since the pandemic, Baitiéh, a former CEO of Carrefour France, is actively engaging with top employees through daily online meetings to address customer feedback and concerns Baitiéh affirmed that the i m p l e m e n t e d p l a n i s w e l l underway and showing promising results In the three months leading to January 28, like-forlike sales, excluding fuel and VAT, surged by 4 6 percent, marking the seventh consecutive q u a r t e r o f s u c h i m p r o v e m e n t a n d t h e strongest growth in three years Total sales, excluding fuel, climbed by 3 9 percent to £3 9 billion Baitiéh noted positive shifts in key customer metrics and highlighted a nearly 60 percent decrease in customer complaints over the past 20 weeks, referring to them as the "canaries in the retail coalmine "
Centrica's CEO, Ch ris O' Shea, saw a signif icant incr ease in h is annual pay, rising by nearly £ 4 m ill ion to £8 2 mil lio n in 2023 T h i s s u r g e c o m e s a f t e r
Chris O'Shea

Adani buys Shapoorji’s Odisha port in £308 mn deal

A d a n i P or t s wi l l b uy S h a po or j i P a l l o n ji G r ou p ’ s G opal pur Port in Odisha for a n ent erprise value of £308 mill ion , adding to its panI n d ia n e t w o r k a n d e nhancin g its ca rgo vol ume

I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e enterprise value, there is a contingent consideration of £27 mn to be payable after 5 5 years, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions as agreed with the sellers, Adani Ports said Adani Ports will buy 56% in Gopalpur Port, which has a capacity to handle 20 m i l l i o n m e t r i c t o n n e s annually, from SP and 39% from Orissa Stevedores The remaining 5% will continue

t o b e h e l d b y O r i s s a Stevedores, a source said G o p a l p u r P o r t i s e s t i m a t e d t o h a v e a n operating profit of £23 2 mn and a revenue of £52 mn in f i s c a l 2 0 2 4 T h e O d i s h a government had awarded a 3 0 - y e a r c o n c e s s i o n t o Gopalpur Port in 2006, with t h e p r o v i s i o n o f t w o extensions of 10 years each Raises stak e in Ambuja

Ce me nts T h e A d a n i f a m i l y , t h e p r o m o t e r o f A m b u j a C e m e n t s , a n n o u n c e d a n i n f u s i o n o f £ 6 6 6 1 m n , increasing its stake by 3 6 per cent to attain 66 7 per cent h o l d i n g i n t h e c o u n t r y ' s

s e c o n d l a r g e s t c e m e n t c o m p a n y W i t h t h i s , promoters have infused £1 16 b n i n A m b u j a p o s t acquisition, giving Ambuja c a p i t a l f l e x i b i l i t y f o r accelerated growth, capital management initiatives and b e s t - i n - c l a s s b a l a n c e s h e e t strength to accomplish its various strategic initiatives, the statement said

" T h e a d d i t i o n a l investment will fortify the c o m p a n y ' s f i n a n c i a l position, providing it with e n h a n c e d c a p a b i l i t i e s t o pursue its ambitious growth

p l a n s a n d c a p i t a l i s e o n e m e r g i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s i n the market," it said

Torrent’s Mehtas pledge to donate £500 mn to social causes

Billi onaire broth ers Sud hir and Sam ir Mehta pled ged to d onate £500 mn to a slew of social causes on their fath er a nd T o r ren t Gro u p founder’s birth centenary on S und ay T he M eh tas join the ranks of other billi onaires w ho hav e comm itted large p a rts o f th e ir w e al th fo r p h il ant h ro p y “ T h e c o nt ri bu t io n w il l be ov er and abov e the statu tory C SR contributions o f th e Torrent Group com panies, ” a release

f ro m th e p h ar m ac eu ti c alto-pow er enterp rise said T h e d o n a t i o n w i l l b e m a n a g e d b y t h e U N M F o u n d a t i o n f o r b o l s t e r i n g h e a l t h c a r e , e d u c a t i o n , e c o l o g y a n d a r t s T h e M e h t a s d r a w a c h u n k o f their wealth from Torrent Pharma, the flagship of the $5-billion group They will start donating £ 5 0 0 m n t o t h e U N M Foundation from April 1 to five years, the release said T h e i r f a t h e r U t t a m b h a i N a t h a l a l M e h t a ( U N M ) founded the group in 1959, the year when Bajaj Auto obtained licence from the Indian govt to manufacture two and three wheelers and when India saw the launch

of Doordarshan

pharma giant Sandoz

h rules

In order to avail of the benefit of the rules, Reliance Industries will have to take a strategic 26% stake in the c a p t i v e u n i t a n d a c c o r d i n g l y , m a k e a n investment

Reliance Industries did not disclose where it intends to use the power sourced f r o m M a h a n T h e d e a l i s expected to be completed

w i t h i n t w o w e e k s o f r e c e i v i n g a l l r e g u l a t o r y a p p r o v a l s R e l i a n c e

I n d u s t r i e s a l r e a d y h a s captive power plants in its o i l r e f i n i n g a n d p e t r o c h e m i c a l c o m p l e x i n Gujarat

The two industrialists, both hailing from Gujarat, are often considered rivals by industry commentators and are seen slugging it out on various rich lists Both, h o w e v e r , h a v e b u i l t t h e i r empires on different lines of businesses

W h i l e A m b a n i ’ s interests are in oil and gas, retail, telecom and financial services, Adani’s focus is on i n f r a s t r u c t u r e s p a n n i n g a i r p o r t s , s e a p o r t s a n d c e m e n t B o t h h a v e r a r e l y crossed each other’s ways except in recent times in c e r t a i n b u s i n e s s e s l i k e

m e d i a , c l e a n e n e r g y a n d data centres

Two years ago, a firm with connections to Ambani s o l d i n t e r e s t s i n n e w s broadcaster NDTV to Adani, marking the latter’s first big play in the media sector

The deal pit him against Ambani, who runs Network 1 8 , o n e o f I n d i a ’ s l a r g e s t media companies

T h e t w o i n d u s t r i a l i s t s h a v e a l s o p l e d g e d m u l t ibillion dollar commitments in clean energy as they aim to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050 Earlier this month, Adani and his family, including wife and children, attended the prew e d d i n g c e l e b r a t i o n s o f

A m b a n i ' s y o u n g e s t s o n , Anant, in Gujarat

India's core sector growth hits 3-month high of 6.7% in February

G ro w th i n I nd ia 's co r e sector rose to a three-m onth hig h in F eb, led by doubledig it exp ansion in three o f ei g h t s eg m en ts b u t t h e ferti li ser sec to r contracted f o r se co n d co n se cu t iv e mo nth

D a t a r e l e a s e d b y t h e c o m m e r c e a n d i n d u s t r y m i n i s t r y s h o w e d t h e i n f r a s t r u c t u r e s e c t o r , s p a n n i n g c o a l , c r u d e o i l , n a t u r a l g a s , r e f i n e r y p r o d u c t s , f e r t i l i s e r s , s t e e l , cement and electricity rose an annual 6 7%, higher than the 4 1% in Jan but below the 7 4% in Feb last year

T h e c o r e s e c t o r

a c c o u n t s f o r 4 0 % o f t h e i n d e x o f i n d u s t r i a l p r o d u c t i o n a n d h a s a n i m p o r t a n t i m p a c t o n t h e f a c t o r y o u t p u t n u m b e r s , which will be released later next month

S e p a r a t e d a t a s h o w e d fiscal deficit reached 86 5% of the full year target at Febend In the corresponding period last year, the fiscal d e f i c i t o r g a p b e t w e e n e x p e n d i t u r e a n d r e v e n u e w a s 8 2 8 % o f t h e r e v i s e d estimates (RE) of the Union budget for 2022-23 The govt estimates fiscal deficit at £ 174 billion or 5 8% of GDP

“The surge in the fiscal

t o l a y i n g t h e f o u n d a t i o n o f t h e T o r r e n t G r o u p i s i n s p i r i n g B o r n i n a poor family, he lost his mother at the age of t w o H e w e a t h e r e d m a n y h e a l t h challenges at the age of 39 due to the side effects of a medicine that was prescribed to h i m , a n d b e i n g d i a g n o s e d w i t h a n extremely rare form of cancer at the age of 53 UNM had also failed in his first a t t e m p t a t s e t t i n g u p a business S&P sees India's GDP growth easing to 6.8% in FY25 Global rati ngs a gency S&P e s ti ma t e s I n d i a ’ s G DP g r o w t h t o m o d e r a te to 6 8 % i n 2 0 24 - 2 5 a f t e r a b etter th an expected 7 6% grow th in 20 23- 24

India's current a/c deficit narrows to $10.5bn in Q3 from $11.4bn

T h e cu r ren t a cc o u nt d ef i c it i n I nd ia narrow ed to $10 5 billion, or 1 2% of the country’s gross d omestic p rod uct, in Q3 FY24 from $11 4 billion (1 3% of GDP) in Q2 FY24 The deficit was sharply lo wer th an the $16 8 billio n - 2% o f GDP - record ed in the ye ar ag o p e ri o d A nal ys ts ar e n o w f o rec as ti n g th a t th e C A D w i l l n arr o w further to 1 % of GDP by the end of the fiscal year

A lower CAD is positive for the rupee, and many economists are forecasting a

strengthening of the rupee in the coming weeks Ahead of RBI releasing the balance of payments data, the rupee recovered to 83 29 from its all-time low of 83 43 due to t h e d o l l a r w e a k e n i n g i n i n t e r n a t i o n a l markets The deficit in the trade of petroleum and oil products widened to $25 8 billion from $17 9 billion in the quarter before due to a rise in the oil import bill However, the deficit was lower than the $29 3 billion a year ago

This is a 40 basis points

u p g r a d e f r o m i t s e a r l i e r forecast but is below 7% growth projected by RBI and govt Several agencies have raised their growth forecast for India after a b e

deficit in Feb can be partly attributed to the higher tax devolution released during that month which led to a d e c l i n e i n t h e r e v e n u e r e c e i p t s a n d n e t t a x r e v e n u e s i n t h a t m o n t h , ” s a i d A d i t i N a y a r , c h i e f economist at ratings agency ICRA “In April-Feb FY2024, the net tax revenues rose by 7 % , n o n - t a x r e v e n u e s expanded by 45%, amid a mild 1% growth in revenue expenditure, and a robust 3 6 5 % Y o Y e x p a n s i o n i n capex We do not expect the revised fiscal deficit target of Rs 17 3 trillion for FY2024 to be breached,” said Nayar

a , t h e Philippines and Vietnam in lead,” said the report titled

moves to occur in the second half of the year, ” the report said

19 6 - 12 April 2024 March GST collection secondhighest ever at £17.8 bn www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews GST revenu e for March saw t h e s ec o n d h i g h es t c o ll ec ti o n e v er at £ 1 7 8 billion, seeing a 11 5% yearo n-year growth T his surge w as d riven by a sig nificant rise in GST collection from d o m es ti c tr ans a ct io n s at 1 7 6% G S T r e v e n u e n e t o f refunds for March is £16 5 bn, a growth of 18 4% over same period last year FY 2023-24 marks a milestone w i t h t o t a l g r o s s G S T c o l l e c t i o n o f £ 2 0 1 4 b n exceeding £200 bn, a 11 7% i n c r e a s e c o m p a r e d t o t h e previous year The average monthly collection for this fiscal year stands at £16 8 bn, s u r p a s s i n g t h e p r e v i o u s year ’ s average of £15 bn G S T r e v e n u e n e t o f refunds as of March for the current fiscal year is £180 1 b n w h i c h i s a g r o w t h o f 13 4% over same period last year B r e a k d o w n o f M a r c h 2 0 2 4 C o l l e c t i o n s : C e n t r a l G o o d s a n d S e r v i c e s T a x ( C G S T ) : £ 3 4 5 b n ; S t a t e G o o d s a n d S e r v i c e s T a x (SGST): £4 37 bn; Integrated G o o d s a n d S e r v i c e s T a x (IGST): £8 79 bn, including £ 4 0 3 b n c o l l e c t e d o n imported goods; Cess: £1 22 b n , i n c l u d i n g £ 9 9 6 m n c o l l e c t e d o n i m p o r t e d goods Ambani takes 26% stake in Adani's MP power project In a ‘ po wer ’ deal, M ukesh A m ban i 's R eli a nc e Industries will p urchase 26% stake in Mahan Energ en, a wh olly ow ned subsidiary o f G au ta m A d a ni s A d ani P ow er fo r £ 5 m i llio n and will source 500 megawatt o f electricity from the Mad hya P ra d es h p l ant fo r i ts re qu i re m en ts T h e d e v el o p m en t, th a nks to I nd i a ’ s ele ct ri c it y r ul es , bring s the tw o corp orates i nt o an ex cl u s iv e p o w e r arrangement fo r 20 years A d a n i P o w e r s a i d o n e unit of the 600 MW capacity of its Mahan thermal power p l a n t i n M a d h y a P r a d e s h w i l l b e d e s i g n a t e d a s a c a p t i v e u n i t i n l i n e w i t
Mukesh Ambani & Gautam Adani
U N M ’ s j o u r n e y f r o m b e i n g a m e d i c a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e f o r S w i s s
t t e r - t h a n - e x p e c t e d quarterly GDP growth of 8 4 % i n t h e D e c e m b e r quarter “Even as we expect a m i l d s l o w d o w n i n A s i a n E M e c o n o m i e s , w e g e n e r a l l y s e e s o l i d domestic demand growth and a pick-up in exports to drive robust growth, with I n d i a , I n d o n e s i
E c o n o m i c O u t l o o k A s i aP a c i f i c Q 2 2 0 2 4 : A P A C B i d e s I t s T i m e O n Monetary Policy Easing R e s t r i c t i v e i n t e r e s t rates are likely to weigh on demand in next financial y e a r , w h i l e r e g u l a t o r y actions to tame unsecured lending will affect credit g r o w t h A l o w e r f i s c a l d e f i c i t w i l l a l s o d a m p e n growth It expects RBI to cut rates by June this year “We forecast rate cuts o f u p t o 7 5 b p s ( I n d i a , I n d o n e s i a , N e w Z e a l a n d , and the Philippines) this year (which for India is the f i s c a l y e a r ) , w i t h t h e m e d i a n r e d u c t i o n o f 5 0 b p s I n l i n e w i t h o u r p r o j e c t i o n f o r U S p o l i c y r a t e s , w e l a r g e l y
e x p e c

Biden makes first contact with Pak PM Shehbaz

I S L A M A B A D : M a rki n g t h e f i rs t o ff i ci al com munication with a Pakistani prem ier in years, US P resident Joe Bid en has d ashed o ff a letter to P M Shehbaz Sharif expressing continuous sup port and highligh ted that th e ties between the two nations are critical fo r bilateral and reg ional peace and security

President Biden’s letter broke with tradition of not engaging with any of the prime ministers in Pakistan during his tenure; he neither telephoned former PM Imran Khan after his election victory nor spoke to Sharif w h e n h e s u c c e e d e d h i m i n A p r i l 2 0 2 2 , Express Tribune said

T h e d e v e l o p m e n t c o m e s w e e k s a f t e r Sharif took oath as the country’s PM for a second time earlier this month after a controversial election that his rival Khan dubbed as “rigged ” Khan had also openly accused the US of orchestrating his downfall after he was removed through a vote of no confi-

dence in April 2022

“The enduring partnership between our nations remains critical to ensuring the security of our people - and people around the world -and US will continue to stand with Pakistan to tackle the most pressing global and regional challenges of our time,”

a c c o r d i n g t o t h e c o n t e n t s o f t h e l e t t e r , shared by US embassy

China signs 9 pacts as Lankan PM holds talks with Xi Jinping, Li Qiang

BE IJ ING/ C OL OM BO: Ch ina and Sri L anka last week sig ned nine new agreements as P rim e Minister Dinesh Gunaw ardena met C hinese Presid ent Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qing amid Co lom bo ’ s efforts to restru cture and reviv e its bankrupt econo my

In his meeting with Gunawardena, Xi called for consolidation of friendly relations between China and Sri Lanka which he said serves the fundamental interests and reflects the common expectations of the two peoples

China is willing to work with Sri Lanka to carry forward the spirit of the RubberRice Pact, which is characterised by “independence, self-reliance, unity and mutual support,” to consolidate political mutual trust, enhance exchanges of experience in governance, expand practical cooperation, and advance the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, Xi said

