Asian Standard North East 04-08 Jan 2021

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NORTH EAST / 02 - 08 JANUARY 2021 / FREE








IN 2021

Find out who are our most influential South Asian’s of 2020 Read Inside from page 6




US dentist shares toothbrush back that shocks viewers


MIDDLESBROUGH COUNCILLORS JOIN FORCES TO SUPPORT THOSE IN NEED Middlesbrough Councillors have joined forces to help those in need, both at home and abroad. The independent, Labour and Conservative members have pledged to work throughout the year on the charitable initiative. The cross-party project was launched by Cllr Joan McTigue who first visited an orphanage in Chennai, India in 1982. On her next trip, she took a suitcase full of clothes and toys, and later secured support from a shipping company to send out a much larger consignment of aid. And Cllr McTigue has now joined forces with Cllrs Alma Hellaoui, Janet Thompson, Brian Hubbard and David Coupe to form a small committee to deliver support to wherever it’s needed most. Middlesbrough Council Chief Executive Tony Parkinson also stepped in to offer storage room for donations in the Town Hall. An appeal on social media has already seen families donate unwanted toys and clothes that

A dentist in America has shocked social media with his advice on keeping toothbrushes clean. Suhail Mohiuddin known as Dr M on TikTok has revealed details of the number of germs on everyone’s toothbrush. According to a study by the University of Manchester a toothbrush is home to over 100 million bacteria. Dr M backs up this study with his video saying “Did you know your toothbrush harbours a ton of germs!! This is how to clean it and keep you healthy.”

Over 160,000 people have viewed the video on social media where the dentist advises how to keep a tooth brush clean. He advises washing the brush head with soap and warm water daily, making sure to rinse all the soap off properly. Another way to keep the brush clean is to disinfect the brush. The dentist recommends soaking the brush once a week in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water Or overnight in a cup of antibacterial mouthwash Many users thanked the doctor for his advice with one saying “I didn’t know I can wash the brush with soap” Another saying “this should be talked about more”


Talks over a new devolution deal for the North East are set to resume soon after Christmas, with hopes for progress on reuniting local councils either side of the Tyne. The prospect of electing a new mayor to cover all seven councils in the region re-emerged this year, following a previous split in which Newcastle, Northumberland, and North Tyneside broke away to form their own mayoral authority in 2018. The government is promising major investment in the region’s transport network if South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland, and County Durham can be convinced to come back on board with a devolution package covering the entire region, an idea which was abandoned in 2016 amid a bitter dispute among the region’s Labourdominated authorities.

Jamie Driscoll, who was elected mayor of the North of Tyne region in 2019, says that negotiations are now moving forward and that getting a slice of a £4.2 billion transport funding pot represents “half a billion reasons why we should do it” – on top of the other powers and resources that could be placed into the hands of local leaders. In September, local government minister Simon Clarke wrote to the mayor to call for talks with him and council leaders within a matter of weeks on a new devolution deal. Mr Clarke resigned his post shortly afterwards, but a meeting was held with his replacement Luke Hall and another conversation with ministers is scheduled after the holidays. Mr Driscoll said: “We met on I think September 23 with Luke Hall. We agreed that we would start working

Jamie Driscoll

out what would need to be in the next devolution package. “We are progressing from our side, I have a meeting in the diary with ministers just after Christmas, and then we will start to work it through. “Realistically, we were hoping the devolution white paper would have been out and it is not. That is not going to be, on our expectations, until after the May elections. That is when I would expect to see us making formal decisions either way.” Leaders south of the Tyne who had previously opposed the installation of a metro mayor have indicated that they would be open to talks about reversing that decision, most notably Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon. Last month, council chiefs from across the region unveiled a £6 billion plan to radically overhaul the North East’s transport infrastructure. And it is hoped that a devolution deal would kickstart that and far more – with the North of Tyne mayor’s powers currently far more limited than others in England like Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham.

LIMITED ASTON MARTIIN CONCORD SUPERLEGGERA The first limited edition of the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition has left production. The limited-edition vehicle has been made in association with British Airways were sold by Aston Martin Bristol just a runway away from Aerospace Bristol at Filton – the place that is now home to the last Concorde ever to fly and the location at which the British Concorde were manufactured Inside, the new car features more carefully judged design features created to celebrate the remarkable achievements of Concorde. Among the highlights inside are the Concorde logo on the front seat facings; a Mach Meter graphic embroidered on the driver’s side sun visor; a unique headliner featuring printed Alcantara displaying a ‘sonic boom’ graphic; paddle shifters made from titanium from Concorde compressor blades;

floor mats in Terence Conran design pattern; seatbelt buckle badges milled from solid aluminium and bespoke sill plaques. External alterations include a painted livery using British Airways

Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Aston Martin Lagonda, said of the new car: “It’s only fitting that our great British sports car brand marks the achievement of the incredibly

colours on the roof strake, spoiler and rear diffuser. A black carbon fibre roof sports the silhouette of the supersonic jet.

dedicated, talented and ambitious teams of British and French scientists, engineers, designers and aircraft workers who made Concorde, and

supersonic air travel, a reality in our skies 50 years ago. “Using the DBS Superleggera as our starting point, and with the support of the talented personalisation experts in the Q by Aston Martin service to draw on, we have been able to subtly and sympathetically enhance and highlight some of the car’s most notable features while preserving the elegance, style and sheer brutish road presence for which the Aston Martin DBS is rightly known.” The new edition is strictly limited to 10 examples and they are available to purchase through Aston Martin Bristol. Parts of the proceeds from the sale of each individual car will be donated to the Air League Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that teaches underprivileged children how to fly, or get started in a career in engineering



will be given as Christmas gifts to children in care and others in need, and the initiative looks set to gather momentum in the new year. Councillor McTigue said: “All too often we hear that goods and supplies are simply not getting to those who really need them this way they will, be that locally or abroad. “What we throw away here can mean the world to children who have nothing - for some it might be the first pair of shoes or the one and only toy they have ever had. “Our aim is to develop a rolling year-round programme so that we always have something to give to someone in need wherever they are, here or in the Third World. “I’d also like to think it’s

something other towns could take up because it really shows how we can make a difference for those in need by putting politics aside and working together.” Applauding the Councillors’ efforts, Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “What a great example of an incredible community effort from Councillors, officers and members of the public. “We’ve been through a really difficult year, but it’s a year that’s really brought out the best in people, so thanks to everyone for getting stuck in and making this happen. “We’re showing the world that we will get through this, and that 2021 will be a better year for everyone.”


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have released their first podcast, in which they reflect on 2020 with a string of celebrity friends. The podcast series is called Archewell Audio in partnership with the streaming service Spotify estimated to be worth £18 million. The Sussex’s do not directly talk about their own experiences of 2020 which saw them step back as senior royals and move to the United States instead they got those who they admire to look back on the year. In the podcast the couple paid tribute to healthcare, frontline service workers, and so many others for their sacrifices. While at the same time honouring the compassion and kindness that has been witnessed throughout the pandemic. Sir Elton, Deepak Chopra,

James Corden, Tyler Perry and Chef Jose Andres join the couple as they look back on the year with the guests discussing how they’ve helped their community during the pandemic and what they hope

for in 2021 with the vaccine rollout across the world. The podcast also features the first words we hear from little Archie - as he says ‘fun’, ‘happy’, ‘new’, and ‘year’.

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On the first birthday of the military service, the name for members of the US Space Force has been revealed. The announcement was made by the Vice President who revealed the service men and women will be called guardians. Mike Pence said: It is my honour, on behalf of the president of the United States, to announce that henceforth the men and women of the United States Space Force will be known as guardians. “Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and guardians will be defending our nation for generations to come.” The announcement has drawn criticism on social media with the named likened

to the Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy and the logo was likened to Star Trek. The Space Force said on Twitter that the name had a “long history in space operations, tracing back to the original command motto of Air Force Space Command in 1983, ‘Guardians of the High Frontier’. “The name Guardians connects our proud heritage and culture to the important mission we execute 24/7, protecting the people and interest of the US and its allies.” Space Force is America’s first new military service since the Air Force was set up in 1947 after World War Two. Its main job will be to protect

US satellites, space stations and future bases, rather than having service personnel fighting battles in space. Originally, President Trump wanted the Space Force to be the equal of the US army, navy and air force, but instead Congress made it part of the Department of the Air Force. The new uniform for the space force has also got social media users talking after the announcement with many suggesting ideas of what the uniform could be referencing many outfits warn by those in various space films. Major Nick Mercurio told “The uniform graphic being shared on social media is not an official US Space Force uniform design concept. “The Space Force service dress uniform is still in development This led to the official US Naval Institute having to clarify on Twitter saying The Space Force uniform concepts trending on social media are not official, but they are reminiscent of the real White House uniforms that were introduced during the Nixon administration. The Euro-inspired uniforms were dropped and sold to a high school marching band in Iowa. President-elect Joe Biden has yet to reveal his plans for the Space Force in the next administration.