H e n o t e d t h a t C h i n a a n d S r i L a n k a should join hands to advance their strategic cooperative partnership featuring sincere mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship, an official press release said

Earlier, Gunawardena held talks with Premier Li during which the Chinese leader assured Beijing’s support to Colombo’s debt restructuring process as the island nation tries to resurrect its bankrupt economy Gunawardena, who is on an official tour of China, met Li in Beijing, a statement from

Pak SC to hear case against ‘ISI interference’ in judicial matters

IS L A M A BA D: After backlash and criticism , P akistan’ s SC decided to hear th e case abou t a stu nning letter by six HC judges abou t alleged interference in judicial matters by the country’s po werful intelligence agencies

T h e d ec is i o n co m es a fte r g o v t ea rli e r appo inted a o ne-member comm issio n h eaded by form er ch ief SC j usti ce T assad uq Hussain Jillani to hold an inquiry into the allegations levelled by th e jud ges and su bm it its report in 60 d ays

Jillani had, however, declined to head the commission The govt had drawn criticism from the opposition, as well as lawyers who wanted the apex court to use its special suo motu powers to hear the case based on allegations After the backlash, top court set up a seven-member bench to hear the case It was not clear if the probe commission announced by govt would continue its proc e e d i n g s P T I c h i e f G o h a r K h a n , w h o s e party had objected to the commission, welcomed the move by SC but demanded that the number of judges should be increased

the Sri Lankan prime minister’s office said

The two premiers also witnessed the signing of nine new agreements between China and Sri Lanka, it said without providing any details

C h i n a i s S r i L a n k a ’ s l a r g e s t b i l a t e r a l lender owning 52 per cent of the USD 40 bill i o n e x t e r n a l d e b t w h e n S r i L a n k a announced its sovereign default in 2022

The Chinese assurance comes days after t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l M o n e t a r y F u n d ( I M F ) , which concluded its second review of the USD 2 9 billion bailout with Sri Lanka, said reaching an agreement with the country’s c o m m e r c i a l c r e d i t o r s , t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l bondholders and China Development Bank was the key to achieving debt sustainability

Court suspends jail term for Imran, wife in Toshakhana case

I SLAM ABAD: I slam abad h igh cou rt Monday sus pended ex-P akis tan P M Im ran K han’s and wife Bush ra Bibi’s 14-year sentences in th e Tos hakhana case rel ated to selling state gifts he received while in off ice A trial c ourt had sentenc ed th em on Jan 31 th is year, jus t a week before the Feb 8 general el ectio ns Des pite th e sus pensions, Im ran (7 1) will not be released as he was convic ted in two oth er cas es HC said the Toshakhana sentences would remain suspended until it decided Imran’s appeal case after the Eid holidays that begin in 10 days The trial court had also barred Imran and Bushra from holding any public office for 10 years and slapped a fine of Pak Rs 787 million ($2 8 million) each

The case against Imran and his wife was f i l e d b y N a t i o n a l A c c o u n t a b i l i t y B u r e a u (NAB), Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog, last Dec accusing the couple for retaining a jewellery set received from the Saudi crown prince against an undervalued assessment NAB claimed Imran and his wife received a total of 108 gifts from various heads of state and foreign dignitaries when he was PM from 2018 to 2022

Pak arrests 12 people behind terror attack on Chinese nationals

I SLAM ABA D: At l eas t 12 p eo ple, inclu ding th e mas term ind, have been arrested in connection with l ast week’s su ic ide bombing that killed f iv e C hines e na tional s and th eir Pak is tani driver in t he restive Khy ber P akht unkh wa p rovince of Pakistan, o fficials said

T h e K h y b e r - P a k h t u n k h w a C o u n t e r -

T e r r o r i s m D e p a r t m e n t ( C T D ) , w h i c h launched a probe into the attack, blamed the banned Tehreeke-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant group for the assault The attack took place when the Chinese engineers were en route from Islamabad to their camp in D a s u , t h e h e a d q u a r t e r s o f t h e U p p e r Kohistan district of the province, when a s u i c i d e b o m b e r r a m m e d h i s e x p l o s i v erigged car into their vehicle in Bisham area of Shangla district A report submitted by CTD said over a dozen militants and facilitators of the attack were arrested in multiple raids carried out by authorities China jo ins probe

Chinese investigators arrived in Pakistan to join a probe into last week's suicide attack in Bisham which claimed the lives of six people, including five Chinese nationals

The five Chinese engineers - and their Pakistani driver - were killed in the suicide b o m b i n g w h i l e t r a v e l l i n g b e t w e e n Islamabad and a hydroelectric dam cons t r u c t i o n s i t e i n D a s u i n K h y b e r Pakhtunkhwa The bus was attacked in the Bisham city of KP’s Shangla district The attack prompted China to demand a thorough probe into the deadly blast and security for its citizens In response, Islamabad announced a swift probe to hold the “ perpetrators and accomplices” accountable

Taliban edict to resume stoning women to death met with horror

K A BU L : Th e Taliban’s announcement th at it is resuming publicly stoning women to death has been enabled by the international com munity’s silence, hum an rig hts g rou ps have said

Safia Arefi, a lawyer and head of the Afghan human rights organisation Women’s Window of Hope, said the announcement had condemned Afghan women to return to the darkest days of Taliban rule in the 1990s “ W i t h t h i s a n n o u n c e m e n t b y t h e Taliban leader, a new chapter of private punishments has begun and Afghan women are experiencing the depths of loneliness,” Arefi said “Now, no one is standing beside them to save them from Taliban punishments The international community has chosen to remain silent in the face of these violations of women ’ s rights ” T h e T a l i b a n ’ s s u p r e m e l e a d e r , Hibatullah Akhundzada, announced at the weekend that the group would begin enforci n g i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f s h a r i a l a w i n Afghanistan, including reintroducing the public flogging and stoning of women for adultery

In an audio broadcast on the Talibancontrolled Radio Television Afghanistan, Akhundzada said: “We will flog the women we will stone them to death in public [for adultery]

“You may call it a violation of women ’ s rights when we publicly stone or flog them for committing adultery because they conflict with your democratic principles,” he said, adding: “[But] I represent Allah, and you represent Satan ”

He justified the move as a continuation of the Taliban’s struggle against western influences “The Taliban’s work did not end with the takeover of Kabul, it has only just begun,” he said The news was met by horror but not surprise by Afghan women ’ s right groups, who say the dismantling of any remaining rights and protection for the country’s 14 million women and girls is now almost complete


Harshkumar Ramanlal Patel, 28, who has been accused of smuggling people across the US-Canada border into Minnesota, including the Gujarati family that froze to death on the border in 2022 has entered a plea of ‘not guilty ’ Dubbed as “Dirty Harry ” Patel entered his plea via teleconference with US Magistrate Judge Leo Brisbois The driver hired by Patel Steven Shand has also pleaded not guilty Unsealed court papers connect Patel with a human trafficking group based in the Indian state of Gujarat The group allegedly would get Indian nationals into Canada on student visas, then move them on to the Chicago area, the report said


Dr TN Subramaniam, an eminent mathematician of Indian origin and creator of Route One company and server for General Motors, passed away in Michigan He was 76 Subramaniam, who migrated to the US in 1979 was renowned in academic circles in India and the US He leaves behind him a rich legacy of mathematical models and theories for the world of maths He was hired by General Motors to build mathematical models for GM cars Later he founded the Route One company for the automotive manufacturing company, which handles auto-financing for all GM cars and GPS systems He was the architect of the server for the site for General Motors in Troy, Michigan, in the US Subramaniam is survived by wife, daughter, and son-in-law, who work for the Biden administration in the state of Maryland in the US


Paljit Singh Paul Lalvani of New York was caught at Delhi Airport for smuggling a wildlife trophy , a police official said A wildlife trophy refers to an animal or its head skin, or any other body part that the hunter keeps as a souvenir The Indian American was apprehended on March 24 while attempting to transport a suspicious wildlife trophy presumed to be from an antelope/carved species, out of India Despite being initially booked under the Customs Act, 1962, Lalvani’s case was later directed to the Wildlife Department by the Duty Magistrate Patiala House Court Lalvani was handed over to the Customs Officials and they booked him under relevant sections of the Customs Act, 1962


A Pakistani man who allegedly filmed his brother strangling their sister to death has been arrested as part of the latest “honour” killing that has outraged the country, police said Maria Bibi, 22, was killed on March 17, allegedly by her brother Muhammad Faisal and in the presence of her father Abdul Sattar, near Toba Tek Singh town in the central-eastern province of Punjab A video filmed by the woman’s other brother Shehbaz, and which has gone viral, appears to show Faisal strangling the girl on a bed in the family home while their father sat nearby At one point, the video appears to show Shehbaz saying father, tell him to let go , but is rebuffed as his brother continues to strangle the motionless body for more than two minutes When Faisal is done, his father offers him water to drink

20 6 - 12 April 2024 in brief
www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
Shehbaz Sharif and Joe Biden Dinesh Gunawardena and Xi Jinping


A Pakistani court convicted 51 supporters of former PM Imran Khan for five years of rigorous imprisonment on two counts for their involvement in attacking key military installations last year In May last year, Khan s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters had allegedly attacked several military installations, including the army headquarters in Rawalpindi and the ISI building in Faisalabad, to vent their anger against the arrest of their party founder in a corruption case This is the first conviction in the cases registered against the PTI leaders, workers and supporters in connection with the May 9 riots in the country, mostly in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces


The bodies of eight migrants, apparently from Asia, were found after a boat accident off Mexico's southern Pacific coast, authorities said Prosecutors in the southern state of Oaxaca said one survivor, an Asian man, was located Based on preliminary investigations the dead appeared to have been from Asia they said The bodies were found near a beach in the town of Playa Vicente which is about 400 km east of Mexico s border with Guatemala The causes of the boat accident were under investigation The area is a key route for migrants seeking to cross Mexico to reach the US border


Thailand’s House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would legalise same sex marriage, bringing the measure a significant step closer to becoming law The bill passed 400-10, with a handful of abstentions, and now the legislation goes to the Senate If it passes there, and if Thailand’s king approves it, the country will become the first in Southeast Asia to recognize same-sex marriages In Asia more broadly only Taiwan and Nepal have done so Thailand’s bill describes marriage as a partnership between two individuals rather than between a woman and a man


A Molotov cocktail was thrown at a store belonging to a Malaysian chain that had offered socks bearing the word Allah for sale

The incident came days after the mini-market chain s executives were charged with hurting religious feelings over the sale of the socks at another of its stores Wan Mohamad Zahari Wan Busu, police chief in Kuantan city in Malaysia’s east, said the KK Supermart branch had been hit just before dawn, causing a small fire at the entrance He said the attack was “still under probe, but we’re not denying that it may be related to the incident involving stockings with the word Allah” 4 killed in Illinois stabbing spree


An 8-year-old girl was the sole survivor after a bus carrying 46 people on their way to an Easter weekend pilgrimage in South Africa plunged 165 feet from abridge into a ravine and burst into flames, according to a local department of transportation The bus was travelling from Botswana to Moria, a religious pilgrimage site in South Africa s northeast when it careered off a bridge winding through the Mmamatlakala mountain pass after the driver “lost control,” the department said Forty-five people including the driver, were killed The girl was receiving medical attention at a nearby hospital The child was in serious condition, according to a govt statement

Biden campaign woos Haley voters as poll shows Trump ignores them

has released

ad m aking a di rect ap peal to Nikki Haley voters to j oin the Bid en-Harris coalition The 30second spot, “S av e A merica Join Us,” high lig hts Do nald Trump’ s repeated insults o f Nikki Haley and her supp orters - and u nd erscores h is activ e refusal of th eir support In th e ad , Trump tells a reporter asking how he plans to bring Haley v oters into his column, “I’m not sure w e need too many ”

“Donald Trump has made it

c r y s t a l c l e a r h e d o e s n ’ t w a n t support from voters who cast their ballot for Nikki Haley so let us be equally clear: there is a home for everyone on this camp a i g n w h o k n o w s D o n a l d Trump cannot be back in the W h i t e H o u s e , ” s a i d C o m m u n i c a t i o n s D i r e c t o r

among those supporting Nikki Haley, nearly half in its exit poll o f O h i o ’ s G O P p r i m a r y s a i d t h e y ’ d b a c k J o e B i d e n i n November

Despite Trump having sewn up his party’s nomination, ABC News said, 20% of Ohio GOP primary voters would be dissatisfied with Trump as the nominee, while 22% said he lacks the temperament to serve effectively and 28% said he wouldn’t be fit for office if convicted of a crime

Using the recent Republican primary results to determine the ad’s placement, this seven-figure, video-centric ad flight will run for three weeks in eight key b a t t l e g r o u n d s t a t e s , t a r g e t i n g Nikki Haley voters in predomin a n t l y s u b u r b a n Z I P c o d e s w h e r e s h e p e r f o r m e d w e l l against Trump The ad will run across a wide array of digital p l a t f o r m s i n c l u d i n g M e t a , Y o u T u b e , c o n n e c t e d T V , a n d online video

ABC News has reported that two in ten to as many as three in ten Republican primary voters in O h i o c o n t i n u e d t o r e s i s t Trump’s 2024 candidacy - and

We don’t feel safe in Canada, Hindu advocacy group tells Canadian PM

O TTA W A: Urging pri me mini st er J us ti n Tru dea u to ke ep Canada free from “the glorific ation of terrorism”, a prominent Hindu advocacy group in the country said that Ottawa’ s current politi cal discourse regarding India’ s alleged i nterference in the country further emboldens extremis t elements

In a letter addressed to PM T r u d e a u , t h e H i n d u F o r u m Canada (HFC) said that despite the community’s positive contributions, they don’t feel safe in the country and their conc e r n s h a v e r e m a i n e d “ u n a ddressed”

“ w e d o n ’ t f e e l s a f e i n C a n a d a O u r c o m m u n i t y expresses deep concern about our safety and security amid the ongoing political controversies

s u r r o u n d i n g a l l e g e d f o r e i g n (India) interference in Canada,” HFC said in its letter

“We, as Canadian Hindus, a r e d e e p l y t r o u b l e d b y t h e remarks of organisations such as Sikhs for Justice and its leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun Regrettably, our concerns have n o t b e e n a d d r e s s e d b y Canadian authorities,” the letter, written on behalf of Hindus in the country, added

Indian crew being interviewed by US officials over bridge collapse

B A LTI M O RE : The N at i on a l T ra n s p or t a t ion S af e ty B oa r d (NTSB) has been interviewing the s hip’s c aptain, f irs t m ate, chief engineer, and one other engineer onboa rd the m erchant ves sel M V

D al i, whi ch s t ruc k B al t im or e ’ s Francis Scott K ey Bridge, NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy sa id at a pres s conferenc e Providing an update on the collapse of the bridge, Hornandy said there were 21 crew members, and two pilots onboard the Singapore-based Dali cargo ship when it crashed Marcel Muise, t h e N a t i o n a l T r a n s p o r t a t i o n S a f e t y B o a r d i n v e s t i g a t o r i n charge, said that the recordings in what is equivalent to an airline’s box were in a foreign language and are currently being analyzed A s t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n p r oceeds, Deputy Commandant for Operations for the US Coast G u a r d , V i c e A d m i r a l P e t e r G a u t i e r , h i g h l i g h t e d t h a t t h e crew, predominantly Indian and a few Sri Lankans, is cooperating with what they need “They’re s t i l l t h e r e a n d v e r y m u c h engaged in the dialogue and the investigation,” he said Biden p raises Ind ian crew US President Joe Biden has

commended the alertness of the Indian origin personnel aboard Dali for preventing more casualties with their mayday call " P e r s o n n e l o n b o a r d t h e s h i p were able to alert the Maryland Department of Transportation that they had lost control of their vessel As a result, local authorities were able to close the bridge to traffic before the b r i d g e w a s s t r u c k , w h i c h undoubtedly saved lives," Biden said during his comments at the White House

Pannun, declared a ‘design a t e d i n d i v i d u a l t e r r o r i s t ’ i n 2020 by New Delhi, has stepped up his anti-India rhetoric following the death of Khalistan

T i g e r F o r c e c h i e f H a r d e e p Singh Nijjar in Surrey last year

H e h a s a s k e d C a n a d i a n Hindus to leave the country followed by threats to disrupt Air India flights from Canada to I n d i a e v e n a s e x t r e m i s t e l ements targeted Hindu temples and Indian Mission with graffiti and slogans

P M T r u d e a u ’ s S e p t e m b e r last year claim on the role of Indian agents in the killing of a

At the end of the day, 18% s a i d t h e y w o u l d n ’ t s u p p o r t Trump in November, with 10% of that number preferring Biden a n d 8 % s a y i n g t h e y w o u l d n ’ t vote for either Nationally, 6% of Republicans voted for Biden in 2 0 2 0 A B C p o i n t e d o u t t h a t n o n - p a r t i c i p a t i o n b y s o m e Republicans would be a further risk for Trump

“Canadian citizen on Canadian soil” has further emboldened the stance of Pannun and other extremist groups operating in the country, says the group

“The current political discourse regarding India’s alleged interference in Canada exacerb a t e s t h e s i t u a t i o n , f u r t h e r e m b o l d e n i n g e x t r e m i s t e l ements,” the letter read

Canada tightens post-graduate work permit norms for international students

O TT A WA : The Canadian go vernment said th at international stu d ents enro ling fo r sp eci fic college prog ramm es would face rev ised eligibility for p ost-g raduation wo rk permits in C anada

T h e ti g h te ne d n o rm s , w h i c h were slated to kick in at a later d

Saudi Arabia to participate in Miss Universe pageant for the first time


R IY A DH: Saudi Ar abia will par ticipate in Miss U nive rse 2024 for the first t ime in the pag ean t’s h ist or y Rumy Alqa htan i, a 27-y ea r-old

Riy adh-born mod el and con ten t cre ator , will re prese nt Sa udi Ara bia at the pa gea nt

“I am honoured to participate in the Miss Universe 2024 competition This marks the first participation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Miss Universe pageant,” Alqahtani posted on her Instagram account

Alqahtani follows Lujane Yacoub, who represented Bahrain in the Miss Universe pageant last year, becoming the first woman from the Gulf region to do so The Miss Universe pageant this year will be held in Mexico, and will also see Iran debuting

Besides being crowned Miss Saudi Arabia, Alqahtani also holds titles of Miss Middle East (Saudi Arabia), Miss Arab World Peace 2021, and Miss Woman (Saudi Arabia) She has represented Saudi Arabia previously in multiple international pageants, including Miss Asia in Malaysia, Miss Arab Peace and Miss Europe

mence on September 1, 2024, the Canadian government has advanced the implementation of changes to the eligibility criteria

The new set of rules will be e n f o r c e d s t a r t i n g M a y 1 5 , according to the Canadian government The graduates from college programmes delivered through a public-private curriculum licencing arrangement will no longer qualify for postgraduation work permits, under the revised rules

T h i s m e a n s t h a t s t u d e n t s enroling in such programmes on or after May 15, 2024, will be ineligible for this permit upon completing their studies

However, graduates will still retain ways to seek work permits for post-graduation They c a n p u r s u e o p t i o n s s u c h a s applying for a work permit supp o r t e d b y a n e m p l o y e r ' s approved labour market impact a s s e s s m e n t , p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r occupations which are facing labour shortages in Canada

To aid students in identifying eligible colleges and institut i o n s , I m m i g r a t i o n , R e f u g e e s and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) maintains a designated learning institute list

21 6 - 12 April 2024 in brief
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A S H I N G T O N : T h e B i d enHarris
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INDIA Bloc raises voice for detained leaders, equal ground

In a show of unity, ‘INDIA’ bloc leaders cam e togeth er at ‘lo ktantra bach ao ’ ( save d em ocracy) rally in Delhi on S und ay and attacked NDA g ovt fo r being “dictatorial” a nd “ m i su s i ng ” E D and o t h er c en tra l ag e nc i es t o “ r ig ” L o k S a bh a p o l ls by g etting its o pponents jailed and bank accounts of parties sealed At the Ramlila Maidan r a l l y - a l m o s t a l l ‘ I N D I A ’ parties attended it - held a g a i n s t t h e b a c k d r o p o f Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest and amid tensions in some states o v e r a l l i a n c e s e a t - s h a r i n g , l e a d e r s d e m a n d e d i m m e d i a t e r e l e a s e o f t h e Delhi CM and Jharkhand exCM Hemant Soren, an SCmonitored SIT probe into B J P ’ s “ e x t o r t i o n ” t h r o u g h electoral bonds and a “levelplaying field” for upcoming elections

R a h u l G a n d h i o f Congress accused PM Modi o f t r y i n g t o e n g a g e i n e l e c t o r a l “ m a t c h - f i x i n g a l o n g w i t h t h r e e - f o u r b i l l i o n a i r e s t o s n a t c h C o n s t i t u t i o n f r o m p o o r ” H e s a i d , “ W h o s e l e c t e d

u m p i r e s ( f o r p o l l s ) ? Narendra Modi chose the umpires ” Rahul said, “Before the match started, two players from our team were arrested and put inside What kind of elections are these? Govts are toppled by using money p o w e r , l e a d e r s a r e t h r e a t e n e d a n d a r r e s t e d ”

H e h i g h l i g h t e d h i s o w n p a r t y ’ s c a s e s a y i n g , “ C o n g r e s s i s t h e b i g g e s t opposition party and all its accounts have been frozen at a time the party has to run a campaign and send leaders

i n s t a t e s a m i d s t t h e L o k Sabha polls ” “ E C m u s t s t o p t h e

coercive action by I-T, ED and CBI against opposition

p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s a i m e d a t manipulating the elections

C o e r c i v e a c t i o n t o f i n a n c i a l l y s t r a n g u l a t e

p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s i n t h e

o p p o s i t i o n d u r i n g t h e e l e c t i o n s m u s t s t o p immediately,” stated the 5point demand charter read out by Congress’s Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

C o n g r e s s w a s r e p r e s e n t e d b y t h e e n t i r e Gandhi family (Sonia, Rahul

a n d P r i y a n k a ) a n d p a r t y

p r e s i d e n t M a l i k a r j u n K h a r g e a n d o t h e r s e n i o r l e a d e r s O t h e r a t t e n d e e s i n c l u d e d N C P ’ s S h a r a d

P a w a r , S h i v S e n a ( U B T )

U d d h a v T h a c k e r a y , T r i n a m o o l C o n g r e s s ’ s


Yadav (SP), Farooq Abdullah (J&K National Conference),

Champai Soren and Punjab

C M B h a n g w a n t M a n n (AAP), among others Left

p a r t i e s l e a d e r s S i t a r a m Yechury, D Raja, Dipankar

B h a t t a c h a r y a w e r e a l s o p r e s e n t C M s o f W e s t Bengal and Tamil Nadu , Mamata Banerjee and M K Stalin, were represented by Derek O’Brien and Tiruchi Siva respectively

Patanjali ads: SC rejects Ramdev's apology, warns against perjury

The Supre me Cour t on Tuesday tore i n to Pa t a nj a l i Ay u rv e d s de fe n ce for putting out misl eading advert isement s, r ejecting the apology from y og a gur u R a m d e v a n d t h e f ir m 's m a n a g in g d i r e ct o r Ac ha r y a B a l k r is hn a a s ' l i p s e r v ic e ' a n d w a r n e d t h e m a g a i n st per jur y

The bench, headed by Justice Hima K o h l i , a l s o q u e s t i o n e d t h e C e n t r e ' s a l l e g e d i n a c t i o n o v e r P a t a n j a l i ' s t a l l claims about the efficacy of its products and denigrating allopathy during the C o v i d p e a k a n d a s k e d w h y t h e g o v e r n m e n t c h o s e t o k e e p i t s ' e y e s shut'

Both Ramdev and Balkrishna were present in court in connection with show cause notices on why contempt p r o c e e d i n g s s h o u l d n o t b e i n i t i a t e d against them

The bench, also comprising Justice A h s a n u d d i n A m a n u l l a h , p o s t e d t h e matter for hearing on April 10 and said Ramdev and Balkrishna have to appear again Giving them a last one week opportunity to file affidavits, it took strong note of their 'absolute defiance' i n n o t a d h e r i n g t o t h e u n d e r t a k i n g given before it in the case filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA)

"You have to abide by undertaking given to court and you have broken every barrier," the bench said Sternly

reprimanding Ramdev and his number two Balkrishna, Justice Kohli said the court was taking their apology with a 'sack full of salt'

The bench also warned Patanjali, Ramdev and Balkrishna that it would t a k e n o t e o f ' p e r j u r y ' a s c e r t a i n d o c u m e n t s , w h i c h w e r e s a i d t o b e a t t a c h e d w i t h o t h e r p a p e r s , w e r e created later on "This is a clear case of perjury We are not closing the doors on you but we are telling all that we have noted," the bench said Patanjali Ayurved Ltd assured the top court on November 21 last year that it will not violate any law, especially t h o s e r e l a t i n g t o a d v e r t i s i n g o r branding of products manufactured and marketed by it

It also assured the bench that 'no casual statements claiming medicinal e f f i c a c y o r a g a i n s t a n y s y s t e m o f medicine will be released to the media in any form ' The top court had said Patanjali Ayurved Ltd is 'bound down to such assurance'

The non-observance of the specific u n d e r t a k i n g a n d s u b s e q u e n t m e d i a statements irked the bench, which later issued the show cause notices

O n T u e s d a y , t h e c o u r t s t r o n g l y disapproved of Balkrishna's statement that the Drugs and Cosmetics (Magic R e m e d i e s ) A c t i s ' a r c h a i c ' a n d s a i d

Patanjali Ayurved's advertisements were in the 'teeth of the Act' and violated with impunity the undertaking given to the court The bench warned Ramdev and Balkrishna to be ready to face the consequences

"Your apology is not persuading this court really to accept it We think it is more of a lip service," Justice Kohli told the counsel representing the Patanjali Ayurved MD

Senior advocate Vipin Sanghi, the counsel representing Patanjali, said the firm's media department was not aware o f t h e f a c t t h a t t h e t o p c o u r t h a d r e s t r a i n e d i t f r o m c o n t i n u i n g w i t h advertisements or branding of products manufactured and marketed by it which are meant to cure diseases, disorders or conditions specified in the Act

" M r S a n g h i , o n c e i t i s a c o u r t p r o c e e d i n g a n d t h e r e a r e s p e c i f i c undertaking given by you to the court, whose duty is to convey it to entire

Action against corrupt will continue, says PM Modi

P M Nar end ra M o d i o n S u nd ay s ai d th a t h is g o v t w o u ld c o nt i nu e to ta ke ac ti o n ag ain st th e c o rru p t and attem pt to scare will not succeed, fram ing o nce again th e L ok Sabha contest as a battle between the “corrupt” and tho se taking efforts to remo ve co rruptio n


A d d r e s s i n g a r a l l y i n Meerut soon after the INDIA bloc accused him of misusing the central agencies to fix elections by getting opposition leaders arrested, Modi said: “The corrupt should know that no matter how viciously they attack Modi, he is unstoppable However big the corrupt are, action will take place The one who has looted the country will have to return it and this is Modi’s guarantee ”

He dismissed opposition’s allegations as rants of those feeling jittery over his action against the corrupt and said: “When I’m taking action against corruption, some people are upset and losing their senses Modi’s mantra is ‘bhrashtachar hatao’ (eradicate corruption) ”

They say ‘bhrashtachari bachao’ (save the corrupt) This election is a battle between two sides One is NDA - the arena to remove corruption Second is the field to save the corrupt Now you have to decide if the corrupt need to be saved or corruption needs to go ”

“When Modi with all his strength started to remove corruption, these people allied to form ‘INDIA’ alliance They think Modi is afraid of them, but for me my ‘Bharat’ is my family It is because of this fight that the biggest of the corrupt are behind bars and they are not getting respite even from Supreme Court,” he further said

This was his first rally after the declaration of candidates; also the first one he addressed with the newly-recruited ally, RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary, and other NDA constituents

Seeking support for NDA candidates from five constituencies of western UP - Meerut, Baghpat, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar and Kairana - Modi said that in its two terms, his govt had pulled off feats: from construction of Ram Mandir and abrogation of Article 370 to banning of triple talaq, which were considered impossible “This year, Ram Lalla also played Holi in Awadh with great gusto,” he said in an allusion to the consecration of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya

But it was corruption which emerged as the main theme of the speech "You must have seen on TV that currency notes are being recovered from beds and walls Recently, currency p a c k e t s w e r e f o u n d i n s i d e a w a s h i n g m a c h i n e D u r i n g Congress rule, money of the poor and small investors were looted I have recovered £1 7 billion and returned to those who lost it ”

S h a r i n g t h e s t a g e w i t h R L D c h i e f , P M p r a i s e d h i s grandfather and ex-PM Chaudhary Charan Singh who was awarded the Bharat Ratna by his govt a day ago "The INDIA alliance, which hates farmers, did not give due respect to Chaudhary sahab They are anti-farmers,” the PM told the gathering which comprised many members of the agrarian community

Will boost cervical cancer research in next term, says PM Modi

the teeth of the undertaking given

After polls, J&K police alone will handle law and order: Shah

H ome minister Amit Shah said the N arendra Modi govt has prepared a s e v e n- y e a r b l ue pr i n t u n de r wh i c h c entral troops will be pulled back from l aw an d or der duti es i n J amm u & K a s hm i r , le a vi n g J & K p ol i c e exclusively in charge of that domain H e al so sa id as se mbl y e lec tion s in Kashmir would be c ompleted before Sept 30 “ T h e p l a n i s a l r e a d y u n d e r i m p l e m e n t a t i o n w e h a v e b e e n strengthening J&K police, which are now leading all anti-terror operations

with central forces in a supporting r o l e E a r l i e r , J & K p o l i c e w e r e n o t trusted by the establishment in Delhi

We have brought a qualitative change in J&K police they are now in the forefront of all operations, earlier the Army and central forces were taking the lead,” Shah said in an interview to J&K-based channel Gulistan News Shah said post-election, taking the blueprint further, “ we will surely hand over law and order duties entirely to J&K police while the (central) troops gradually return to the barracks” He

also declared that with the situation in J&K getting normal, “ we will soon consider reviewing the coverage of

A r m e d F o r c e s S p e c i a l P o w e r s A c t (AFSPA) there”

T h e m i n i s t e r s a i d a s s e m b l y

e l e c t i o n s i n K a s h m i r w o u l d b e

completed before Sept 30, in line with t h e o r d e r p a s s e d b y t h e S u p r e m e Court “Restoring full democracy in J a m m u & K a s h m i r i s M o d i j i ’ s

a s s u r a n c e g i v e n o n t h e f l o o r o f

Parliament and will be fulfilled,” he added

P rime M inister Narendra M odi, during an interaction w ith M ic ro s o f t c o- f o u nd e r B il l G ate s, exp r es se d h i s g o v t’ s c o m m itm e nt to a llo ca ting fu nd s to s ci enti st s f or lo ca l research in cervical cancer, while em phasising the need to d ev elop v accines at m inim al costs to ensure all g irls across th e country are v accinated against the disease

Modi said, should the NDA govt be voted back to take the helm at the Centre, his priority will be to significantly invest in this research “to safeguard the lives of India’s daughters In the coming days, I want to talk about cervical cancer, especially for our daughters I want to give a budget to our scientists in India And I want to tell them to do local research on this as well and make a vaccine And with very little money, I want to vaccinate all the daughters in my country I am working in that direction these days ”

Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in women in India The top five cancers among Indian women were found to be those of the breast, cervix, ovary, mouth and colorectum The top five cancers among men were those of the oral cavity, lung, oesophagus, colorectum and stomach

Last September, Serum Institute of India chief executive officer Adar Poonwala had said that the company ’ s cervical cancer vaccine would be available in the range of ₹200-400

Imported vaccines cost anywhere between ₹2,000 to ₹3,500 per dose, which is nearly 10 times the expected price of the indigenously-developed vaccine

22 6 - 12 April 2024
www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
e r e k O ’ B r i e n , A k h i l e s h
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No coercive action against Cong till polls, taxmen assure SC

Days after issuing notices to C ongress raising demand of aro und £3 50 mn, income tax d ep ar tm e nt o n M o nd ay as sured S up rem e C ou rt it w ould no t take any coercive step s to recov er th e amou nt as it d id not want to cause any problem for the party d uring electio ns