ORDER BANS YOBBO GANGS FROM CENTRAL MIDDLESBROUGH A NEW order is in place banning gangs of youths from a large area of central Middlesbrough. The move by Cleveland Police follows a spate of yobbish behaviour including criminal damage and intimidation of businesses and shoppers. The Dispersal Order - covering an area bounded by Hartington Road, Borough Road and the A66 - came into effect at midday on Tuesday. Welcoming the clampdown, Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: "This sort of thuggish behaviour is completely unacceptable at the best of times - and these are far from the best of times.

"We all have a duty to protect one another - and our stretched health services - from a pandemic that has yet to loosen its grip and which still threatens us all. "That means avoiding all large groups and gatherings, not to mention the criminal damage, abuse and intimidation that this group has inflicted on lawabiding people. "We know some of the young people are from out of town, but we will identify those responsible and take action to stamp out this reckless and anti-social behaviour in our town centre. "I'd urge every parent across the Tees Valley to ask

themselves if they know where their children are and what they are doing, and do the responsible thing and keep their kids away." The Dispersal Order - which can be extended if necessary - will allow large groups of youths to be dispersed from

the area for 48 hours, and if they return then they can be arrested. Cleveland Police Neighbourhood Inspector Darren Birkett said: "This level of behaviour will not be condoned under any circumstances.

"The town centre should be a place for people to enjoy and for people to work and no one should feel threatened or intimidated by the mindless acts of these individuals. "Additional officers will be patrolling the town centre and we will take appropriate action

to stop this kind of behaviour. "Police would like to remind these youths, and their parents, that fines can and will be issued for gathering in large groups above six in a Tier 3 area. "We all need to play our part and abide by the COVID guidelines to protect lives."

THORNABY MAN SENTENCED FOR SELLING ILLEGAL CIGARETTES AND TOBACCO A Thornaby man has been given a suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco.

Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 at the Mini Market, in Gladstone Street, Darlington in September 2019.

Etris Hassan Moulod, 36, of Trinity Mews, Thornaby, had been found guilty at an earlier hearing at Peterlee Magistrates' Court of four offences of possessing to supply counterfeit goods under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and four offences relating to Standardised

His case was transferred to Teesside Magistrates' Court and on Tuesday 22 December Moulod was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge, totalling £1,371, and all the products

seized were forfeited. The successful case was brought following an investigation, by trading standards, part of the council's Community Safety Team. Acting on complaints a trading standards officer arranged an inspection of the Mini Market, which was owned by Moulod at the time, as part of Operation Sirenian in September 2019. This shop along with several others in Darlington were all visited simultaneously as part of the multi-agency operation led by Darlington trading standards and assisted by B.W.Y. Canine, who provided a team of tobacco dogs, Durham Police, Immigration Enforcement and the council's Community Safety team of civic enforcement and licensing officers. Behind the counter and concealed in a hidden compartment, officers found 377 packs of cigarettes and 13 x 50g pouches of hand rolling tobacco. The tobacco dog also indicated the presence of tobacco in a shed in the yard of the store. On removing the internal cladding, a void space was discovered and a further 608 packs of cigarettes and 53 x 50g packs of hand rolling tobacco. These were all seized by trading standards.

A further visit was conducted just two days later, and more illegal tobacco products were found in the same shed. These 782 packs of cigarettes, 28 packs of shisha, and 31 x 50g pouches of tobacco were also seized. Shaun Trevor, fair trading and financial investigations officer with Darlington Borough Council, said: "It had been suspected that businesses such as these were restocking illegal goods very quickly and it is clear this store was not expecting a second visit so soon. I am pleased to see that the court result reflects the seriousness of the offences." The total seizures from the Mini Market under Op Sirenian amounted to 1,767 packs (35,340 cigarettes), 107 packs of hand rolling tobacco (5.35 kg), and 28 packs of shisha. If sold at the prices we estimate such an outlet would sell them, it equates to around £7,250 this is a loss to the economy based on true retail prices, of £23,600. As part of the same operation a van was discovered containing a huge quantity of cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco clearly destined for supply from Darlington shops. The van was confiscated by Police and the

contents were seized by trading standards. In court forfeiture for destruction of these tobacco products amounting to 7,702 packs of cigarettes and 643 x 50g packs of hand rolling tobacco was granted.

businesses and individuals that deal in them. If you have any information which could assist them then please report it. You can report anything of concern to Darlington trading standards anonymously if you wish."

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Darlington Borough Council's deputy leader, said:

Anyone with any information that can assist Trading Standards is urged to email tradingstandards@darlington. or report it using the online reporting form (this can be anonymously) at www.

"Our trading standards team is working hard with partners to keep these illegal products off our streets and will continue to crack down on those



THE NORTH EAST’S MOST INFLUENTIAL SOUTH ASIANS OF 2020 As part of our annual compilation of key influencers and movers and shakers of the North East, we bring to you our most influential South Asian’s of 2020. Earning money and achieving success is surely hard work, however being able to have influence is something that only a special few can command. These influencers can help make or break a decision, help set trends but also use their status for the good of their industry or community. So, we set out to find out, just who are the most influential within the North East’s South Asian community. Following an extensive survey with our readers and members of the North East community the difficult task of whittling down the list to the final 20 (10 men and 10 women) has finally been achieved. It wasn’t easy trust us as there are so many who are inspiring and deserving of recognition, that it was a real challenge to get to our final 20 influencers. The list is in no particular order and focuses on men and women from all sectors of business, politics, achievement, and contribution to society and here they are:




Suhail Aslam

Suhail is the Director of Teesside Manufacturing Centre & CLEMANCE. He has been with Teesside University for over 15 years and has been influential in supporting the engineering and manufacturing sectors, as well as helping local businesses grow in the region. He has helped nurture projects such as The Grow Tees Valley project, which has been designed to target Tees Valley SMEs that have ambitions to significantly grow their business through the development of existing, or new, products or services into new sectors and markets. with vehicle repairs.

Meenu Malhotra

Meenu Malhotra is founder and Chairman of Malhotra Group PLC. Educated at Sacred Heart Convent School in Ludhiana, India, Meenu came to the UK in 1979 aged nineteen years. Although from an affluent family his introduction to working life in his adopted North East began as a humble newsagent’s assistant. Inherently astute, with a natural business acumen to emerge, his early venture into setting up a fledging fashion and property enterprise rapidly expanded over the years to a multi-tiered PLC that it is today. Over the years he has won many awards and accolades and continues to help in the entrepreneurial development of the North East


Dr Ram Senasi

Dr Ram is Chairman of Imperial Medical Solutions. He is a Paediatric Radiologist with a passion for “outside the box” thinking and networking. After completing his radiology training in Sheffield in 2014, he spent a year doing his fellowship in paediatric radiology at Alberta Children’s Hospital, Canada. Dr Senasi’s role is to implement the strategic philosophy of Imperial Medical Solutions. He brings with him a deep understanding of clinical corporate structure, digital medicine, and networking. He is recognised worldwide as a teacher, speaking regularly, and is involved in various international organisations including being a committee member of the World Federation of Pediatric Radiology (WFPI) and a Founding Member of the World Federation of Emergency Radiology (WFER). He has a passion to support low resource countries, leading two separate international teams to Laos. Within the U.K., he was the conference director of the British Society of Emergency Radiology 2019.


Ammar Mirza CBE

JAmmar Mirza is a sought after, leadership and business management consultant through his company AmmarM (UK) Limited. He is a serial entrepreneur with interests and investments across a number of sectors. With more than 15-years-experience he has helped establish several hundred new businesses within the North East. As chairman and founder of Asian Business Connexions, a not-for-profit social enterprise that aims to connect, support, and promote the Asian wider community, Ammar has helped make a significant social and economic impact across the Globe. Ammar was a finalist in the Northern Asian Power list and has been a shortlist for the Northern Powerhouse Northern Lights Business Personality of the Year 2017. Among his many awards and accolades he featured in the top 50 of the 2017 Smith and Williamson Power 100 UK Entrepreneurs. Currently Ammar is helping forge international bi-lateral trade links working with Turkey and Indian based businesses to attract foreign investment into the North East.


Arnab Basu MBE

Dr Arnab Basu is chief executive of Kromek, and it would be fair to say that he is a pioneer when it comes to regional development and international trade. His company Kromek which is based at Netpark, in Sedgefield, County Durham, is best known for pioneering a scanner that can identify liquids in bottles, including explosives, alcohol and narcotics, without them being opened, in less than 20 seconds. Its technology is already used by nine UK airports, including Durham Tees Valley, near Darlington, and last month the firm revealed it had been asked to supply airports in Portugal, Cyprus and Belgium, with talks ongoing with airports across Europe. Kromek began in 2003 at Durham University, has also sold its scanners to airports in Finland, Germany, and Australia and today because of Dr Arnab’s pioneering work has been at the forefront of innovation.





Krishan Kant Attri MBE

Krishan Kant Attri, is a priest and a volunteer leader at Newcastle Hindu Temple, He was made an MBE in 2013 for his services to inter-faith relations in the North East. Within three years of assuming leadership of the temple he transformed it into not only a place of worship, but an educational, welfare and social centre and he also actively participated in the Council of Faiths. Krishan’s contribution in the field of inter-faith relationships has been lauded by the local community. He worked with other faith leaders to establish strong lines of communication between people of faith communities in the region.



Dr Abdul Kadir Yousaf

Dr Abdul Kadir Yousaf is the Deputy Chair of NE Regional Council of BMA. Along with industry colleagues, Dr Yousaf has been pushing on the campaign to make politicians sit up and take notice of the NHS and to provide more support for GP services and access to a GP in 48-hours improved surgery facilities. Dr Yousaf has also been helping in campaign to reduce Covid cases in the North East

Imran Khaliq

Imran Khaliq joined Gainford Group’s head office in 2008 as an ambitious 21-year-old, shortly after graduating from Northumbria University with a degree in business management. He is the youngest in the family run business and today is a proud director of the business, who has been, and continues to be, a driving force behind its growth. When big names like Michael Bublé, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather need a place to lay their head in Newcastle, it’s the striking Vermont Hotel that becomes the place they can call home. The award-winning hotel is the jewel in the crown of Gainford Group, a hospitality and leisure business which is driven by its founders Susan and Mohammed Khaliq who started out in 1995. Imran was instrumental in helping the company broaden its horizons and diversify their portfolio. He has helped the firm expand on their portfolio by building four more care homes and creating nurseries in Birtley and Chester-le-Street under the brand Bright Stars Nursery. The portfolio has gone from strength to strength with award-winning hotels and luxury aparthotels, to leading bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.


Raj Singh

Raj Singh has a wealth of experience and expertise in Strategic Management, Policy Planning and Development and Project Management He has vast experience in the fields of Public Administration, Housing, Leisure and the Arts, Early Years Development, Education Major multi-million-pound Capital Development Projects and Tackling Child Poverty. Raj’s recent work included Assistant Head of School Standards, Head of Early Years Development and Children Centres, Head of Education Regeneration, Head of School Attendance and Child Poverty Lead For a large City Council in the North East, spanning more than 40 years as a public servant. If that isn’t enough Raj has also built a property Investment Company, Shabilla Properties, specialising in quality furnished accommodation for professionals throughout the North East. He sits on several board, including ABC Connexions, is an accredited member of the National Landlord Association and an accredited landlord for a number of local Authorities. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Newcastle Gurdwara and played a lead role in the development of the iconic building. He is a trustee of the Hylton Castle Board in Sunderland and a serving Magistrate in Northumbria.


Jaf Ali

Jaf is the famous owner of the popular restaurant brand Dabbawal. The pioneering restaurant owner recently beat off stiff competition in this year’s annual British Curry Awards (BCA), which was held virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Winning the accolade further cements Jaf Ali’s entrepreneurial skills, especially during a very testing time for the hospitality industry, which is under threat following months of uncertainty and Tier 4 restrictions which means restaurants have to remain closed until further notice. Not one to let the pandemic get him or his business down, Jaf has done the unthinkable and opened a brand new, concept and restaurant Khai. The entrepreneur is daring and has a proven track record of success and influence within the food and hospitality sector.


Daljit Lally

Daljit Lally is Chief Executive of Northumberland County Council and is Executive Director of System Leadership and Community employed in a formal joint role between Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council. Daljit has one of the most powerful roles of leadership in the North East. Prior to becoming a CEO Daljit is a qualified Registered General Nurse (RGN), holds a BA(Hons) Business and Finance and an MBA (2002) from Durham University. Daljit held a number of clinical and management roles in the private and public sectors.




Irim Ali

Irim Ali is an Elected Councillor in Newcastle upon Tyne. She was first elected in 2008 and has since been the region’s first and only black female Councillor. She has served on many boards locally and is currently a Board member for a number of local charities.

Irim is committed to equalities in all forms and is a member of BAME Labour as well as the BAME Officer on the party’s Executive committee in Newcastle where she has been a local party Whip since 2018. Irim holds a BA (Hons) in Law and a Diploma in Legal Practice. She is a Trainee Solicitor at David Gray Solicitors. She has recently finished her training in the Immigration Department in which she represented people in regularising their stay in the UK and is now training in the Property Department including Wills and Probate.




Nazia Aftab

Nazia Aftab wears many hats, she is MD of NPA Human Resources Consultancy Limited, COO of Imperial Medical Solutions Limited and also Consultant Employment Solicitor at Jacksons Law Firm NPA was inspired by the quote that ‘there is no box’. To believe there is no box allows creativity and innovation in the workplace to flourish, a happy and productive workforce and ultimately a business with a competitive edge. Her work in human resources industry has led to many awards and as an experienced solicitor working in a corporate law firm made her one of the most respected in the industry allowing her to advise businesses on all areas of employment law and HR support.

Sangeeta Chopra

Namaste Taste of India is the genius work of Sangeeta Chopra. Situated at the north end of the Park View in Whitley Bay, the unique eatery is part food, part cooking supplies shop and part café. It serves homemade food, ranging from meat, vegetarian, and vegan dishes to popular snacks like samosas, spring rolls and onion bhaji. There is a set menu each day, with meals such as daal makhani (lentils), butter chicken, chilli paneer, rajma (red kidney beans) and chana curry, served with rice or naan. Sangeeta’s innovative concept of selling speciality groceries, along-side the café, has proved successful during the pandemic. A lot of the time, people go to the west end of Newcastle to get things like spices and flour. Sangeeta has made it convenient for locals to buy such items here in Whitley Bay


Veena Soni BEM DL

Veena has worked in education for over 30 years as a teacher, subject lead and Head of Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS). She has extensive experience in equality and diversity, raising achievement of Gypsy Roma and traveller (GRT) pupils and teaching English as an additional language (EAL) pupils. She has worked in a large number of schools throughout the region and has extensive knowledge of strategies to use with young people who have English as an additional language. Veena has developed many resources for EAL and Traveller pupils which have been used in schools and other education institutions. Veena has worked with parents and ran workshops and training sessions for parents so that they can understand the school curriculum, policies, procedures and strategies used in schools. Veena’s expertise lies in a whole school approach to supporting ethnic minority pupils and believes that all teachers should have the knowledge and strategies to work with pupils who are at different stages of language acquisition. She has delivered workshops to senior education leaders, the school leadership team, teachers and teaching assistants. Veena also by appointment of Her Majesty the Queen has been entrusted as the Deputy Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear.


Shareen Qureshi

Shareen is one of few women who has risen the ranks in the banking sector Shareen has spent the best part of her career with Barclays Bank PLC. Particularly over the last several years, Shareen has been responsible for bringing a diverse collection of businesses, entrepreneurs, and people to Barclays. Heading up a unique area within Marketing at Barclays, she has delivered on the Bank’s promise to be at the forefront of technology in the 21st century. Shareen is also CEO and founder of SportsTech, a global organisation is based upon the three pillars of Technology, Philanthropy and People.


Shazia Noor

Several years ago, Shazia was a at a low point in her life feeling as though she had not achieved anything in her life. She remembered seeing other successful women and thinking how she could ever do anything successful. One morning she got up and decided to change her life. A few years on she has established Nur Fitness with a small work force and are currently working with partners such as Public Health, Steps Forward Tees Valley and now have their own centre. Her main aim in life is to help women reach their full potential using health and fitness as a catalyst. Shazia has helped develop new innovative opportunities for women to help women become fitter, and more confident, as a result helping them get their career back on track by either volunteering or employability. Her work has also seen significant improvements in women’s mental health and has helped break down barriers for women in sport and being more aware of mental health.