A t t h e o u t s e t o f t h e h e a r i n g o n C o n g r e s s ’ s appeal against a Delhi high court order, solicitor general Tushar Mehta told a bench of Justices B V Nagarathna a n d A u g u s t i n e G e o r g e M a s i h t h a t h e w a n t e d t o make a statement on behalf of I-T department He said no further action would be taken against the opposition p a r t y d u r i n g t h e o n g o i n g general elections He said the case could be posted for hearing after June 4 when t h e r e s u l t s o f L o k S a b h a polls would be declared He s a i d h e w o u l d o p p o s e

Congress’s claim then “ S i n c e e l e c t i o n s a r e going on, we do not want to create any problem for the p a r t y W e w i l l n o t t a k e action for recovery of the amount and the case could be heard in the second week of June,” he told the bench

The bench was hearing an appeal filed by Congress in 2018 against a 2016 judgment of Delhi HC In the appeal, the party had moved an interim application seek-

i n g s t a y o f t h e d e m a n d notices issued by I-T department in March

I n i t i a l l y , M e h t a s a i d notices had been issued for

recovery of £170 mn but s e n i o r a d v o c a t e Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the total amount

w a s a r o u n d £ 3 5 0 m n which was accepted by the SG Singhvi appreciated the I-T departm e n t f o r i t s g r a c i o u s a p p r o a c h T h e c o u r t n o t e d I - T d e p a r t m e n t ’ s stand; the matter has been listed for hearing on July 24

Mehta said although the p r e s e n t a p p e a l w a s n o t r e l a t e d t o t h e r e c e n t t a x notices issued to Congress, I-T department has decided to defer coercive steps in view of impending elections

The court also clarified that t h e c o n c e s s i o n b y I - T department was made without prejudice to the right and the contention of the d e p a r t m e n t a n d t h e £ 3 5 0 mn demand was not strictly relatable to the controversy in this appeal

Extreme heat likely in most of India in April-June, predicts IMD

M ost par ts of India ar e like ly t o fa ce a se a r in g sum me r wit h m ore hea t wav e day s d ur ing Apr il-Jun e but cert ain pock et s of n orth-we st In dia, includin g Delhi-NCR, will be comp ara tive ly bet ter o f f w it h In d ia M ete orolog ica l Depa rtm ent ( IMD) pr edictin g “ n ormal t o b e lo w -n o r m a l” d a y ( m a x im um ) te mpera ture s for the r e g i on d ur in g t h e t h r e em on th pe riod

R e l e a s i n g i t s s e a s o n a l outlook for April-June, IMD even predicted “normal to below-normal” night (minimum) temperatures for isolated areas in north-east and north-west India, including Delhi-NCR Most parts of n o r t h - w e s t I n d i a a r e a l s o l i k e l y t o h a v e “ n o r m a l t o a b o v e - n o r m a l r a i n f a l l ” i n


The situation, however, w i l l b e d i f f e r e n t i n o t h e r parts of the country during the April-June period IMD

s a i d w h i l e m o s t p a r t s o f India may face hotter days, central and western penins u l a r p a r t s m a y f a c e t h e worst impact of “above normal” temperatures Earth sciences minister

K i r e n R i j i j u s a i d e x t r e m e w e a t h e r c o n d i t i o n s w e r e anticipated in the upcoming two-and-a-half months that will coincide with the parliamentary polls “It is going to be very challenging for all of us Since we are the most p o p u l o u s c o u n t r y i n t h e w o r l d a n d f a c e e x t r e m e weather conditions, it makes it absolutely necessary for India to prepare in advance,” he said at the press confer-

PM Modi hails RBI’s financial reforms in the last ten years

A d d r e ss in g a g a t h e r in g in Mumbai to ma rk the 90th a nniversary of RB I, PM Modi s a id t h e s it u a t i on h a d c ha n g e d v a s t l y s in c e he a d d r e s se d t he b a n k e r s 1 0 y e a r s a g o a t t h e 8 0 t h a n n i v e r sa r y T he b a n k i n g sector, which struggle d with NPAs then, ha s b een t ransformed and is now genera ti n g p r of it s a n d sh ow i n g r ecord cre dit growt h, he sa id “The economy and the GDP depend on coordinat i o n b e t w e e n f i s c a l a n d monetary policy the transf o r m a t i o n i n t h e l a s t 1 0 years was possible because of the change we brought about in motives, policies and decisions,” said Modi If the motives were right, the

o u t c o m e s w o u l d a l s o b e

proper, he added

Describing the developments in the last decade as only a ‘trailer’, Modi said there was a lot of work left to be done to take the country forward “I am busy with the elections for the next 100 days You take the time to prepare now From the day after the swearing-in, there will be a lot of work to be done,” he told bankers “We must have a clear vision of the goal for the next 10 years We have to expand digital transactions, keep sight of the changes that are taking place because of digital (transformation),

a n d i m p r

ence where IMD released its seasonal outlook

T h e N a t i o n a l D i s a s t e r

M a n a g e m e n t A u t h o r i t y (NDMA) has already issued heat wave advisory for the g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s , a s k i n g

E l e c t i o n C o m m i s s i o n t o guide states and UTs in safeguarding against heat wave incidents

I M D d i r e c t o r g e n e r a l

Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said a b o v e n o r m a l h e a t w a v e days were likely over most parts in the plains during April-June Ten to 20 days of heat wave were expected in different parts of the country against a normal of four to eight days, he added

M o h a p a t r a u n d e r l i n e d

t h a t G u j a r a t , c e n t r a l

M a h a r a s h t r a , n o r t h

K a r n a t a k a , R a j a s t h a n ,

M a d h y a P r a d e s h , O d i s h a , n o r t h C h h a t t i s g a r h a n d Andhra Pradesh were likely t o e x p e r i e n c e t h e w o r s t impact of heat waves

empowerment,” said Modi

A r t i f i c i a l i n t e l l i g e n c e a n d machine learning will play a key role in taking India to the forefront in developing digital public infrastructure, even as innovation will play an important role in the 21st century, he added

The PM said the banks

w e r e c l e a n e d u p t h r o u g h r e c o g n i t i o n o f b a d l o a n s , recapitalisation with £35 billion and resolution of nonperforming assets

ing the disrespectful post made from Shrinate’s handle against Ranaut, EC said the former being chairper-

notice to Ghosh and Shrinate The

purpose, sources said, is to get the party heads to sensitise their functionaries to be careful while communicating in the public domain and refrain from making any derogatory comments or violating MCC guidelines While the posts from S h r i n a t e ’ s s o c i a l m e d i a h a n d l e s h a d t a k e n a n undignified dig at Ranaut’s c a n d i d a t u r e f r o m M a n d i (Mandi being a slang associated with immoral traffic), Ghosh had stirred the hornet’s nest by commenting on Mamata’s parentage at a press meet

Indian navy rescues 23 Pakistan crew from hijacked Iranian ship

The I ndi an Navy las t w eek res cue d a hij ack ed I rani an fi shi ng ship operated by a 23 - s tr on g Pa k i st a n i cre w

The Navy ran the ope ration for 12 h ours , employin g "i nten se coerci ve tactical me asure s" to rescue the s hip as we ll as the crew , it s aid in a s tatement Specialist teams of the Indian Navy were sanitising the Iranian ship They are also checking its seaworthiness The ship will be later escorted to its des-

t i n a t i o n s o t h a t i t c a n undertake its regular fishing activities

The Iranian-flagged FV AI-Kambar was intercepted by INS Sumedha on March 29, the Navy's statement said It was later joined by the guided missile frigate I N S T r i s h u l T h e I n d i a n Navy said the pirates on board the ship were made t o s u r r e n d e r a n d t h e P a k i s t a n i c r e w w a s r e scued

"After more than 12 hrs

of intense coercive tactical measures as per the SOPs, the pirates on board the hijacked FV were forced to surrender The crew, comprising 23 Pakistani nationals, have been safely rescued," it said "Indian Naval specialist teams are presently undertaking thorough sanitisat i o n a n d s e a w o r t h i n e s s checks of the FV in order to escort her to a safe area for r e s u m i n g n o r m a l f i s h i n g activities," the Navy added

23 6 - 12 April 2024
o v e e f f o r t
f i n a n c i a l i n c l u s i o n a n d
www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
EC raps Ghosh, Shrinate for ‘low-level personal attacks’ E l e ct i o n C o m mi s s i o n s trongly cen sured BJP MP Dili p Ghosh a nd C ongres s s p o k e s pe rs on S u p r i y a Shri nate over thei r de rogatory remarks a gain st West
e n g a l C M M a ma t a Ban er je e a nd actre ss a nd BJP cand idate from Man di K a n g a n a Ra n a u t , r e s p e ctiv ely R u l i n g t h a t t h e i m p u g n e d s t a t e m e n t s b y the politicians were “lowlevel personal attacks” and thus in violation of model c o d e o f c o n d u c t , E C , i n s e p a r a t e o r d e r s , w a r n e d t h e m t o b e c a r e f u l w i t h t h e i r p u b l i c u t t e r a n c e s
o u r c e s s a i d b o
m o n i t o r e
t h t h e i r election-related communications will hence forth be “especially and additionally
d ” b
E C f o r derogatory content
i f i c a l l y c o n d e m n
o f
e s s
s s
S p e c
n g r
o c i a l media and digital platform at national level, “is expected to know sensitivities of wider communication” E C o n M o n d a y a l s o marked to the party chiefs a copy of its warning

Tamil Nadu to deport 3 Rajiv killers to Lanka

CHE N NAI: Tamil Nadu govt informed

M adras HC that Sri Lankan de puty high c om mis sion has iss ued tem porary tr avel documents to three convic ts in the Rajiv G an dhi a s s as s in at ion c as e - Sr iha ra n a l i a s M ur u ga n , Ro b e rt P a ya s an d Jayakuma r They will be deporte d to Sri L a n ka wit h in a we e k o r on c e t he

d e po r t at i on or de r s a r e i s s u e d b y Foreigners Regional Regis tration Off ice (FRRO), additional publ ic prose cut or R

M uniyapparaj inform ed a divis ion bench

o f Ju s t ic e s R Sur e s h k um a r an d K

K um ares h Babu

T h e s u b m i s s i o n s w e r e m a d e i n response to a plea by Murugan seeking direction to the authorities of foreigners’ camp at Trichy to issue him a photo identity certificate However, recording the submissions, the bench said: “At this s t a g e , t h e q u e s t i o n o f i s s u i n g a n y separate identity card as sought for in this writ petition does not arise We feel that no order is required to be passed in t h i s w r i t p e t i t i o n a s p e r t h e p r a y e r sought for herein to give a direction to the authorities to issue an identity card to the petitioner ”

Disposing of Murugan’s petition, the


H C b e n c h s a i d t h e t r a v e l d o c u m e n t issued by Sri Lankan high commission to the petitioner itself is a valid document, “ b a s e d o n w h i c h h e c a n g e t t h e deportation order from FRRO, Chennai, and thereafter can travel back to his h o m e c o u n t r y ” T h e l a t e s t r o u n d o f litigation initiated by Murugan pertains to his bid to seek asylum in the United K i n g d o m a n d t o r e u n i t e w i t h h i s daughter Mehara, who is a UK citizen and has completed her medical physics degree there

Ever since Supreme Court set them free on Nov 11, 2022, the four freed convicts were taken to a special campus in Tiruchi prison premises as they are Lankan nationals After the death of Santhan on Feb 28, Murugan moved HC for travel documents from Sri Lankan deputy high commission in Chennai As per court orders, the trio was escorted to deputy commission on March 13

N o w t h a t n e c e s s a r y t r a v e l documents have been issued, it is to be seen if they will be deported to Sri Lanka as informed by state govt, or they will move court again to avoid being sent to Lanka

Bathinda village bans entry of BJP leaders

B A T H I ND A : A fte r th e BJ P announced to go solo in th e L ok S a bh a p o l l, p o st ers b an ni ng e ntr y o f s af fr o n o utfit’ s leaders h av e co me up i n B h uc h o K h urd v il lag e of Bathinda district

T h e p o s t e r s p u t b y t h e BKU (Dakaunda-Dhaner) read: “Kisan da Dilli jaana band hai, BJP da pind vich aana band hai ” Ranjit Singh Sandhu, chief, B h u c h o K h u r d C o m m i t t e e , BKU (Dakaunda-Dhaner), said, they had decided to oppose the BJP on the call of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SMK) over nonimplementation of demands of farmers

“When the BJP leaders will come for campaigning, we will ask them about the promises m a d e t o f a r m e r s I n s t e a d o f a c c e p t i n g d e m a n d s , f a r m e r s have been forcefully stopped by the police from heading towards Delhi,” said Sandhu, adding that roads had been barricaded by cops


“Now, the farm outfits have d e c i d e d t o o p p o s e t h e B J P leaders coming to villages We h a v e s t a r t e d t h i s c a m p a g a i n from Bhucho Khurd village,” he s a i d S h i n g a r a S i n g h M a n n , d i s t r i c t h e a d , B K U ( E k t aUgrahan), said, “We will oppose the BJP leaders They will not be allowed to enter villages ”

On March 24, farmers had protested outside the venue of t h e B J P ’ s “ b o o t h m a h o t s a v ” event in Bathinda, which led to the “cancellation” of visit of its s t a t e c h i e f S u n i l J a k h a r A s campaigning would pick up in t h e n e x t c o u p l e o f w e e k s , f a r m e r s ’ p r o t e s t w o u l d a l s o intensify in the region

Karnataka man loses £150,000 in IPL betting, wife kills self

BEN G A L UR U : The lu re of onli ne cri cket betting took a tragi c turn fo r a Karnataka fami ly, with the husband running up debts in mi llio n to fund his get- rich- qu ick

e nd e av o u r, a nd t h e wi fe , d r i ve n t o d e s p ai r b y t h e

c onstant harass ment and threats f ro m cred itors, endi ng h er life, leaving beh ind a two -year-o ld son Darshan Balu, an assistant engineer with minor

i r r i g a t i o n d e p a r t m e n t i n H o s a d u r g a i n C h i t r a d u r g a district, was allegedly trapped into wagering money on IPL games and lost around £150,000 The creditors then s t a r t i n g h a r a s s i n g h i m a n d a l l e g e d l y t h r e a t e n e d t o defame the family over unpaid dues, owing to which Darshan’s wife Ranjita V (24) died by suicide on March 19

R a n j i t a ’ s f a t h e r V e n k a t e s h M l o d g e d a p o l i c e complaint against 13 men who had allegedly lent money to Darshan, and three of them have been arrested A case of abetment to suicide has been registered against the 13 suspects Venkatesh claimed Darshan had managed to repay around £100,000 However, sources said he still owed about Rs 54,00,000 to the creditors

In his complaint, Venkatesh said the suspects lured his son-in-law into online betting promising quick and easy returns Initial profits got him hooked and he started p l a c i n g b i g b e t s , s u f f e r i n g m a s s i v e l o s s e s , b u t t h e c r e d i t o r s p r o m

some blank cheques as security Once he racked up huge debts, they started harassing him

AAP’s lone Punjab MP, Jalandhar West MLA join BJP

J ALAND H AR: AAP’ s lo ne Lok Sabha MP S ushil K umar Rinku an d J a la nd h a r W es t M LA

S h e et al A ng u ra l j o i ne d BJ P , dealing a blow to th e go verning party in P unjab th at had named Ri n ku a s i ts J al a nd h ar ca n di da te f o r t h e J u n e 1 parliamentary elections in the state

B J P n a t i o n a l g e n e r a l s e c r e t a r y V i n o d T a w d e inducted the Jalandhar MP and A n g u r a l , w h o h a d e a r l i e r accused BJP of trying to poach Punjab AAP MLAs in 2022, in t h e p r e s e n c e o f P u n j a b B J P p r e s i d e n t S u n i l J a k h a r a n d Union minister Hardeep Singh

Puri Jakhar said Angural would submit his resignation to the assembly speaker

The switch comes after BJP announced it would contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats alone and welcomed three-time Congress

M P R a v n e e t B i t t u i n t o t h e party

Punjab has been recording a

series of shifting alliances, with r e c e n t d e f e c t i o n s f r o m C o n g r e s s t o A A P i n c l u d i n g s i t t i n g M L A R a j K u m a r Chabbewal and former MLA Gurpreet Singh GP, who are h o p i n g t o c o n t e s t t h e upcoming polls Earlier in the month, Congress’s Patiala MP