Surbhi Vedhara

Surbhi Vedhara is a Senior Partner at Sweeney Miller Law, a Newcastle based law firm renowned for providing quality legal services to clients across the country. She grew up in Mumbai, India and in 2002 she moved to Newcastle with her husband Ashish. Following her move to the UK, she studied Law at Northumbria University and went on to qualify as a solicitor, eventually becoming a partner in Sweeney Miller. Surbhi now specialises in Commercial Property


Sharmishta ChatterjeeBanerjee

Sharmishta ChatterjeeBanerjee is Head of Corporate Connections and Internationalisation at Newcastle University Business School. With extensive experience in the UK higher education sector and travel, retail and advertising industries, in her current role she is responsible for developing a portfolio of strategic partnerships with high quality institutions, professional bodies, and commercial organisations and leading on the award winning Global Experience Opportunities programme. Sharmishta holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science and International Relations from Jadavpur University, India and a MA in Marketing Management from Nottingham Business School. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, an alumna of the Santander UCLA W30 leadership programme and has recently completed Advance HE’s Aurora Women in Leadership programme. Sharmishta is passionate about equality, diversity, and inclusion, and serves on the University’s Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic (BAME) Advisory group. star Sunny Leone to sell the stars range of products at her business.


Ranjana Bell MBE

Ranjana has over 35 years’ experience in the field of Equality and Diversity. She has been a teacher for children with special needs; a Race Equality Officer for a local authority; an Equal Opportunities Officer for a university; a Non-Executive Director for a design company and has held the position of Director for her own company, rba Equality & Diversity since 1998. She has been on many Boards and committees and is currently Chair of the Northumbria Police SIAG, PCC Independent Member for Police Misconduct Panel and Chair of Young People in Conversation. She was a government appointed Commissioner for the Women’s National Commission for four years and Co-Chair of the NE CPS Scrutiny Panel for Racist and Religious Hate Crime. She has been a Lay Member of Employment Tribunals since 1999. She has also been a Board member for The Cyrenians (Changing Lives); SAHELI and The Angelou Centre. She has won several awards, which include a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Equality and Diversity by CULTURES CIC and not forgetting awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Honours for her work with the police and BME communities in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.






Image: U.K. Attorney General’s Office.

Malini Nebhrajani. Awarded Companions of The Order of The Bath Leading figures like musicians, community leaders, campaigners and choreographers are among South Asians honoured in the Queen’s New Year Honours List. This year is the most ethnically diverse list yet, with 14.2 per cent of recipients coming from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background. In total, 1,239 people have received an award. Among those recognised is inspirational coach Salma Bi who has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours for her services to cricket and diversity in sport. Bi, one of cricket’s first South Asian female umpires, was recognised for her work in launching ‘Believe in Making A Difference Chitra Sundaram for services to the South Asian dance sector who becomes an MBE. Dr Harnovdeep Singh Bharaj for services to people with Diabetes in the South Asian community. Shravan Jashvantrai Joshi for services to diversity and to the British Hindu Community. Members from the community make up some of the 803 of the recipients who have undertaken outstanding work in

their communities. 603 women are recognised in the List, representing 49% of the total.

Commanders of The Order of The British Empire

In a year that has truly tested the resolve and determination of those on the frontline, the New Year Honours List includes 1,239 recipients, recognised for their extraordinary contributions in all four nations of the United Kingdom. Public sector workers make up 14.8% of the list and include firefighters, medical professionals, teachers, police officers and local government workers – all of whom are being recognised for making a huge individual impact, and in particular in the response to COVID-19.

Fayyaz Afzal Obe Circuit Judge, England And Wales. For services to The Judiciary and To Diversity and Inclusion

The youngest recipient is 20-year-old Samah Khalil, the Youth Mayor of Oldham. She receives a BEM for her work in empowering young people. A list of those from the South Asian community and what they have been recognised for is below.

Companions of The Order of The Bath Malini Nebhrajani Legal Director, Department for Health and Social Care Legal Advisers, Government Legal Department. For public service.

Professor Bashabi Fraser for services to Education, Culture and to Integration in Scotland Wasfi Kani Obe Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Grange Park Opera. For services to music

Officers at The Order of The Empire Professor Raad Shakir Professor of Neurology (Visiting), Imperial College London. For services to Global Neurology Professor Sembukuttiarachilage Ravi Pradip Silva, Director Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey. For services to science

Nina Wadia to scientific research Professor Farah Naz Kausar Bhatti Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon. Tanjit Singh Dosanjh founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Prison Opticians Trust. For services to Optometry in Prisons and Reducing Re-Offending. Nadim Ednan-Laperouse Mbe Co-Founder and Trustee, Natasha Allergy Research Foundation. For services to people with allergies. Tanya Ednan-Laperouse CoFounder and Trustee, Natasha Allergy Research Foundation. Dipanwita Ganguli Principal, Sutton College. For services to adult education.

Consultant Anaesthetist, University College London. For services to Anaesthesia, Perioperative and Critical Care. Lord Diljit Singh Rana Mbe Chairman, Andras House Ltd. For services to business and to the economy. Asiyah Ravat Executive Principal, Star Academies. For services to education. Mrunel Sisodia. For services to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, particularly during the Covid-19 Response

Dr Nisreen Ala-Din Sahib Alwan Associate Professor in Public Health, Southampton University. For services to medicine and public health during Covid-19. Humza Arshad Comedian and Writer. For services to education. Rabinder Nath Bhanot Jp for services to wellbeing and community action, particularly during the Covid-19 response. Dr Harnovdeep Singh Bharaj, Consultant, Diabetes and General Medicine. For services to people with diabetes in the South Asian community.

Fozia Tanvir Irfan for services to the community, particularly during the Covid-19 response.

Members of The Order of The British Empire

Councillor Azhar Ali Leader of Labour Group, Lancashire County Council.

Professor Partha Sarathi Kar Consultant and Endocrinologist, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

Professor Alka Surajprakash Ahuja Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Royal College of Psychiatrists (Wales). For services to the NHS during Covid-19

Professor Suneetha Ramani Moonesinghe Professor of Perioperative Medicine and

Malique Jamal Al-Shabazz Constable, Merseyside Police. For services to policing and ethnic minority communities in Merseyside

Gajan Lavan Wallooppillai for services to Equality and Community Cohesion.

Anwar Ali Founder and Director, Upturn Enterprise Ltd. For services to Social Enterprise

Professor Dhiya Al-Jumeily Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Liverpool John Moores University. For services

Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre. For services to social justice and to gender equality.

Norah Al-Ani Director,

Aquiline Chivinge Senior Nurse Research Leader, for services to patients from Ethnic Minority Backgrounds

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continued from page 10 Itiola Durojaiye Diversity Policy Adviser, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. For services to diversity. Avinash Dussaram Members Services Officer, Parliamentary Digital Service. For services to Parliament, particularly during the Covid-19 response. Ismail Mohammed Gangat Founder and Proprietor, Azhar Academy Girls’ School, Forest Gate. For Services to Education. Anita Goyal For services to diversity and to female empowerment. She receives the accolade for a career in which she has reached 10,000 women with her work on female genital mutilation (FGM), menstrual discrimination and human trafficking. Dr Mohammad Taya Haier Medical Director, for services to the NHS, particularly during the Covid-19 response and to the community. Mohammad Imran Hamid for services to youth empowerment and social welfare projects. Dr Amir Simon Hannan General Practitioner, Haughton Thornley Medical Centre. For services to General Practice. Mursal Hedayat Founder, Chatterbox. For services to social enterprise, technology and the economy. Syeda Islam For Services to the community particularly during the Covid-19 response. Moinul Islam Founder and Project Manager, Outta Skool North West. For services to sport and education in the community, particularly during the Covid-19 response. Shravan Jashvantrai Joshi for services to diversity and to the British Hindu Community. Dr Shikandhini Kanagasundrem Director, Infection Prevention and Control and Consultant Microbiologist. For services to Microbiology, Infection Prevention and Control, particularly during the Covid-19 response. Harjinder Kaur Kandola Chief Executive, Barnet, Enfield And Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust. For services to mental health, particularly during the Covid-19 response. Abdul Majid for services to Integration in Glasgow and to charity in Scotland and abroad. Arpal Morzaria Attendance and Wellbeing Champion, Risk and Intelligence Service, H.M. Revenue and Customs. For services to staff wellbeing Hamid Motraghi Lately Chair, Home Office Race Network and Chair, Civil Service Race Forum. Ruchi Nanda Lately Account Manager, Department for International Trade. For services to trade investment and to Business. Mohamed Hazrath Haleem Ossman for services to the Sri

Surgeon Raghu-Ram Lankan community in the UK Satyesh Parmar Consultant Surgeon. For services to Oral and Maxillofacial Cancer Surgery Bhaven Pathak for services to Business and British Hinduism Niraj Kumar Sharma Immigration Liaison Officer, Immigration Enforcement, Home Office. Professor Hora SoltaniKarbaschi Professor of Maternal and Infant Health, Sheffield Hallam University. For services to higher education and to maternal and infant health Sasi Srinivasan Early Years Manager, London Borough of Brent. For services to education Chitra Sundaram for services to the South Asian dance sector Anjuu Trevedi Head, Regional Business Engagement, University of Leicester. For services to business Innovation Rajinder Tumber Cyber Security Executive, Ernst And Young. For services to the cyber security industry Shahab Uddin Director of Legal, British Olympic Association. Manoj Varsani Founder, Sos Supplies. For services to

protective care during the Covid-19 response Haleema Yousaf for services to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities

Medallists of The Order of The British Empire Samira Ahmad Assistant Scientific Officer, Animal and Plant Health Agency. For services to animal health during the Covid-19 response and to the community Dr Azeem Alam Co-Founder, Bitemedicine And Junior Doctor, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. For services to medical education during Covid-19. Dr Alam receives the BEM for founding BiteMedicine, which provides free medical education for medical students, physician associates and aspiring doctors during COVID-19, teaching over 10,000 students worldwide via online, live webinars. Anand Bhatt Co-Founder, Aakash Odedra Company. For services to Dance and to the community

Apache Indian Salma Bi For Services to Cricket and to diversity in sport Saran Chowdhary for services to Kidney Research UK, Organ Donation and South Asian Communities Imran Ahmed Chowdhury for services to community cohesion Golam Mahbab Alam Chowdhury Refugee Support Staff and Emergency Responder, British Red Cross. For services to healthcare during the Covid-19 response Asha Rani Day Nurse, health visitor and clinical team leader. for services to the NHS and to minority ethnic equality during the Covid-19 response Yasin Matthew Ross El Ashrafi Founder, Hq Recording Studio, Leicester. For services to young people, to music and to



Daljit Singh Grewal For Services to The Community, particularly during the Covid-19 response

Haroon Mahmood for services to the community

Maya Joshi for services to the vulnerable Steven Kapur Founder, Apache Indian Music Academy. For services to music and to young people

Aakash Odedra Co-Founder, For services to dance Ayesha Pakravan-Ovey Founder, The Plattery And Vital Meals. For services to charity and to vulnerable people during Covid-19

Sanjay Jayenedra Kara Trustee, Baps Swaminarayan Sanstha. For services to community cohesion and public and charitable Service in the UK

Harilal Narandas Patel for services to community cohesion

Samah Khalil for services to young people

Dr Aminur Khosru Rahman for Services to education

Ziaul Khan for services to the Community Nadeem Sadiq Khan Charity Helpline Housing Adviser and Team Leader, Shelter. For services to the homeless during

Khakan Munir Qureshi Senior Independent Living Officer. For services to LGBT equality

Syedur Rahman for services to charity Azizur Rahman Foods Section Manager, Marks and Spencer. For services to the community Mohammed Usman Rakq Senior It Assistant, Glasgow Caledonian University. For services to education and to students with hearing impairments Charandeep Singh Founder, The Sikh Food Bank. For services to charity Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “In a year when so many have made sacrifices to protect our NHS and save people’s lives, the outstanding efforts of those receiving honours today are a welcome reminder of the strength of human spirit, and of what can be achieved through courage and compassion. “The 2021 New Year Honours offer us an opportunity to salute their dedication and recognise many who have gone above and beyond in their contribution to our country. As we begin a new year and continue to come together to fight this virus, may their service and stories be an inspiration to us all.”





Image: North Tees and Hartlepool NHS FT. Attribution required

University Hospital of North Tees, Stockton BY ALEX METCALFE FRONT-LINE health workers are bracing themselves for a “tsunami” of demand as covid rates continue to rise on Teesside. NHS data shows all boroughs in the region are recording climbing virus rates in the community. Demand has remained high at both North Tees and James Cook Hospitals as staff battle winter pressures as well as covid cases.

However, the continuing winter pressures and rise in community cases have prompted a dire warning of future demand. A trust spokeswoman said: “While it looks like a slight drop, we’re waiting for an absolute tsunami. “We’re in readiness for the post Christmas influx. “The areas we cover in Hartlepool are seeing rates

massively increasing.”

week to December 26.

Figures show Hartlepool’s rolling seven day rate of covid cases has risen to a new high of 727.1 cases per 100,000 people.

But the latest data shows this now stands at 295.3 per 100,000.

Middlesbrough’s seven day average of positive cases using positive test between December 26 and January 1 has hit 455.1 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the rate in Redcar and Cleveland has more than doubled in the past fortnight. The borough had one of the lowest rates in the country at 127.6 cases per 100,000 in the

Image: EVENING GAZETTE/TEESSIDE LIVE. Attribution required

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust was treating 164 covid patients on Sunday.

This is down from more than 190 people it was treating in the final week of December.

James Cook University Hospital, South Tees NHS Trust

Warnings of a third wave in January were sounded by North Tees medical director Dr Deepak Dwarakanath in the run up to Christmas. Staff also warned they were very tired. Hospital chiefs have created a new “team support worker” role to help stretched ward staff while high numbers of staff isolate. Neighbouring South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust saw a plateau in covid demands in December. But virus patient numbers at James Cook have started to rise once again. It is understood the trust was treating 136 virus patients on its wards as of Monday with 19 people in critical care. Last year’s peak saw the trust treat 152 patients with 26 in intensive care. A South Tees trust spokesman said: “It’s essential that people follow the guidance and that we all do everything we can to stop the spread of this very infectious new variant of the

Image: North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Deepak Dwarakanath, medical director at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust disease.”

and the NHS was “under strain”.

Tighter national measures are set to be announced by the Government shortly.

“This is an incredibly serious situation and one that requires our Government to act without delay,” he added.

Labour has called for new England-wide restrictions to come in immediately. Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham said the virus was spreading at an “alarming rate”

“The Prime Minister has said that further restrictions are inevitable but doesn’t say what these are, or when he’ll take action. “We can’t afford for him to be too slow to act again.”



IN 2021




KANGANA RANAUT BACK IN MUMBAI, FEELS ‘PROTECTED, LOVED AND WELCOMED’ BY ADITYA RANGROO ai city, and on Actress Kangana Ranau t is back in Mumb Shri Siddhivinayak and Devi a Mumb Tuesday offered prayers at e. templ ity I faced for She wrote on Twitter, “The amount of hostil d me, today I standing up for my beloved city Mumbai baffle got their and ji ak ivinay Siddh Shri and devi a went to Mumb med. Jai Hind Jai blessings, I feel protected, loved and welco Maharashtra”. was engaged This comes just a few months after Kangana nment after gover state a rashtr Maha s India’ with n tensio in PoK. comparing Mumbai with ared Mumbai to It all began after the ‘Queen’ actress had comp on to Taliban istrati admin the and ir, Kashm pied Pakistan Occu this, her ing Follow year. this in her social media post earlier nmumbai Briha the by lished demo lly partia was ra office in Band 9. mber Municipal Corporation on Septe

MANOJ BAJPAYEE UNVEILS THE POSTER OF NEW SEASON OF 'THE FAMILY MAN' Actor Manoj Bajpayee has announced the new season of his superhit Amazon Prime Video-based show ‘The Family Man’. Bajpayee, who is seen playing the role of a middle-class man serving as a world-class spy in the show, shared the first look poster of the second installment of the thriller series. The poster sees a time bomb being tied to a gift box kept on a table, while pictures of Bajpayee and his co-star JK Talpade are also seen lying near it. The time bomb's digital meter shows 2021 on it indicating the new year ahead. Manoj wrote, “Bahot hua intezaar. Aapke liye new year ka tohfa laaye hai. Zara dhyaan se kholna. #The FamilyManOnPrime (Enough of the wait. We have brought the New Year's gift for you. Open carefully)”. The new season of the show will see Srikant Tiwari (Manoj

Bajpayee) and Sharib Hashmi (JK Talpade) taking on a bigger and deadlier mission. Ever since the release of season 1, ‘The Family Man’ has received immense love, appreciation, and accolades from across the globe. The show has been created and directed by Raj and DK and will see Bajpayee and Hashmi reprising their roles along with Priya Mani and Sharad Kelkar. The series also marks the digital debut of southern superstar Samantha Akkineni in a neverseen-before avatar. ‘The Family Man’ is an edgy, action-drama series, which tells the story of a middle-class man, Srikant Tiwari, who works for a special cell of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The series plots Srikant's tightrope walk as he struggles to strike a balance between his secretive low paying, highpressure, high-stakes job and being a husband and father or a 'family man'.