Preneet Kaur, wife of former CM Amarinder Singh, joined BJP With Punjab facing a fourcornered contest, more party switches are anticipated in the run-up to the polls

While joining BJP, Rinku said that promises made during the assembly elections could not be fulfilled as Punjab govt did not back him Rinku said he w a s w i l l i n g t o c o n t e s t f r o m J a l a n d h a r i f B J P d e c i d e s t o nominate him Angural called AAP’s govt in Punjab “gunda raj”, saying that it was time to expose their “chicanery” and b r i n g o u t t h e t r u t h o f “Operation Lotus with proof”

5 killed, 500 injured in Jalpaiguri storm


Nearly four weeks after a low-intensity explosion at Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru left nine people injured, National Investigation Agency sleuths arrested a co-conspirator for providing logistical support in the case “Muzammil Shareef was picked up and placed in custody after NIA cracked down at 18 locations - 12 in Karnataka, five in Tamil Nadu and one in Uttar Pradesh We had earlier identified the main accused as Mussavir Shazeeb Hussain from Thirthahalli, Shivamogga district, who had planted the bomb and carried out the blast ” NIA said in a release Abdul Matheen Taha also from Thirthahalli, has also been identified as a conspirator “Both men are on the run ” the release stated Both are wanted in other terrorrelated cases linked to Al-Hind Karnataka module Hussain and Taha were suspected to be the possible handlers of the Nov 2022 cooker blast in Mangaluru


Refuting the allegations of Opposition Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) that drought conditions in Telangana were the result of the Congress rule, Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy reminded that there was deficit rainfall during the monsoon last year, resulting in the nonavailability of water in the projects and a continuously decreasing groundwater table He questioned the rationale of the allegations The Chief Minister observed that BRS president and former minister K Chandrasekhar Rao visited agriculture fields as part of the Polam Bata’ programme only for political mileage in the Lok Sabha elections “We welcome his visit as he could at least think about the people’s issues now since he lost power suffered a fracture and witnessed the arrest of his daughter he said


Amritsar: The SGPC general house criticised the Centre and state government s adamant attitude towards the cause of farmers and ‘Bandi Singhs’ besides their undue interference in Sikh religious affairs while passing several resolutions spelled out by SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami Showing solidarity with the farmers the general house of the Sikh body demanded that the Centre resolve their demands conduct inquiry into Haryana Government’s violent approach towards protesting farmers, along with compensation for the deceased and injured farmers Dhami blamed the state government to be the part and parcel of the Haryana Government’s act of violence “The delay in registering an FIR in the case was testimony to it,” he said In another resolution, the general house demanded that the Centre spare time for the five-member SGPC panel constituted by the Akal Takht to deliberate over the release of ‘Bandi Singhs

"The administration is on t h e s p o t a n d p r o v i d i n g t h e necessary help The government is doing everything possible to h e l p t h e v i c t i m s , " t h e c h i e f minister said “ T h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n s h a l l stand by the needy people We are aware of the damage that has

JA L P A IGU R I (W ES T B ENG A L) : A t least five people, including a w oman, were killed and around 5 0 0 in j u red , w h i le s ev era l h o u s es w e re d a m ag ed b y norwester at two places in north B eng al’s J alp aig u ri d i stric t o n S u n d ay a ft ern o o n C h i ef m in i st er M am a ta B an erj e e c an c ell ed h e r s ch ed u le d p r o g ra m m es an d rea ch e d Jalpaig uri on Sunday nig ht Sh e also took stock of the situatio n and v isited the J alpaig uri Super S pecialty Hospital to m eet th e cyclo ne-affected peop le The storm hit villages spread across a few square km around 3 3 0 p m a n d l a s t e d a r o u n d 1 0 minutes Speaking to the media, Mamata said a disaster occurred, d u e t o w h i c h s e v e r a l h o u s e s were damaged and five people died Two others are in serious condition

h a p p e n e d T h e b i g g e s t d a m a g e t h a t h a s happened is the loss of lives,” Mamata said She a l s o t h a n k e d t h e administration for their d i s a s t e r m a n a g e m e n t efforts "The doctors, nurses and hospital workers are w o r k i n g w e l l t o m a n a g e t h e situation The rescue operations are already over," she added

A s m a n y a s 1 7 0 i n j u r e d

p e o p l e w e r e a d m i t t e d a t

Jalpaiguri Medical College and H o s p i t a l A r o u n d 2 0 0 w e r e rushed to Maynaguri hospital

a n d a r o u n d 1 0 0 w e r e b e i n g treated at Barnesh health centre

S i m i l a r s t o r m s h i t s o m e parts of adjacent Aliupurduar

and C o o c h B e h a r d i s tr i ct s a s w e l l b u t n o c a s u a l t y w a s reported

P r i m e M i n i



Prime Minister Narendra Modi is returning to West Bengal to campaign for the Lok Sabha polls next week Modi who addressed several rallies in the state over the past month will hold his first rally after the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections in Cooch Behar

According to BJP sources, if everything goes as planned, this rally could take place

SOUTH INDIA 24 in brief
next Thursday Rallies are also planned for next Sunday in North Bengal with Modi expected to address meetings in Balurghat and Jalpaiguri The Trinamul Congress had earlier ridiculed Modi, saying he has been coming and going in Bengal even before the election announcement as a migratory bird Modi has already held rallies in Arambagh, Krishnanagar, Barasat, and Shiliguri According to sources, in these elections, West Bengal is one of the prime targets
the BJP leadership 6 - 12 April 2024 PUNJAB
i s e d t o f i n a n c e h i s b e t t i n g a c t i v i t i e s against
n s
r assistance
S e v e r a l h u t m e n t s a n d h o u s e s w e r e d a m a g e d , t r e e s u p r o o t e d a n d e l e c t r i c p o l e s came crashing down as strong w i n d s a c c o m p a n i e d w i t h h a i l struck most parts of the district " M y t h o u g h t s a r e w i t h t h o s e a f f e c t e d b y t h e s t o r m s Condolences to those who have l o s t t h e i r l o v e d o n e s , M o d i wrote in a post on X, Modi www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
t e r N a r e n d r a Modi also condoled the loss of lives in a storm that wreaked
a v o c i n p a r t s o f J a l p a i g u r i d i s t r i c t M o d i s a i d h e h a d spoken with officials and asked t h e m t o e
u r e p r
p e
to those affected by it

Kejriwal sent to judicial custody in Tihar till April 15

A De lhi co urt on Monda y re manded c h i e f mi ni s t e r Ar v i nd K e jr i wa l t o judi cial custody till Apri l 15 in co nnecti on wi th th e now-scr appe d 20212 2 e xc i se p o li c y , m a ki ng h i m t he f ourth prominent la wmaker f rom the Aam Aa dmi P arty (AAP) to be lod ged i n T iha r Jai l just thre e we eks be fore g enera l e lections

T h e a r g u m e n t s b e f o r e s p e c i a l judge Kaveri Baweja also shed light

o n t h e E n f o r c e m e n t D i r e c t o r a t e ’ s

(ED) questioning and the role of Vijay Nair, a key figure in the case who allegedly played a significant role in facilitating allegedly illicit activities and connections within the liquor industry, and whether he reported to Delhi ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj

The judge noted ED’s contention that Kejriwal’s release could hamper t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n a s i t m o v e d a n application to place Kejriwal under 15

days of judicial custody but added that it may seek additional custodial interrogation later

“Since the investigation of the case is stated to be pending qua role of the arrestee, for unearthing the further proceeds of crime and identifying the other person who may be involved or connected with the above, the above named accused is remanded to judicial custody till 15 04 2024, ”

the court said in its order

The CM was moved to ward

N o 4 i n T i h a r ’ s j a i l N o 2 o n

Monday evening Prison officials said he was allowed to carry several books along with a religious locket He was also allowed homecooked food AAP leaders Manish

S i s o d i a , S a n j a y S i n g h a n d Satyender Jain are currently in jail numbers 1, 7, and 5 respectively

K e j r i w a l w a s a r r e s t e d o n

March 21 by ED, hours after the Delhi high court denied his request for interim protection from arrest - a startling turn of events that left the

C a p i t a l ’ s p o l i t i c s i n t u r m o i l a n d pushed to new heights the ongoing conflict between the Union government and the AAP The party has insisted that Kejriwal will continue as CM and he has issued two orders

f r o m j a i l , s p a r k i n g c o n d e m n a t i o n from the BJP

Woman says Air India made her mother fly economy despite business class ticket, airline responds

A wo man took to X to slam

A ir I nd ia after the ai rli ne allegedly gave her mo ther's business class seat to another passenger on a flig ht fro m D elhi to Wash ing ton D C

T he user, Vitasta, called the a i rli n e's be h av i o u r " a bs olutely ridiculous" and criticised A ir India for sh owing " no reg ard for cu stomers '' In a tweet, she recounte d t h e f r u s t r a t i n g e x p e r ience saying how her mother was initially told that her business class seat did not recline She was then told that the seat was reserved f o r t h e c r e w , b u t l a t e r another passenger was seen s i t t i n g t h e r e M e a n w h i l e , her mother was moved to economy class with a fixed armrest which was ''uncomfortable and unacceptable'' to her ''@airindia how dare you g i v e m y m o m s b u s i n e s s class seat to someone else on

a long haul flight from Delhi

t o W a s h i n g t o n D C ? F i r s t telling her the seat doesn't recline, then saying the seat is for the crew and then she finds someone else sitting there as she is sent to the e c o n o m y ? ' ' , M s V i t a s t a wrote on X The airline later reached out to her and assured her that they were investigating the matter on priority with t h e a i r p o r t t e a m ' ' D e a r M a ' a m , p l e a s e b e r e s t assured that we're investigating the matter on priority with our airport team We'll c o n n e c t w i t h y o u s o o n , ' ' they wrote

Later, the user said that the airline offered to compensate 75% of the fare, and gave her an upgrade voucher ' ' H e r e i s t h e u p d a t e : they've compensated 75% of the fare + an upgrade voucher (what a joke) The ground

staff at Delhi was extremely rude and behaved disgustingly My mother was listed in the flight manifest as a business class passenger, yet made to ride in economy, she wrote

''The issue remains that a passenger was given my m o t h e r ' s s e a t A b u s i n e s s seat was indicated on mom's boarding pass My mother who has health issues and paid a higher fare to travel in c o m f o r t w a s t o l d b y t h e Delhi ground staff that her luggage would be taken off the plane if she didn't simply take the economy seat,'' she added

However, internet users were not convinced by the a i r l i n e ' s c o m p e n s a t o r y actions and asked the user to file a complaint against them

One user wrote, ''Please f i l e a c o m p l a i n t w i t h t h e Consumer Forum for defi-

President confers Bharat Ratna on four luminaries posthumously

from page 1


o , a n d Thakur’ s son , R am Na th Thak ur , received the a wa rd Narasimha Rao, who served as PM from 1991 to 1996 and was often referred to as the Chanakya of Indian politics, is renowned for i n i t i a t i n g f a r - r e a c h i n g e c o n o m i c r e f o r m s Charan Singh, a West UP Jat leader, served as Prime Minister from July 28, 1979, to Jan 14, 1980 He passed away in 1987

Swaminathan, who passed away on Sept 28, 2023, at the age of 98, is widely celebrated for transforming India from a drought-stricken nation dependent on the United States for foodgrain imports in the 1960s to achieving self-sufficiency in food production by 1971

Thakur, popularly known as 'jannayak' (people's leader), served as Bihar CM from Dec 1970 to June 1971 and again from Dec 1977 to April 1979

Advani hon oure d P r e s i d e n t M u r m u c o n f e r r e d t B h a r a t

Ratna on BJP stalwart and former deputy Prime Minister L K Advani at his residence on Sunday The ceremony was attended by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Rajnath S i n g h , h o m e m i n i s t e r A m i t S h a h , a n d

Advani's family members, as per a statement from the Rashtrapati Bhavan

The Rashtrapati Bhavan described Advani as a doyen of Indian politics, acknowledging his unwavering dedication and distinction over seven decades His emphasis on dialogue enriched Parliamentary traditions, it added

US envoy summoned over remarks on Kejriwal arrest

India “strong ly” objected to th e remarks of the U S State Dep artm ent on the arrest of Delhi C M A rv ind Kejriwal, s ayi ng th at in d i pl o m acy , s tates are e xp ecte d to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others

Summoning a senior US diplomat, govt said the need to respect sovereignty was applicable more in the case of fellow democracies and that casting aspersions on Indian judiciary was unwarranted

F o l l o w i n g s i m i l a r

remarks by the German foreign ministry, the US too had said this week it expecte d f a i r , t r a n s p a r e n t a n d timely legal process for the Delhi CM whose supporters maintain he has been falsely implicated

We take strong objection to the remarks of the s p o k e s p e r s o n o f t h e U S S t a t e D e p a r t m e n t a b o u t certain legal proceedings in India, govt said, as the mini s t r y o f e x t e r n a l a f f a i r s (MEA) lodged a protest with the US acting deputy chief of mission, Gloria Berbena

Stars back HOPE for Kolkata's street children

ciency of service '' Another commented, ''Don't accept the 75%, she paid for a service and didn't receive it, she should get 100% minimum ''

A t h i r d s a i d , @ a i r i n d i a s c a r e l e s s , a r r o g a n t c u l t u r e w o u l d n e v e r c h a n g e i r r es p e c t i v e o f w h o o w n s i t T h i s b e h a v i o u r w o u l d n ' t change no matter what ''

A f o u r t h a d d e d , ''Compensating the fare is n o s o l u t i o n Y o u r m o m booked a business-class seat f o r c o m f y t r a v e l G e t t i n g money back is not a solution Air India can't get away b y r e f u n d i n g T h e w h o l e point of booking a business class seat was for comfort Refund of money is neither here nor there ''

A fifth wrote, ''Terrible Wish she had refused to fly They should better refund t h e e n t i r e f a r e f o r t h e mishap ''

A w ar d - w i nni n g a ct or s like Jeremy Irons, Dame J u d i De nc h , O li v i a C o lm an, A l is o n Ol i v er and S helley King are backing The Hope Foundation fo r S t ree t C h i ld r en (HOP E), as the organisation marks 25 years of resto ring hum an rig hts to street-connected child ren and fam ilies from m arginalised com munities in Kolkata It is o bserv ing April 12 as international day fo r street ch ild ren

It is estimated that there are 250,000 street-connected children in Kolkata, who are from the most disadvantaged communities in India Many street-connected children come from families who struggle to access daily necessities such as food, clean water and somewhere safe to sleep Others are alone in the city, working from a young age to provide for themselves, vulnerable to abuse, trafficking and exploitation

Jeremy Irons, who has supported the organisation for many years, has been named HOPE’s Special Ambassador for its 25th anniversary He said: "I am honoured to serve as Special Ambassador for The Hope Foundation as it marks this significant milestone The work it does in Kolkata is truly life-changing, providing hope and opportunity to those who need it most "

F o u n d e d i n 1 9 9 9 b y I r i s h h u m a n i t a r i a n M a u r e e n Forrest, HOPE has been steadfast in its commitment to providing a brighter future for those living in poverty and facing the harsh realities of life on the streets in Kolkata

On international day for street children, HOPE will be launching a walking challenge called Footsteps for HOPE Participants signing up commit to walking 10k steps per day from 12 April to 12 May to raise funds for education projects for street-connected children

Ukraine seeks India’s help to end war with Russia

India's fo reign minister S Jaishankar had a “ com prehensiv e ’’ discussion with his visiting U kraine counterpart Dmytro Kuleba about efforts to ach iev e a peaceful resolution o f the Russia-U kraine conflict, wh ile also reiterating India’s co mmitment to ram p u p bilateral c o o p era ti o n w i th t h e w a r- to r n c o u nt ry India expressed its willingness to contribute to any effort for peaceful settlement of the war that h as d ragged o n for over two years and with no end in sigh t

As expected, Kuleba sought India’s cooperation in efforts to host a proposed peace summit in Switzerland in the summer of this y e a r a n d a l s o s u p p o r t f o r P r e s i d e n t

Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s 10-point peace for-

mula that he had announced before G7 leaders in 2022 The plan seeks, among other t h i n g s , c o m p l e t e w i t h d r a w a l o f R u s s i a n troops from Ukrainian territory India, which has not yet explicitly condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine, is yet to announce support for Zelenskyy’s peace plan

“Our discussions focused on the ongoing c o n f l i c t a n d i t s w i d e r r a m i f i c a t i o n s Exchanged views on various initiatives in that context,” said Jaishankar in a post on X after his ‘ open and wide-ranging’ talks with Kuleba Kuleba said after the meeting that ‘specific attention’ was given to the peace formula and the next steps on the path of its implementation

Bhojshala ASI survey to go on but no action on report sans SC nod

Suprem e C ourt on M ond ay allow ed ASI to carry o n with a survey of Bh ojshala tem pleKam al Maula m osque com plex in Dhar district of Madhya P radesh bu t directed that no actio n wou ld be taken on the basis of th e su rv ey report without its perm ission

A bench of Justices Hrishikesh Roy and Prashant Kumar Mishra also directed ASI not to carry out any excavation on the premises which could alter the character of

the structure The 11th century monument is at the centre of a dispute between Hindus and Muslims Hindus believe it is a temple of Goddess Vagdevi, an incarnation of Goddess Saraswati, while the Muslim community calls it the Kamal Maula mosque On March 11, Madhya Pradesh HC had directed ASI to c a r r y o u t a “ s c i e n t i f i c s u r v e y ” o f t h e Bhojshala complex in six weeks

25 6 - 12 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
S wa
P V Pra bhaka r Rao, Rao’s son, received the a w a r d o n b e ha l f o f h is fa t h e r J a y a n t C haud har y , Cha ra n S ing h's g ra nd son a nd R L D ch ie f, a cce p t e d t he h on o ur , wh i l e
m in a t ha n ’ s d a ug ht e r
Ni t y a R a
The President of India Smt Droupadi Murmu presenting the Bharat Ratna Award to Dr Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan

Study reveals why killer T cells lose energy inside of solid tumours

L ed by Jessica Thaxton, Ph D, M sCR, an associate professor a t U N C L i neb erg er C o m p reh e ns i v e C a nc er C ent er, a research team delv ed into w hy T cells lack sustained energy in tum ours Th roug h their expertise in tu mour im munity and metabo lism, the Thaxton Lab, und er Katie Hurst, MP H, and fourth-year g raduate stud ent Ellie Hunt, discov ered that a m etabolic enzym e, acetyl-CoA carboxylase (AC C), p rom pts T cells to store fat instead of utilising it for energ y T cells, know n as "killers," are instrum ental in targ eting and eliminating bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells in the body

“Our discovery fills a long-standing gap in knowledge regarding why T cells in solid tumours don't appropriately generate energy We inhibited the expression of ACC in mouse cancer models, and we observed that T cells were able to persist much better in solid tumours,” said Thaxton

Published in Cell Metabolism, the new findings and immunotherapeutic strategies hold promise for enhancing multiple types of T-cell therapies, including checkpoint and c h i m e r i c a n t i g e n r e c e p t o r ( C A R ) T - c e l l t h e r a p i e s , f o r p a t i e n t s I n c a n c e r i m m u n o t h e r a p y , i t ' s l o n g b e e n understood that T cells struggle to produce adenosine t r i p h o s p h a t e ( A T P ) , t h e i r c e l l u l a r e n e r g y , w i t h i n s o l i d tumours

Utilising Ellie Hunt's expertise in confocal imaging, the research team observed lipid stores in T cells isolated from v a r i o u s c a n c e r s T h e s e o b s e r v a t i o n s , a l o n g s i d e o t h e r experiments, confirmed the team's hypothesis that T cells were storing lipids rather than metabolising them

Top foods to fight high cholesterol levels

Hig h cholesterol rem ains a p revalent risk facto r for h eart d isease world wid e, imp acting m illions How ev er, dietary adj ustm ents can significantly enh ance ch olesterol lev els w itho ut th e need for extreme measures Recent research u n d er sc o re s th e e ff ec ti v e ne ss o f ev ery d ay f o o d s i n com bating hig h ch olestero l It's not about d ep riv ation; it's about embracing a d elightful and heart-healthy lifestyle

In her latest Instagram update, nutritionist Bhakti Arora K a p o o r d i s c u s s e s t h e p r o t a g o n i s t s a n d a n t a g o n i s t s o f cholesterol - HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (lowdensity lipoprotein) - and offers insights on how to elevate the good while minimizing the bad

1 Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a crucial omega-3 fatty acid known to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels Incorporate flax seeds into your diet by sprinkling them on breakfast cereal, sandwiches, or yogurt They also make a nutritious addition to baked goods like cookies and muffins if you enjoy baking

2 Fish oil

Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids Regular intake of these fatty acids in the form of fish like mackerel, salmon, lake trout, sardines, and halibut helps l o w e r c h o l e s t e r o l l e v e l s a n d t h e r i s k o f d e v e l o p i n g cardiovascular disease

3 Garlic

Garlic boasts a high concentration of allicin, a sulfurcontaining compound renowned for its ability to notably decrease total and LDL cholesterol levels For optimal benefits, chew a few cloves of raw garlic in the morning and before bedtime consistently

4 Dark leafy greens

While all vegetables are good for your heart, dark leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, are particularly beneficial These greens contain lutein and other carotenoids, which are linked to a lower risk of heart disease

Tomatoes reduce your risk of stroke

Increasing your consumption of tomatoes could potentially reduce your risk of experiencing a stroke, a condition characterised by the interruption of blood flow to the brain. Research indicates that tomatoes may ease inflammation, enhance the immune system, decrease cholesterol levels, and prevent blood clotting, all of which contribute to stroke prevention

greater internal resilience

Im pro ves circulation: By g e n t l y t w i s t i n g a n d c o mpressing the internal organs, yoga postures can promote lymphatic drainage, a system that carries away waste products and immune cells

Increases lung capacity:

Yo ga's imm unity boost

Yoga works on multiple l e v e l s t o s u p p o r t y o u r immune system

Reduces stress: It impair t h e i m m u n e s y s t e m , b u t

y o g a ' s s o o t h i n g p o s t u r e s a n d d e e p b r e a t h i n g t e c hn i q u e s c a n h e l p r e g u l a t e stress hormones, fostering

I n y o g a , d e e p , m i n d f u l b r e a t h i n g e x e r c i s e s (pranayama) enhance lung capacity and promote better oxygen circulation througho u t t h e b o d y , c r u c i a l f o r optimal immune function Yoga poses for imm unity

Here are a few beginnerfriendly yoga poses to integrate into your routine:

T ad as ana ( M o u nt ai n po se): This simple standing posture promotes grounding and improves posture

S t a n d t a l l w i t h f e e t h i pwidth apart, core engaged, a n d a r m s b y y o u r s i d e s

Breathe deeply for several breaths

Ad ho Mukha Sv anasana ( D o w nw a rd - F ac i ng D o g ) :

T h i s e n e r g i s i n g p o s t u r e e n h a n c e s c i r c u l a t i o n a n d f o r t i f i e s t h e u p p e r b o d y

Begin on hands and knees, then lift your hips upward

w h i l e s t r a i g h t e n i n g y o u r legs to your comfort level

M a i n t a i n g r o u n d e d h e e l s a n d d i r e c t y o u r g a z e

between your legs

Balasana (C hild 's pose): This calming posture fosters r e l a x a t i o n a n d a l l e v i a t e s stress Sit on your heels and fold forward, letting your forehead rest on the mat

Extend your arms in front or b e s i d e y o u T a k e s e v e r a l deep breaths while in this position

Researchers find ways to reduce side effects of breast, ovarian cancer treatment

T he University o f G en eva (UNIGE) research team, in c o l la bo ra ti o n wi t h F o Rx

T herap eu tics based i n Basel, h as u nveiled the mech anism

o f ac t io n b eh i n d P A R P

i n h i bi t o rs , p ar ti c u l ar ly u til is ed i n t reatin g br east and ovarian cancer amo ng i n di vi d u al s c a rr yi n g th e BRCA gene mutation

These inhibitors disrupt t h e e n g a g e m e n t o f P A R P p r o t e i n s i n t w o d i s t i n c t f u n c t i o n s , s a f e g u a r d i n g healthy cells while sustaining their detrimental impact on cancer cells

D e s p i t e t h e c o n s t a n t

D N A d a m a g e f r o m t h o usands of lesions daily, our cell's genome remains stable due to an efficient repair s y s t e m K e y g e n e s l i k e BRCA1 and BRCA2, crucial for repairing DNA double helix breaks, play a pivotal r o l e M u t a t i o n s i n t h e s e genes (found in about 2 out of every 1,000 women) hinder DNA repair, significantl y e l e v a t i n g t h e r i s k o f breast or ovarian cancer (or prostate cancer in men)

Safeguard your heart while intermittent fasting with these tips

Interm ittent fasting (IF) h as surged in pop ularity, offering flexibility in food ch oices and p ortion sizes wh ile pro moting quick fat loss Nonetheless, a recent stud y hig hlights potential risks to heart h ealth Indiv iduals adhering to an eig hthou r eating window face a 91 percent higher risk of cardiov ascular disease m ortality com pared to those co nsum ing meals ov er a 12-16-hour period

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat Experts say this offers several advantages, such as diabetes prevention, weight loss, or reducing inflammation in the body

Dr C Raghu, Clinical Director and Senior Interventional Cardiologist at Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad, shares important cardiovascular health strategies for intermittent fasting

Maintaining the circadian rhythm is essential for IF; that is, people should eat during the day window and avoid eating or snacking at night

For individuals with diabetes, adjusting certain medications is crucial as fasting while on these drugs is not advised Additionally, those taking medication for blood pressure or heart conditions may be susceptible to mineral imbalances during prolonged fasting periods Therefore, consulting a doctor before starting intermittent fasting (IF) is imperative If implementing IF, consider a gradual approach over several months, gradually narrowing the daily eating window to aim for fasting periods of 16 to 18 hours Remember, alongside IF, calorie restriction is also vital for its effectiveness

P A R P i n h i b i t o r s h a v e been used to treat this type

o f c a n c e r f o r a r o u n d 1 5 y e a r s P A R P p r o t e i n s c a n detect breaks or abnormal structures in the DNA double helix PARPs then temporarily stick to the DNA, synthesising a chain of sugars which acts as an alarm signal to recruit the proteins i n v o l v e d i n D N A r e p a i r

Treatments based on PARP inhibitors block these activities and trap the PARP protein in the DNA There is then no alarm signal to trigger DNA repair

This treatment targets fast-growing cells like cancer cells, which accumulate mutations rapidly without sufficient time for repair, l e a d i n g t o t h e i r d e m i s e However, our bodies also harbor healthy fast-growing cells, such as hematopoietic cells responsible for produci n g r e d a n d w h i t e b l o o d cells Unfortunately, these cells are also significantly affected as collateral dama g e b y a n t i - P A R P t r e a tments

Tips to prevent pollen allergies this spring

Sp ring h eralds blooming flow ers and sunshine, yet for allerg y sufferers, it bring s itchy eyes, runny noses, and constant sniffles P ollen, the fine pow der essential for plant rep rod uction, becom es airborne, triggering sym ptom s in many While elim inating pollen exposure entirely is impossible, here are tips to minimise d isco mfort and sav or the beauty of the season

Be proactive w ith medication: Start early: Individuals with a history of allergies should consult their doctor regarding the initiation of allergy medication, such as antihistamines or nasal corticosteroids, ideally one to two weeks before the peak pollen season This proactive strategy aids in symptom prevention before their onset

Minimise you r exp osure: Track the pollen count: Stay u p d a t e d b y m o n i t o r i n g d a i l y p o l l e n f o r e c a s t s t h r o u g h weather reports or allergy websites Typically, pollen counts peak in the early mornings and on windy days It's advisable to restrict outdoor activities during these periods

Create a p ollen-free h av en: Keep home windows shut during peak pollen hours to minimise exposure Use air conditioning with HEPA filters indoors Consider wearing a pollen mask while gardening or mowing

Create g ood habits: Shower after outdoor activities: After spending time outdoors, take a cool shower and change clothes to remove pollen clinging to your hair and skin

Wash bed ding regularly: Wash your sheets and pillowcases weekly in hot water (at least 55°C or 130°F) to remove pollen that might have settled during sleep

Don't dry clothes outdoors: Pollen can easily stick to laundry Dry clothes indoors on a rack or in a clothes dryer

26 6 - 12 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews Health Views Disclaimer: The information provided is for general knowledge only and not a substitute for professional medical advice
these exercises to your fitness routine to boost immunity
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A balanced diet, go od sleep , and yog a are essential for a s tro n g i m m u ne s ys
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ote wellbeing Here's ho w yoga can enhance your im munity and som e key poses to get you started:
Raveena Tandon opens up on being called 'aggressive' for sharing her opinion

Raveena Tandon, a Bollywood icon admired for her beauty, charm, and acting talent, has been generating significant excitement in the OTT realm with her diverse roles Her latest project, 'Patna Shuklla,' a courtroom drama, recently premiered on OTT platforms to widespread acclaim

C r i t i c s h a v e e s p e c i a l l y p r a i s e d R a v e e n a ' s c o mpelling portrayal of a lawyer in the film In a recent interview, the actress candidly discussed facing judgments and being advised to tone down her assertiveness in real life

I n a n i n t e r v i e w w i t h m e d i a , R a v e e n a T a n d o n stated, "I do have an opinion a b o u t t h i n g s , a n d I d o believe in equality I have s e e n m a n y t i m e s t h a t women, when they express t h e i r o p i n i o n s o r a s s e r t t h e m s e l v e s , a r e c a l l e d a g g r e s s i v e ' O h , y o u ' r e a g g r e s s i v e ' W h a t d o y o u mean by that? Just because I want to say something, and I m saying it assertively, you label me as aggressive So, t h a t i s s o m e t h i n g I h a v e probably heard in real life as well " ' P a t n a S h u k l l a ' d e l v e s i n t o t h e r e a l m o f c r i m e d r a m a , d e l v i n g i n t o t h e prevalent education scams in India Raveena Tandon p o r t r a y s t h e c h a r a c t e r o f Tanvi Shuklla, a lawyer who unravels these illicit activit i e s w i t h i n t h e s t o r y l i n e

The narrative tracks Tanvi's t r a n s f o r m a t i o n f r o m a n ordinary woman to a fearl e s s c r u s a d e r a g a i n s t t h e system, advocating for justice for a student trapped in a r o l l n u m b e r s c a m

Through its portrayal, the film sheds light on the sign i f i c a n t h u r d l e s f a c e d b y numerous students across India annually

Bobby Deol to play villain in Alia Bhatt and YRF's spy universe film

Following his portrayal of Abrar in 'Animal', Bobby Deol is poised to tackle yet another villainous role in an upcoming YRF spy universe film featuring Alia Bhatt and Sharvari Wagh This new character is expected to be moral ambiguous, adding depth to the narrative

Bobby Deol is set to take on of the antagonist in an upcomi spy universe film alongside Alia and Sharvari Reports suggest th will undergo a physical transfor tion for this character, described his most morally ambiguous date Sources cited by the media indicate that Bobby expressed enthusiasm during the narration, confident that this role, following his recent success in 'Animal,' will captivate audience In addition, Bobby has be

experimenting with various hairstyles and appearances to perfect his character for the upcoming film He will soon commence testing different looks for the project Furthermore, Bobby will be guva,' directed by Siruthai Siva, ut in South Indian cinema In the trays the character Kanguva, also gaa, while Bobby Deol takes on hiran This high-budget producscheduled to release in 10 langes A l o n g s i d e S u r i y a a n d B o b b y eol, the film features a stellar a s t i n c l u d i n g D i s h a P a t a n

n i a m , J a g a p a t h i B a b u , Y o g i B a b u , R e d i n K i n g s l e y , K o v a i S a r a l a , Anandaraj, Marimuthu, Deepa Venkat, Ravi Raghavendra, and K S R a v i k u m a r i n s u p p o r t i n g oles

‘Walked up to Aamir Khan and told him this is not how it’s going to work’: Lagaan cinematographer Anil Mehta

When cinematographer Anil Mehta joined the production of Ashutosh Gowariker's "Lagaan," he had a clear vision for the climactic cricket match, which ultimately became one of Indian cinema's iconic scenes However, the shoot proved exhausting, lasting 30 days with repetitive takes Mehta revealed that detailed planning for the scene was delayed until shortly before filming