SONAM KAPOOR STARTS SHOOTING FOR CRIME THRILLER ‘BLIND’ IN GLASGOW Actress Sonam Kapoor has kick-started the shooting for her crime-thriller ‘Blind’ in Glasgow. Indian film critic and movie trade analyst Taran Adarsh shared the news on Twitter. He also shared a picture of the clap, which showcased shot 1 to be shot in the day time. He tweeted, “SONAM KAPOOR: CRIME THRILLER STARTS TODAY... Start-to-finish shooting of #Blind - starring #SonamKapoorAhuja -

commences today in #Glasgow [#Scotland].” “Story of a blind police officer in pursuit of a serial killer... Costars #VinayPathak, #PurabKohli and #LilleteDubey.” Directed by Shome Makhija, produced by Sujoy Ghosh, Avishek Ghosh, Manisha W, Pinkesh Nahar, Sachin Nahar, and Hyunwoo Thomas Kim, the movie is scheduled to release in 2021. The ‘Raanjhanaa’ actress in

November this year completed 13 years in Bollywood and shared a poster from her first film Saawariya. Alongside, she wrote, “13 years ago I debuted with Saawariya. Each and every moment in this industry has been a blessing. The good, the bad and ugly have all been intensely cinematic. Thank you India and thank you to each and every filmmaker who believed in me. I’ve been blessed to have worked with the best who’ve pushed me to give my best.”

Actr ess Priyanka Cho pra Jona s is exci ted to turn the page on this year and is hop eful for wha t 2021 will brin g. Priyanka post ed a selfi e on Insta gram , whe re she is seen spor ting a whit e crop top pair ed with lave nder bott oms . She spor ts a bob and no mak e-up . He wrot e in the capt ion, “Ref lecti ng. On the last Mon day of 2020. Exci ted to turn the page on this year, and hop eful for wha t 2021 will brin g. Wha t abou t you? ” The ‘Fas hion’ star is curr entl y shoo ting for the Holl ywo od rom anti c dram a, tent ative ly title d ‘ Text For You’. Written and dire cted by Jim Stro use, the film is an Eng lish rem ake of the Germ an-l angu age film ‘SMS Fur Dich’, base d on Sofi e Cram er's nove l. She co-s tars with Sam Heu ghan in the film.




Superstar Amitabh Bachchan ruled the virtual world of Twitter in 2020 among Bollywood topics. Not to mention, with 44.9 million followers. Amitabh is the second mostfollowed person on Twitter, after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The senior Bachchan who is an avid Twitter user, given the dedicated numbering (which gets goofed up from time to time), recently shared a poem on the microblogging site. However, a fan pointed out that the lines belonged to her and were not credited for the same. “Sir, I am fortunate to have my lines on your wall. My happiness and pride would have been doubled if my name was on your wall.” Bachchan posted a fresh tweet and replied, “This tweet credit should go to @ TishaAgarwal, I was not aware of its origin ... someone sent it to me, I thought it to be good and posted ... apologies.” According to

#ThisHappened2020 Twitter report, Amitabh Bachchan among other celebs had the top entertainment tweets of 2020 in India. In July, Big B took to Twitter to share that he has contracted the novel coronavirus, and that has become the most liked and quoted tweet of the year. Meanwhile, the actor has a busy year ahead, with a big line-up of films coming up. He will be seen with Emraan

Hashmi in ‘Chehre’, and also in Nagraj Manjule's ‘Jhund’. In Ayan Mukerji's ‘Brahmastra’ he shares screen space with Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Nagarjuna and Mouni Roy. Big B's upcoming roster also has ‘Mayday’, co-starring Ajay Devgn and Rakul Preet Singh, and directed by Devgn. His other forthcoming release is an untitled film with Prabhas and Deepika Padukone.

IRRFAN KHAN’S LAST FILM ‘THE SONG OF SCORPIONS’ TO RELEASE IN 2021 Late actor Irrfan Khan’s last film titled ‘The Song of The Scorpions’ is set to be released in 2021.

the magician on the big screen for the last time!!!” past which a portrait of the ‘Angerzi Medium’ star is showcased in the video.

India’s film critic and movie trade analyst Taran Adarsh announced this news on Twitter.

The message is played in the backdrop of a desert, which showcases a blow of wind post which Khan’s face close up is shown followed by the announcement of the film release 'Early 2021' is displayed.

He wrote, “IRRFAN'S LAST MOVIE. #Irrfan’s last film - #TheSongOfScorpions - to release in 2021. Directed by Anup Singh. Presented by Panorama Spotlight and 70mm Talkies.” Adarsh also posted a short clip that featured a message, “A golden chance to witness

The internationally renowned actor Irrfan Khan passed away in April this year at Mumbai's Kokilaben Hospital while battling a rare kind of cancer.


‘MY GIRLFRIEND ALIA BHATT IS WORKAHOLIC,’ SAYS RANBIR KAPOOR Superstar Akshay Kumar took to Instagram to wish his wife and author Twinkle Khanna on her birthday. He joked about spending another year making ‘questionable life decisions’ with her. Posting a picture of them, he wrote: “Here’s to another year of questionable life decisions. But I’m so glad I get to make all of them with you Happy birthday Tina.” Akshay and Twinkle make a rather unlikely pair but have had a successful marriage. Together they have two children - son, Aarav and daughter Nitara. On one occasion, taking part in a question-and-answer session on Instagram as part of Twinkle’s @tweakindia efforts, they had answered questions from children. One of them was about who was the best cook in their family. Akshay had joked: “I don’t think you even have to say it. It’s me. She can’t even make an

omelette.” Twinkle, who is known for her sense of humour, had cracked up and said that their son Aarav was the best cook in the family. She had said: “He (Akshay) is a very good cook. He knows how to fry my brains, boil my blood. If you really want to know the best chef in our family, it’s our son. He can make anything, from rajma to pizzas to the most amazing dessert.” Akshay had agreed, adding, “He is the best cook, I am the second-best and she can only cook stories.” Twinkle had once been asked why she had not changed her last name to Kumar, after marrying Akshay. In her trademark style, she had said, “Why didn't I change my last name from Khanna to Kumar? My answer has always been the same- I am married not branded. I am not a tiny company that a big firm like Godrej has taken over and now I have to change my brand name as well.”

Actor Ranbir Kapoor has finally come out in the open about his relationship with actress Alia Bhatt. The duo has been rumoured to be dating for a while now but never accepted the same in public. The love bloomed between them when they came together for Ayan Mukerji's upcoming film ‘Brahmastra’. It was also said that the duo was planning to get married this year but the COVID-19 pandemic spoiled their plans. Now, Ranbir has confirmed that he will be ‘sealing’ the deal soon with Alia Bhatt. During a recent interview with Rajeev Masand, Ranbir reportedly opened up about how he spent his time in the lockdown. He revealed that while he watched 2-3 films in a day, his ‘girlfriend Alia’ took many online classes. He said, “My girlfriend Alia is a bit of an overachiever, and she probably took every

class there is -- from guitar to screenwriting. I always feel like an underachiever next to her. But no, I didn’t take any classes. Initially, we were dealing with the family crisis, and then I got into reading, spent time with my family, and I watch two-three films every day.” About his marriage plans, Ranbir revealed that if it wasn't for the pandemic, he would have taken the plunge. He said, “I don’t want to jinx it by saying anything. I want to tick that goal very soon in my life.” On the work front, Ranbir Kapoor will be seen in ‘Brahmastra’ also starring Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Mouni Roy and Nagarjuna. The film also has a cameo by Shah Rukh Khan who will be seen as a scientist. In the film, Ranbir Kapoor will be seen as Shiva while Alia Bhatt plays his love interest Isha who supports him in his quest for the all-powerful Brahmastra.