Despite promises of a booklet outlining the sequence, it was only written days before shooting commenced The crew took a two-day break to brainstorm and script the scene, with director Ashutosh, actor Aamir Khan, and other team members contributing Mehta emphasized the need for meticulous planning for filming a cricket match scene, highlighting the importance o f s c r i p t i n g e v e r y b a l l ' s a c t i o n

Initially following Khan's suggestion to use the booklet as a

emphasised the importance of capturing the emotions of each character during the cricket match scenes He tailored his shooting style to suit each character, using close-ups for Bhuvan's intense moments and a zoom lens for Kachra's scenes to capture his unique posture Aamir Khan's suggestion to keep the final reveal simple proved impactful, with Mehta opting for simplicity over expensive setups High speed

Varun Dhawan shares glimpse of 'freshly printed script' of Sunny Sanskari Ki

Tulsi Kumari

Actor Varun Dhawan teased fans with a sneak peek into the scripting session of his upcoming highly anticipated rom-com, "Sunny Sanskari Ki Tulsi Kumari." Taking to Instagram Stories, Varun shared a snapshot of the script's front page, revealing the film's title, the production house logo, and director Shashank Khaitan's name

Along with the picture, Varun expressed his excitement and wrote “Nothing more exciting than a freshly printed script ” Written and directed by Shashank Khaitan, the film is produced by Karan Johar "Sunny Sanskari Ki Tulsi Kumari" signifies the third collaboration between Varun and director Shashank, following their work together on "Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania" and "Badrinath Ki Dulhania " Additionally, it marks Janhvi Kapoor's second collaboration with the director after her debut film "Dhadak " Furthermore, the film represents the second collaboration between Varun and Janhvi, following their romantic drama Bawaal

In addition to his other projects, Varun will be starring in the upcoming action-thriller "Baby John," directed by A Kaleeswaran Atlee is presenting the film in collaboration with Jio Studios and Cine1 Studios The teaser of the movie has garnered immense excitement from fans Alongside Varun, the film features Keerthy Suresh, Wamiqa Gabbi, Jackie Shroff, and Rajpal Yadav "Baby John" is set to hit theaters on May 31 and is produced by Murad Khetani, Priya Atlee, and Jyoti Deshpande

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om AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews

Ajay Devgn to announce Shaitaan 2 soon, will be set in Maharashtra's Kokam

The sequel to the Ajay Devgn and R Madhavan starrer "Shaitaan" is currently in the works, with an official announcement expected shortly. According to exclusive sources, Ajay and director Vikas Bahl are pleased with the response to the first installment and are eager to see how the sequel

fares The production team plans to commence filming in a few months after finalizing the cast There's a strong likelihood that the original actors will reprise their roles in the sequel "Shaitaan," a supernatural horror thriller and a remake of the 2023 Gujarati film "Vash," revolved around a family conquering the evil forces of black magic Providing insights into the storyline of the upcoming second installment, an insider reveals, "The sequel's narrative will be set in Kokam, Maharashtra, renowned as the epicenter of black magic in the state It will delve deeper into the

complexities and dark energies of black magic "

“It will not be about another family getting targeted but a different angle to black magic that the makers want to explore,” the source further adds When asked for a comment from one of the leading actors of the film, Janki Bodiwala, she says, “Well, you know how filmmakers works, right? Sometimes it’s better to keep the details under wraps until the right moment Just like in Shaitaan

Sara Ali Khan opens up on her plans to join politics 'down the line'

Sara Ali Khan, who portrayed a freedom fighter in "Ae Watan Mere Watan," shared her thoughts on potentially entering Indian politics.

Sara Ali Khan, renowned for her candid and unapologetic demeanor, openly shares her views on her films and personal life

The actress, celebrated for her carefree attitude, recently addressed the possibility of pursuing a career in politics In an interview with Anubhav Singh Bassi for Netflix India, Sara was asked if she has any aspirations to venture into politics in the foreseeable future

Sara, during a rapid fire round was

asked, “Down the line, Sara Ali Khan wants to join politics?” The actor said, “Yeah she does ” In an older interview with media, she had said, “I have a degree in history and p o l i t i c a l s c i e n c e s o I w a n t t o p u r s u e politics maybe later in life, but it’s not a backup plan I am not leaving and if people will give me the opportunity to be here (Bollywood), I will be here for as long I can ” S a r a w a s r e c e n t l y s e e n i n M u r d e r M u b a r a k a n d A e W a t a n M e r e W a t a n W h i l e t h e f o r m e r d i r e c t e d b y H o m i Adajania is a murder mystery, the latter is based on India's struggle for independence

felt like a junior on set’ with Kareena Kapoor and Tab i C w

Kriti Sanon is revelling in the success of her recent film "Crew," in which she stars alongside Kareena Kapoor and Tabu Taking to Instagram, the actor shared additional pictures from the set and expressed heartfelt gratitude for the entire journey She playfully remarked that she never quite assumed the demeanour of a junior on set, even during her early days, in contrast to Kareena and Tabu She shared a bunch of pictures with Kareena and Tabu from the set of Crew in her Instagram post In the caption, Kriti began, “This C R E W has my (red heart emoticon) Have admired these two women for years and its been such a pleasure p e r f o r m i n g w i t h t h e t w o m o s t i c o n i c p e r f o r m e r s o u r i n d u s t r y h a s e v e r h a d ! Never felt like a junior on set (didn’t behave like one too (laughing face emoticon))!!”

She further detailed how much fun it was to shoot for the film, and wrote: “It was a l w a y s 3 i n d i v i d u a l w o m e n , 3 d i f f e r e n t actors coming together as a team to create C H E M I S T R Y y o u ’ v e n e v e r s e e n b e f o r e while we had a blastttt! From @tabutifu ma ’ am ’ s warm squishy hugs to Bebo’s daily “ w h a t d i d y o u e a t f o r l u n c h ? ”

@kareenakapoorkhan To @rheakapoor ‘ s yummy ghar ka khana (homemade food while she gave me the tiniest sexiest clothes @ektarkapoor ‘ s “We’re gonna kill it” vibe a n d o f c o u r s e t h e p i l o t o f o u r p l a n e @rajoosworld and his never-ending jokes gonna miss this crew so much!! Loving the LOVE pouring in already Our #Crew is Yours! See you in the theaters guys!”

2, where secrets and surprises are part of the thrill Let’s just say, expect the unexpected and get ready for a rollercoaster ride of devilish proportions!” while neither denying nor confirming the same Ranbir

of Mumbai's Bandra
the bungalow after his and Alia's
Raha Kapoor This decision is
position young Raha as the "youngest and wealthiest star kid" in Bollywood A c c o r d i n g t o t h e r e p o r t , t h e new bungalow owned by Ranbir and his family is valued at £2 5bn, m a k i n g i t t h e p r i c i e s t c e l e b r i t y residence in Mumbai Surpassing t h e l i k e s o f S h a h R u k h K h a n ' s Mannat and Amitabh Bachchan's Jalsa, this extravagant property is a joint investment by Ranbir and Alia, showcasing their commitment to r e a l i z i n g t h e i r d r e a m h o m e A source mentioned, "The total cost of the house will exceed £2 5bn once completed
"It is also said that Ranbir Kapoor, who is madly and deeply in love with his daughter R a h a K a p o o r , w i l l n a m e t h e bungalow in her name, and this will make the little one the richest star k i d i n t h e B - T o w n ( B o l l y w o o d ) Along with this massive bungalow, both Alia and Ranbir own four flats in the Bandra area and the worth is more than £600mn " It's important to mention that while gifts from relatives are taxexempt upon receipt in India, any s u b s e q u e n t i n c o m e o r g a i n s g e n e r a t e d f r o m t h e s e a s s e t s a r e s u b j e c t t o t a x e s , a c c o r d i n g t o a report by the media Ranbir
Raha Kapoor
Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, and Neetu Kapoor were seen together at their under-construction bungalow located in
media reports,
plans to name
one-year-old daughter,
said to
" The
Kapoor to gift new £2.5bn bungalow to
Kriti Sanon says she ‘never

Suriya teams up with Karthik

Subbaraj for his 44th film

Actor Suriya has been making significant adjustments to his upcoming projects. Initially set to collaborate with Vetrimaaran for "Vaadi Vasal," the film has been indefinitely postponed. Similarly, plans to team up with Pa Ranjith didn't come to fruition.

However, he has now announced a project with Sudha Kongara titled "Puranaanooru "

A w e e k a g o , S u r i y a a n d S u d h a released a statement explaining that their film's delay is due to their desire to do justice to the story However, the latest development reveals that the a c t o r i s n o w c o l l a b o r a t i n g w i t h

K a r t h i k S u b b a r a j f o r a p r o j e c t tentatively titled "Suriya 44 "

Subbaraj took everyone by surprise when he unveiled the first-look poster of the movie, showcasing a vintage car engulfed in flames In the foreground, a tree bears a carving of a heart pierced by an arrow

S h a r i n g t h e p o s t e r , K a r t h i k Subbaraj wrote, “My Next Film is with t h e E v e r - A w e s o m e S u r i y a S i r S o pumped up for this ” It also had the hashtag ‘#LoveLaughterWar’ By the looks of it, the film will be yet another movie from Subbaraj that will have a m e s s a g e a b o u t e n v i r o n m e n t a l


Further details about the film are currently under wraps Subbaraj was initially anticipated to collaborate with Vijay for the actor's upcoming project, but it seems the actor-politician has opted for different plans Meanwhile, Suriya is set to appear in "Kanguva," directed by Siva

Thalaivar 171: Rajinikanth is ultra stylish in Lokesh Kanagaraj’s next

Lokesh Kanagaraj unveiled the firstlook poster for Rajinikanth's "Thalaivar 171."

Rather than building hype beforehand, the makers chose to keep it low-key, which paid off as the poster reveal came as a surprise to everyone

Aditi Rao Hydari and Siddharth put marriage rumours to rest with engagement announcement

Amid speculation of their marriage, Aditi Rao Hydari and Siddharth confirmed their engagement with a joint Instagram post The couple shared a selfie showcasing their engagement rings, officially announcing their commitment. Sharing the image, Aditi wrote, "He said yes! E. N. G. A. G. E. D.". They can be seen posing adorably for the cameras. Meanwhile, Siddharth shared the same image with this caption, "She Said YES! E N G A G E D "

Rumors about their marriage circulated on the internet on Wednesday, although the c o u p l e r e m a i n e d t i g h t - l i p p e d u n t i l n o w A d i t i w a s n o t a b l y a b s e n t f r o m t h e

Heeramandi event in Mumbai, with the host implying she couldn't attend because she h a d g o t t e n " m a r r i e d " H o w e v e r , i t w a s revealed that the couple actually got engaged on that day Siddharth and Aditi are known for leaving comments on each other's social media posts

Last year, Siddharth shared a picture of himself The actor captioned it, "Desert has been served Low res and proud " Siddharth posted two images of himself In the first picture he posed for the camera The second one is a close-up shot where the actor is looking away Aditi Rao Hydari posted two emojis on the picture One is a fire emoji while the second one is a love emoji

The poster showcases Rajinikanth in a denim shirt against a monochrome backdrop, with only a chain of wristwatches adding color A clock is visible behind the actor, raising speculation about the possibility of "Thalaivar 171" being a time-travel movie

The presence of watches has sparked fan theories suggesting a potential connection to Suriya s Rolex character

Conversations about Lokesh Kanagaraj's films are unavoidable, given the director's association with world-building in Tamil cinema Alongside unveiling the poster, Kanagaraj also revealed that the film's title will be disclosed on April 22nd

While the rest of the cast for "Thalaivar 171" remains undisclosed, Anirudh Ravichander, known for his recent collaborations with Rajinikanth, reunites with him for this project Additionally, action choreographers Anbu-Arivu are onboard for the movie, produced by Sun Pictures

Allu Arjun’s wax statue unveiled at Madam Tussauds in Dubai

Actor Allu Arjun reached a significant milestone as he unveiled his own wax statue at Madame Tussauds in Dubai. Sharing moments from the unveiling on social media, the actor expressed his excitement about the event

Calling Allu ‘the king of dance,’ Madame Tussauds shared a picture of the actor and h i s w a x s t a t u e o n I n s t a g r a m a f t e r t h e

unveiling The wax statue is dressed in his i c o n i c r e d j a c k e t f r o m A l a

Vaikunthapurramuloo while pulling off the ‘ t h a g g e d e l e ’ g e s t u r e f r o m P u s h p a A l l u picked the same outfit for the unveiling

Teasing the launch of the statue earlier in the evening, Allu wrote, “It’s a milestone moment for every actor ”

Madame Tussauds shared a video of the wax statue s unveiling, surprising Allu Arjun with an unexpected addition: his daughter Arha emulating his iconic Pushpa pose In the heartwarming video, the actor bursts i n t o l a u g h t e r u p o n s e e i n g h i s d a u g h t e r posing alongside his wax figure He then joins her, striking the Pushpa pose together with the statue

Congratulations poured in for the actor from fans and celebs “This is amazing, h e a r t y c o n g r a t u l a t i o n s , ” w r o t e R a m

Charan’s wife Upasana “Aaaattttttt (Wow),” wrote Lakshmi Manchu, praising Allu for the wax statue

AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly ianvoicenews 29 6 - 12 April 2024

Aparshakti Khurana's espionage drama 'Berlin' to premiere in India at the Red Lorry Film Festival

Following its acclaimed reception at International Film Festivals worldwide, 'Berlin' is set to premiere in India on the big screen at the Red Lorry Film Festival curated by BookMyShow, the country's foremost entertainment destination. This festival promises to enthrall cinephiles with a dynamic lineup of over 100 prestigious titles, serving as captivating portals into various cultures, perspectives, and storytelling traditions.

A large section of this esteemed lineup comprises titles making their debut on the Indian silver screen following their international theatrical releases, alongside exclusive titles commencing their theatrical journey at Red Lorry Film Festival

At the heart of 'Berlin,' a deaf-mute man becomes entangled in a web of suspicion, accused of espionage As authorities draw near, a proficient sign language interpreter steps forward, assigned to uncover the truth on behalf of a government operative This espionage drama unveils a compelling narrative of deceit, betrayal, and redemption against the backdrop of the Cold War era

Ishwak Singh, brimming with excitement, stated, Being a part of Berlin has been an extraordinarily enriching journey Portraying the complexity of a character silenced by circumstance was a profound c h a l l e n g e I a m r e a l l y e x c i t e d t o b r i n g "Berlin" to the dreamy city of Mumbai! Congratulations to the entire team for this feat!"

Director Atul Sabharwal expresses his gratitude, saying, "The acceptance of 'Berlin' at The 'Red Lorry Film Festival' is truly humbling It reflects the universal themes and emotional depth of our story that resonates with audiences worldwide as we witnessed a t p r e m i e r e s i n L o s A n g e l e s , L o n d o n , Canada I am eagerly looking forward to sharing our labor of love with our very own Mumbaikars again!"

Parineeti reveals she had to give a ‘musical’ audition on zoom call

to AR Rahman for Chamkila

Parineeti Chopra knows what it's like to sing in front of AR Rahman, even amidst Mumbai traffic jam over a Zoom call. Despite being cast in Imtiaz Ali's "Amar Singh Chamkila," the actor had to give a "musical audition" to the Academy Awardwinning composer She said, “Two years ago I was on my way to Kar Johar’s birthday party when a call from Imtiaz Ali sir, asking if I was free I thought it would be a quick chat, but he said Diljit, Rahman sir, and him are on a zoom call and he wanted me to join as well I was in a traffic jam and I asked my driver to quickly park the car and asked everyone to be quiet, koi saans bhi na lega that quiet “The four of us were on zoom call and I thought it would be an introductory hello-hi zoom call Rahman sir asked me if I know

how to sing and I told him I like ng I thought it was a safe nswer and then he told me, Achcha sing and show me ’ I t h o u g h t g a y i p i c t u r e a b haath se!”

Parineeti Chopra said AR Rahman works with the “ m o s t g e n i u s a r t i s t e s ” i n the world and thought her s i n g i n g i n f r o n t o f h i m w o u l d l o o k l i k e a n e a r n e s t a to “cast” her in Amar Singh k i l a P a r i n e e t i , h o w e v e r , r e g a i n e d h e r c a l m a n d s a n g t h e o n l y P u n j a b i s o n g s h e c o u l d t h i n k i n t h a t

moment: “Duma Dum Mast Kalandar”

“It was like a musical (audition), even though by then it was confirmed that I was doing the film I had told sir that I will sing all the songs in the film so, of course, in the m o v i e w e h a v e s u n g A m a r j o t K a u r a n d

Chamkila’s original songs as well as that of Rahman’s That’s why he auditioned me ”

Christopher Nolan, wife Emma Thomas to get British knighthood and damehood

The UK government has announced that Christopher Nolan, the Oscar-winning director of "Oppenheimer," and his wife and producer Emma Thomas, will both receive knighthood and damehood respectively for their significant contributions to the film industry.

biopic about J Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the atomic bomb,” swept the a w a r d s s e a s o n , n o t a b l y a t t h e A c a d e m y Awards earlier this month, where the movie won seven Oscars, including best film and best director Nolan, 53, had previously been nominated for Memento, Inception, and Dunkirk

The news of their honours came as a surprise, as such honours are typically awarded twice a year: once to commemorate the new year and again on the birthday of King Charles III, who bestows the honors These honors are often granted for exceptional achievements, particularly in the realms of sports and the arts

The honours are formally awarded at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, often by the UK monarch in person However, the king is currently not undertaking any royal duties, because he is undergoing treatment for cancer

N o l a n , b o r n i n L o n d o n t o a B r i t i s h

father and American mother, crossed paths with his future wife, Thomas, 53, during their time at University College London The couple, who now have four children, jointly operate Syncopy, a production company responsible for numerous blockbuster films

Netflix lights up the sky with 1,000 drones to reveal May 1 launch date for ‘Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar’

The trending hashtag


oga (when will Heeramandi release?) has an answer, at last In a mesmerizing aerial spectacle above Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Race Course, Netflix and renowned director Sanjay Leela Bhansali announced that Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar premieres on May 1. The media and college students were joined by the heeras of Heeramandi Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Segal and Sanjeeda Shaikh alongside Prerna Singh, CEO, Bhansali Productions and Tanya Bami, Series Head, Netflix India, at the grand reveal Together, they marvelled as a fleet of 1,000 drones took flight, leaving onlookers spellbound

As the anticipation reached

fever pitch, the drones unveiled the series’ launch date, igniting waves of excitement among the gathered crowd

On the eve of the date announcement, creatordirector Sanjay Leela Bhansali said, “I am grateful to the entire team for their relentless passion and dedication to bring the world of Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar to Netflix With the release scheduled for May 1st, we can't wait for audiences worldwide to watch it and shower us with their love and appreciation ”

With a lot of excitement, Monika Shergill, Vicepresident-Content, Netflix India said, "Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar is undoubtedly India’s biggest cinematic series, and the auteur, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, in his true signature style, has created a mesmerizing world with powerful characters that fight for their fate and that of their country A one-of-a-kind series, it will offer a visual and visceral experience of a world only he can bring to life with such beauty and boldness As we gear up for the worldwide premiere on May 1st, we can feel the excitement building up "

AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews 30 CROSS-PLATFORM
T h e i r r e c o g n i t i o n c o m e s a f t e r t h e i r

Meet the first-ever British Pakistani Boxing promoter

Shefali Saxena Iz z y A s i f i s t h e f i r s t - e v e r B r i t i s h P a k i s t a n i b o x i n g p r o m o t e r a n d i s making waves through the industry In his f i r s t - e v e r y e a r , h e s e c u r e d a n u n p r e c e d e n t e d m u l t i - f i g h t b r o a d c a s t agreement with the world’s largest sports radio station talkSPORT to live stream its events on their official YouTube Boxing Channel.

He’s heading towards his third sold-out show of 2024 which is one of the best boxing shows of the year We’ve had some p h e n o m e n a l f i g h t e r s c o m e t h r o u g h t h e ranks including Amir Khan, Adam Azim, and Hamzah Sheeraz

Izzy Asif himself was a professional fighter, now he is the fastest-rising in the UK on the promotional side He spoke to the newsweekly about it

Can you share with us the journey that led you from being a professional fighter to becoming a successful boxing promoter?

Once I’d finished boxing professionally, I still had a huge attachment to the game so I was always going to be involved in some capacity It was a natural progression I’d never set out to have a career in promotion after I’d retired from boxing I got a phone call asking me to be involved in the Amir Khan fight with Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia in 2019 I went there as a head coach and ended up managing the whole undercard and overlooking a lot of the fights on the

night, as well as looking after Amir’s fight camp in Saudi Arabia

That is what led me to believe I could have a career in management or promotion

That’s where the journey started I went on to get my license to put boxing shows on, and now we are here - one of the top forces in British boxing

Securing a multi-fight broadcast agreement with talkSPORT is a significant achievement

W h a t s t r a t e g i e s o r a p p r o a c h e s d i d y o u employ to negotiate such a groundbreaking deal?

There wasn’t any strategy to a certain degree, we just showcased what we’d done The team at talkSPORT were interested They’d come to our events and see what we could do Our product, our shows, our fights speak for themselves - so a sales pitch wasn’t needed They saw our atmosphere, show logistics, and productions and knew its different to anyone else in the country It excited them and they knew they wanted to be involved There wasn’t a strategic plan to go out there and negotiate, they were interested and let our product get the deal over the line It was a huge deal and it has opened a lot of doors for us as a business Your events have consistently attracted top-tier talent like Amir Khan, Adam Azim, and Hamzah Sheeraz How do you go about scouting and selecting fighters for your shows?

Getting the best talent for our shows has been a case of naturally progressing

RR thrash MI by 6 wickets

R a ja st h a n R o y a l s cl in c h e d t he ir t h i r d c o n se cu t i v e v i c t o r y i n t h e I P L 20 2 4 by de feat ing Mumbai In dian s by six wicket s R ajast han Roya ls won the toss an d opt ed to bowl fir st They man age d to st op Mumbai

Ind ians at a score of 1 25 for n ine an d the n c h a se d d o w n t h e t a r g e t w i t h 2 7 ba lls r emain ing R iya n Par ag r emain ed unbea te n a ft er scoring 54 r uns off 39 balls Mumbai

Ind ians had a ter rible star t a s the y foun d t hemselves str ugglin g at a scor e of 20 for four in the fourt h ove r of the inn in gs MI skippe r Har dik Pan dya r esponde d with a 21-ball 34 , while Tilak Varma contr ibute d 32 r uns in 29 de liv erie s Vete ra n pa ce r Tr ent Boult bowle d e xtr eme ly we ll a nd en ded with 3/22, while leg-spinn er Yuzve ndr a Cha hal took 3 /11 with e xcelle nt figure s Mille r, Sai, Mohit tak e Tita ns h om e

Despite being pegged back in the middle overs by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) bowlers, Sai Sudharsan and David Miller stitched a crucial 64-run partnership off 42 balls to guide the Gujarat Titans to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Punjab Kings at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad The 16th over, bowled by leg spinner Mayank Markande, saw the pair taking the Punjab bowler to the cleaners Miller began with boundaries on either side of the ground b e f o r e S u d h a r s a n l i f t e d M a r k a n d e f o r a maximum between long on and deep midwicket The South African then lifted him over the long-on fence off the last ball to tilt the chase in Titans’ favour The duo came together after captain Shubman Gill (36) departed Earlier, cameos from Samad (29) and Ahmed (22) guided SRH to 162-8 after they had slipped to 114-5 in 14 4 overs Pan t, Khalee l sta r in DC ’ s first win

Delhi Capitals recorded their first win of the season by defeating Chennai Super Kings by 20 runs at Visakhapatnam on Sunday After posting a challenging 191-5 riding on fine half-centuries by skipper Rishabh Pant and David Warner, Mukesh Kumar (3-21) and K h a l e e l A h m e d ( 2 - 2 1 ) r e s t r i c t e d t h e defending champions to 171-6 Super Kings had the worst possible start to their chase

K h a l e e l A h m e d u s e d t h e b o u n c e i n t h e wicket to good effect, dismissing Ruturaj Gaikwad (1) in the first over and Rachin Ravindra (2) in the third to reduce them to 72 in three overs Ajinkya Rahane (45) and

Daryl Mitchell (34) kept them in the hunt with a 68-run third wicket stand But Axar Patel foxed the New Zealand batter Seamer Mukesh Kumar then tilted the match in favour of Capitals with a double strike in the 14th over He got rid of Rahane and Sameer Rizvi off successive deliveries to reduce them to 102-5

Ma ya nk's pace scor che s Pun jab

India unearthed a new fast-bowling star i n M a y a n k Y a d a v ( 3 / 2 7 ) , w h o s t o l e t h e limelight with his searing pace amid the usual flurry of monstrous hits as Lucknow Super Giants humbled Punjab Kings by 21 runs in the IPL on Saturday Asked to bat f i r s t , f l o a t e r K r u n a l P a n d y a ’ s l a t e b l i t z powered LSG to a competitive 199/8 Opener

Quinton de Kock top-scored for LSG with a 3 8 - b a l l 5 4 a n d i t w a s s t a n d - i n s k i p p e r

Nicholas Pooran’s 21-ball 42 which infused life into his team’s innings in the middle overs On the back of two sixes and four boundaries, Krunal then scored at a strike rate of 200 to finish on a 22-ball 43 and give his side extra cushion That total proved to be enough for LSG, who registered their first win of this IPL thanks to Mayank’s exploits Punjab, who ended at 178/5, missed Liam Livingstone’s service at No 4 as he could not bat in the position due to an injury

When we first started, no one wanted to sign with us There was a lot of hesitance as we were a brand-new promoter We’d only been a promoter for a few months when we first started signing fighters so we were seen as new on the block, even though I’d been in the industry for a long time This is why you see a lot of big names at our shows - well-known fighting figures I’ve been in the game for 20 years so I’ve built a huge rapport with the likes of Amir Khan and Hamzah Sheeraz

We’ve built a great relationship, we ’ re from the same community, and from being in the game for a long time we ’ ve built a level of respect from the fighters They know I’ve been in the ring and done it myself They come to the shows and know the atmosphere is special Word travels fast, s o w i t h e a c h e v e n t w e p u t o n w e ’ r e attracting more and more big names

W h a t c h a l l e n g e s h a v e y o u f a c e d i n establishing yourself as a prominent boxing p r o m o t e r , a n d h o w h a v e y o u o v e r c o m e them?

It is a tough industry to be in and to b r e a k i n t o T h e r e ’ s a s t i g m a t o w a r d s promoters, where people believe we aren’t t r a n s p a r e n t o r l o o k i n g a f t e r f i g h t e r s ' interests These obstacles are typical in the industry We always try to be fair and r e a s o n a b l e , w e ’ v e t a k e n l o s s e s o n t h e journey but we ’ ve learned lots of lessons I’ve been in business for most of my life, so I understand that we need to address and resolve issues as soon as they arrive It is a

huge sport where people risk their lives, so I always try my best to make sure fighters and their teams are happy Building the right reputation is what is going to allow our business to succeed and thrive

With the success of your sold-out shows and the increasing popularity of your events, what are your future plans for expanding and solidifying your position within the boxing industry?

We’re at a stage now where we’d like to secure a huge broadcaster We’ve already surpassed many others who have been in the game for a long, long time We are currently selling out 3,000 seater stadiums, but we want to be selling out 20,000 at the likes of the O2 That is going to come in time We’ve signed fighters who we believe have the potential to headline stadiums, and the support of a big broadcaster will help us to boost the profile of our fighters and events to make this possible We’re happy with where we are, we ’ re enjoying the moment and we know this is all to come

Bopanna-Ebden duo wins title

Ro h a n Bo p a nna a nd M at th ew E bd en displayed stirring mental heft in their M iam i Open, Masters 10 00 trium ph last w eek The Ind o-Aussie combine, not o nly reeled off the last six points of the m atch, coming from behind to win the super tie-breaker against th e C roat-A merican co mbine of Ivan Dodig and A ustin K rajicek, but also did w ell to put behind them th e slip in the op ening set Bopanna, 44, and Ebden, 36, had three set points on serve at 6-5 in the opening set They then double-faulted on set point in the first set tie-break to give their rivals the early advantage After an hour and 43 minutes, Bopanna and Ebden rallied for a sparkling 6-

7 (3), 6-3, 10-6 win that moved them to joint No 1 in the individual doubles rankings with Dodig and Krajicek down to three and four

“It’s tough These guys, they fight back in tough moments,” said Ebden after he and B o p a n n a s e a l e d w i n W e j u s t t r i e d a different method We just relaxed and let ourselves play, and just saw what happened It turned out well ”

The world No 1 pairing improved to 143 for the 2024 season Bopanna, who became the oldest Masters 1000 titlist in Indian Wells last year, broke his own record by claiming the Miami crown

India-Australia series to begin on November 22

T he bl ock b us te r f i ve - ma tch T e st s er i es

b e t w e e n I n d i a a n d A u s t r a l i a w i l l g e t unde rway at Perth’s Optus Stadi um on Nov 22, the ve nue r eplaci ng Adela ide Ova l as the n ation al cricket b oard’s pre ferred ch oi ce for the s eason open er The se ries wi ll then move to Adela ide for the d ayn i g h t p i n k - b a ll T e s t f r o m D e c 6 - 1 0 , f o l lo w e d b y Br i s b a n e (D e c 1 4 - 1 8 ) a n d

Melbourn e for the tradi tiona l Boxi ng Day Tes t (Dec 26- 30) The r ub be r wi ll con clude wi th the New Ye ar's Test i n Sy dney from Ja n 3- 7 T hese ma tche s from the h ighprofi le s eri es are part of n ext summe r ’ s in terna tiona l s ched ule re lease d b y Cri cke t Aus tralia (C A)

One of the most important factors behind awarding Perth the hosting rights for the first Test over Brisbane was the friendly broadcast timezone for viewers of both countries, said Peter Roach, CA's head of scheduling “The clear advice from our national team is that there is a preference

to start series strongly at venues where they’re really comfortable and Perth and B r i s b a n e t h e y b e l i e v e a r e s o m e w h a t comparable in terms of the advantage they get out of that,” Roach said

“ T h e y ’ r e t h e h a r d e s t a n d b o u n c i e s t pitches in Australia They also believe that playing day-night Tests in Adelaide is a significant advantage and the stats there are pretty conclusive too ” According to Roach, the Optus Stadium, where Australia have won all four Tests, is now comparable t o t h e G a b b a “ T h e y w i l l l o o k a t t h i s schedule and some will say Gabba first would have been better than Perth Others will say Perth then Gabba “I think that gap has really closed in recent times and the w a y o u r p l a y e r s t h i n k a b o u t t h a t , a n d h a v i n g A d e l a i d e a s t h e d a y - n i g h t T e s t , they’ll be really buoyed about that again So we ’ re really comfortable that this gives us a great opportunity to compete with a really strong Indian team,” Roach said

Mirabai qualifies for Paris Olympics

Tokyo Olympics silv er med allist an d r e ign in g C WG cha mp ion , Mirabai Cha nu, became the only weight lifter from Ind ia to qualify for t he Par is G ame s 2024 afte r fin ishing third in Group B of t he wom en ’ s 49 kg di vi sion a t t h e IW F World Cup in Phuke t S he had a tot al lift of 1 84kg (81k g in sn at ch + 1 03kg in clea n & jer k) T h e W o r l d C u p w a s a mandatory qualifying event for the Olympics and Mirabai was m a k i n g a c o m e b a c k t o t h e competition arena after a sixmonth injury-forced break The Manipuri weightlifter had last c o m p e t e d a t t h e H a n g z h o u

Asian Games in Sep-Oct last year where she crashed out in fourth position following a bad fall in her third and final clean & jerk

a t t e m p t , r e s u l t i n g i n a t h i g h

injury Since then, Mirabai had been rehabilitating at NIS Patiala under chief national coach Vijay Sharma

In Phuket, Mirabai managed to register five clean lifts but was far from her best and finished 11th overall She had lifted 202kg (87kg in snatch+115kg in clean a n d j e r k ) t o c l i n c h s i l v e r i n Tokyo, while her personal best in snatch is 88kg and 119kg in clean and jerk

31 SPORT 6 - 10 April 2024 www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly asianvoicenews
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