KANGANA RANAUT SHOWS HER POETIC SKILLS WITH NEW SELF-WRITTEN POEM ‘RAKH’ Actress Kangana Ranaut showcased her poetic skills again with a new Hindi poem titled, which she posted on social media along with an artistically shot video. The video that the star shared shows a montage of her recent hiking trip with the family. The poem uses “Rakh (ash)” as an analogy to express her willingness to touch the sky even after she dies. “Wrote a new poem called Rakh got inspired while hiking, do watch when you can,” the ‘Queen’ star captioned the post. Capturing the beauty of mountains covered with snow, in the 41-second long video Kangana is heard reciting “meri rakh ko ganga me mat sagar ki gehraio bahaana, har nadi sagar me jaakr milti h. mujhe hu.. meri raakh ko i chaht a chhun ko asman mai hai.. lagta dar se usey chhu saku.. pahado pr bikher dena.. jab suraj ugye to mai eri rakh ko us saku..m kar n baatei se d chaan to hu tanha mai jb shitij pe chord dena.” Ganges, every (Translation Do not immerse my ashes into the the ocean. I of s depth the of afraid am I sea. the river meets tains. When moun the on want to touch the sky. Spill my ashes talk to can I , lonely be will I when it, touch can I the sun is up n.) the moon. Give my ashes to that horizo round score The 33-year-old actor recitation runs as the backg video the g, sharin of es minut Within throughout the video. managed to garner more than five lakh views. such selfThe ‘Fashion’ actor, earlier has previously shared Day for her r's Mothe on one written poems like ‘Aasman’ and r. mothe

PANKAJ TRIPATHI SAYS ERA OF SUPERSTARS BEGAN FADING AFTER 1990s Actor Pankaj Tripathi, who is all set to play a yesteryears’ superstar in the upcoming film ‘Shakeela’, says the era of superstars started to fade after the 1990s.

style of heroes of that decade. Flashy gold accessories, bright colours and prints are what embodies his look, which will remind many of the iconic heroes.

He told the media, “The nineties heroes truly were superstars. The era of superstars started fading away after that. These heroes have been heroes not just on-screen but off-screen, too. Every element of their personality -even their wardrobe -- became statements.”

Talking about older fashion, Pankaj said, “The fashion of that time was so peculiar, much like any other decade. That's what we want to embody on screen. I thoroughly enjoyed the process to get into this look, wearing flashy flamboyant clothes -- a far off thing from a lot of the other work I have done.”

In ‘Shakeela’, Pankaj plays a quintessential South Indian cinema superstar. As a key part to achieve this character, considerable thought went into matching the wardrobe and

VIVEK OBEROI RECONSTRUCTS HIS ENTRY SCENE FROM ‘SAATHIYA’ AS MOVIE COMPLETES 18 YEARS Vivek said, “On this very occasion yours truly has decided to ride his way down memory lane!! Thank you for showering your love to Aditya and Suhani. #18yearsofsaathiya,” he mentioned in the same post and thanked the members who were associated with the flick. The Shaad Ali directorial movie showcases a love story, by stellar performances from the lead actors - Vivek Oberoi and Rani Mukherjee. Vivek Oberoi’s romantic flick ‘Saathiya’ has completed 18 years today and the actor has reminisced his memories of the film by recreating his entry scene from the movie. The ‘Masti’ actor wrote on Intagram, “O humdum

suniyo re...o janiya suniyo re...haha.. cannot believe it's been 18 years...!.” Along with the post, he also shared a short video clip of his montage from the song ‘Oh humdum soniyo re’ from the movie ‘Saathiya’. In context to the film,

The movie was also complemented by the melodious music of A.R.Rahman. Released eighteen years ago in the year 2002, the film won some notable awards including Filmfare and IIFA for various zoners.

‘Shakeela’ also stars Richa Chaddha in the title role, and is scheduled to release on December 25 in theatres.

Actress Jacqueline Fernandez is glad to have survived 2020, which turned out to be a fulfil ling year for her, at least professionally. Looking back at 2020 that saw peop le battling a pandemic, Jacqueline was quoted by the med ia as saying, “2020 has been a roller coaster ride, a year with so much happening globally. However, we have all surv ived and I'm glad all of us are up and running to do our best .” Even though there was a lockdow n since March, she tried to be at her ‘productive best and make the most of every opportunity’. “The year has been fulfilling profe ssionally for me with the back-to-back project announcemen ts and post the unlock there has hardly been a day for rest. I have enjoyed each day of work thoroughly,” said the actre ss, who had shot a music video with superstar Salman Khan during the lockdown. Stepping into 2021, her resolution for the new year is to be happy and positive. She further said, “The coming year seems like pretty much the same in terms of shoot schedule s, which means it'll be hectic, but I am looking forward to the year and never wish to stop working, I would rather prefe r to hop from one set to another than be deprived of the joy of shooting.” Her upcoming projects are ‘Bachcha n Pandey’, ‘Bhoot Police’, ‘Cirkus’ and ‘Kick 2’.

AMITABH BACHCHAN SAYS HE LEARNS ABOUT HIS FOLLY THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AND FANS Superstar Amitabh Bachchan is currently hosting the hit quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati 12. During the recent episode, he got candid about social media criticism while speaking to one of the contestants on the hot seat. While questioning Shivam about his social media presence, Amitabh shared that he uses it to remain in touch with his millions of fans. Shivam says that he uses Facebook occasionally and the 78-years-old actor tends to skip the discussion, but he continues talking about criticism from fans on social networking sites and how it tends to be beneficial sometimes. The ‘Black’ actor says that there is nothing wrong with being critical about one's work and that he himself is open to it. He added, many times he learns about his folly through the fans via social networking sites adding there's nothing wrong in admitting mistakes when someone is going wrong. Amitabh himself is not new to social media criticism and his candid confession is noteworthy. Recently, one of the participants also had a candid one-on-one with the actor about his social media habits. He had shared that it gets late while attending work duties and that is why he often

posts stuff late at night. “Arrey yaar sojaao kya kar rahe ho tum. Daant dete hain (People say, 'what are you doing,' go to sleep. They yell at me),” Amitabh shared about his fans scolding him on social media for posting late. “Gaali waali be dete hain. Aye budhau soja, derr ho gayi bahot (They even curse me. 'Aye old man, it's late, go to bed'),” he further revealed.



PROMINENT BOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES WHO DIED IN 2020 BY ADITYA RANGROO The events that unfolded in 2020 has been cruel to the entire world, especially Bollywood. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the shootings of films have been halted and subsequently, some of the major releases have also been postponed indefinitely. Apart from that, India’s entertainment industry has lost some of the noted celebrities and the absence of these stars has created a void that can never be filled. From Irrfan, Sushant Singh Rajput to Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor, here are the legends who left us in 2020.

Sushant Singh Rajput

29 in Mumbai. The actor had been unwell for a long time and a week before his demise, he was admitted to Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai city after being diagnosed with colon infection. He had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in 2018 and had lost his mother in Jaipur just three days before his death. Irrfan was known for his extraordinary acting skills and was also dubbed as India’s face in the West. Eldest of three siblings, Irrfan joined the National School of Drama after his father’s death. After doing television for years in the 80s, Irrfan found his big break in Aasif Kapadia’s The Warrior. His career steadily progressed and he went on to deliver memorable performances in films such as The Life of Pi, The Lunchbox, Piku, Paan Singh Tomar, The Namesake, and Maqbool among others. His last film was Angrezi Medium, ahead of which the actor had shared an empowering video message for his fans, stating that the only choice he had was to remain positive.

Rishi Kapoor It is difficult for Sushant Singh Rajput’s fans and admirers to come to terms with his death. On June 14, the actor was found dead at his Bandra apartment. He was 34. The actor had become a household name with the television show Pavitra Rishta before entering Bollywood. His performance as Manav Deshmukh had touched millions of hearts. Sushant then made his debut on the big screen in 2013 with the film Kai Po Che. It was the beginning of his amazing and eventful career. He earned praise for his performance in MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Shuddh Desi Romance, and Chhichhore, among others. His demise has sparked a debate on social media about the alleged nepotism and favouritism in Bollywood and several celebrities and politicians demanding a CBI enquiry into his death.

Irrfan Khan Legendary actor Irrfan Khan breathed his last on April

Ace Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor passed away in Mumbai at the age of 67 on April 30 following a two-year-long battle with leukemia. The actor returned to India in September 2019 after reportedly undergoing treatment in the US for almost a year. In February 2020, Rishi Kapoor was hospitalised twice due to his health issues. A third-generation actor, Rishi Kapoor, was the second son of actor Raj Kapoor and grandson of Prithviraj Kapoor. He began his career as a child artiste in Mera Naam Joker (1970), for which he received

the National Award. As an adult protagonist, his first film was Bobby in 1973. Kapoor went on to act in over 90 films in the next four decades. He was last seen in 102 Not Out co-starring his dear friend Amitabh Bachchan, where the latter played Kapoor’s centenarian father.

Saroj Khan

42 on June 1. The news was confirmed by singer Sonu Nigam, who wrote in a social media post, “My brother Wajid left us.” Wajid’s family in an official statement had said the cardiac arrest was the cause of his death. Sajid-Wajid had made their Bollywood debut with Salman’s 1998 movie Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya. They went on to create chartbusters for Salman’s various films, including Garv, Tere Naam, Tumko Na Bhool Payenge, Partner and more.

Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989), Saajan (1991) and in the 1994 blockbuster Hum Aapke Hai Koun…! SPB’s death left the industry and his admirers in dire distress while they consoled themselves saying his songs will live on.


hilly city of Dharamshala on November 12. The actor was found hanging in the complex when the police reached the spot. While the reason for him resorting to the extreme step is still not known, the Himachal Pradesh police is investigating the matter.

Arya Banerjee

SP Balasubrahmanyam

Three-time National Award winner, veteran Bollywood choreographer, Saroj Khan, passed away due to cardiac arrest on July 3. She was 71. Khan, who was fondly called as masterji, was admitted to Mumbai’s Guru Nanak Hospital on June 17 after suffering from a kidney condition and was on regular dialysis support. Khan was born as Nirmala Nagpal. She joined the film industry as a child artiste, playing the younger Shyama in Nazarana. She eventually became a background dancer in the 1950s. She later became an assistant choreographer and her first break as an independent choreographer came with Geeta Mera Naam (1974). She tasted fame with the song Hawa Hawai from Mr. India (1987). Her collaboration with Sridevi on other projects like Chandni and Nagina further boosted her profile. It was, however, her collaboration with Madhuri Dixit that transformed the careers of both the artistes.

Wajid Khan Wajid Khan, of composer duo Sajid-Wajid, died at the age of

Legendary playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam breathed his last on September 25 in Chennai. He was 74. The sixtime National Award-winning singer was not keeping well since August 5 and his health condition further deteriorated on September 24. He was laid to rest with full state honours on September 26. Balasubrahmanyam, fondly called as SPB, was known for his prowess of singing in 16 Indian languages. In his eventful singing career spanning over five decades, he has recorded more than 40,000 songs. Though he made his debut in 1966 with a Telugu film, the language was never a barrier for the versatile singer as he lent his voice to songs in multiple languages.

Veteran Hindi film comedian Jagdeep, who enthralled millions of Indians through his inimitable portrayal of a variety of characters in his eventful career spanning over decades, passed away on July 9. He was 81. Jagdeep, remembered for his role as Soorma Bhopali in the blockbuster film Sholay, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra, appeared in nearly 400 films. Born on March 29, 1939, in Amritsar, Jagdeep’s real name was Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jafri. He is survived by his two sons, actor Javed Jafri and television director Naveed Jafri. Jagdeep is gone but for countless fans he will forever be Soorma Bhopali, the raconteur of amusing stories!

She made her Hindi film industry debut with LSD: Love, Sex Aur Dhoka and had starred in Milan Luthria’s ‘The Dirty Picture’ where she played the role of Shakeela. She was found dead in her apartment in South Kolkata. Arya was her screen name. Her real name was Debdutta Banerjee. She was the daughter of renowned sitar player Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. This photo was taken in 2010 during the promotions of Dibakar Banerjee’s film Love, Sex Aur Dhoka.

Ravi Patwardhan

Asif Basra Bollywood actor Asif Basra was found dead in a private complex in the northern

The singer had become Salman Khan’s on-screen voice, crooning popular tracks for him in films like

Known for his powerful roles and deep voice, noted Marathi and Hindi film actor Ravi Patwardhan passed away on December 6. He suffered a cardiac arrest. He was 84 years old. He has acted in 150 plays and more than 200 films.



BOLLYWOOD 2021: From ‘83’ to ‘Sooryavanshi’, top 10 movies to look out for


While 2020 has turned out to be a dark, forgettable year for the Hindi film industry because of Covid-19, there is some hope that 2021 will turn out to be different with a large number of films -both small and big-budget ones- will find their way to theatre screens across India and abroad. One notable thing about 2020 was how Bollywood quickly moved on as projects were stalled and many jobs were lost during the lockdown. From shootings being halted to postponing release dates, the entertainment industry saw it all and is ready to return to the silver screen with much-awaited projects. Here are the top 10 Bollywood movies to watch out for in 2021:





The much-anticipated movie was scheduled to release in December 2020 but the pandemic forced a postponement. After Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, this is Ayan Mukherji’s first project after 7 years. The movie has steller actors starring Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Alia Bhatt. The dates are not confirmed yet but hopefully, it will release hopefully release in 2021, having been delayed for long already.

Directed by Kabir Khan, ’83 is a movie on India’s historic Cricket World Cup win in 1983. The sports drama stars Ranveer Singh in the role of team captain, Kapil Dev, and is slated to release in 2021. It was earlier scheduled to be out in April 2020.



The movie is a part of Rohit Shetty’s Singham franchise and was a much-awaited movie slated to release in 2020. Now the makers have decided to schedule it for the first quarter of 2021. The movie has Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif in lead roles.


Pathan Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, and John Abraham, Pathan is slated to release on Diwali 2021. The movie is directed by Siddhartha Anand and the shooting has begun for the action-revenge flick.




8 Atrangi Re

Slated to release in 2021, the movie is directed by Anand L Rai and stars Akshay Kumar, Sara Ali Khan, and Dhanush. The movie will see Khan romancing Kumar and Dhanush in two timelines set in Bihar and Tamil Nadu, according to media reports.

Gangubai Kathiawadi

Another movie that was supposed to release this year, the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed biopic is now slated for 2021 if all goes well. The shooting for the movie resumed in October and stars Alia Bhatt as Gangubai Kathiawadi, apparently one the most dreaded character in Mumbai’s underworld.


6 Jersey

Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai

Finally, all the Shahid Kapoor fans can finally sigh in relief. Directed by Gowtam Tinnamuri, Jersey is a Telugu-remake that will release in 2021. The shooting was wrapped in 47 days during the pandemic. Kapoor will be seen playing the character of a cricketer and will also star Pankaj Kapur.


Directed by Prabhu Deva, the action-drama got Salman Khan and Disha Patani in leading roles. The shooting was wrapped up in October and most probably will release on Eid 2021.


Laal Singh Chaddha

Aamir Khan will return to the silver screen as Laal Singh Chaddha in the Hindi adaptation of the Tom Hanks starrer Forrest Gump. Forrest Gump was released in 1994 and is recognised as a classic. The movie was adapted for a Hindi remake by actor, writer Atul Kulkarni. Previously scheduled for release on Christmas 2020, the film’s release has now been pushed to Christmas 2021 as the shooting couldn’t be completed on time because of the pandemic.


Starring Kangana Ranaut in the lead role, the shooting of Thalaivi was wrapped up on December 12. Following the pack-up, Ranaut wrote on Twitter, “And it’s a wrap, today we successfully completed the filming of our most ambitious project Thalaivi- the revolutionary leader, rarely an actor finds a character that comes alive in flesh and blood and I fall in love so hard but now suddenly it’s time to say bye, mixed feelings.”. The movie is directed by AL Vijay and also features Arvind Swami and Prakash Raj.





Shabab Gulfraz


Our resident For more infofinance columnist shares hi rmation shab s finance view ab@asianstand s this week.


PUZZLES Crosswords CROSSWORD Across 1 Greet enthusiastically (4) 3 Sheath for a sword (8) 9 Willingly (7) 10 Inflexible (5) 11 Story or scene of happy innocence (5) 12 Gas essential for life (6) 14 Upper part of the windpipe (6) 16 Polar region (6) 19 Onto dry land (6) 21 Sleeper’s vision (5) 24 Souvenir (5) 25 Guilty party (7) 26 NCO (8) 27 Be afraid (4)


Down 1 Awful (8) 2 European country (5) 4 Former name of Sri Lanka (6) 5 Crazy (5) 6 Increase (7) 7 Extinct bird (4) 8 Stringed instrument (6) 13 Curved sword (8) 15 Cattle thief (7) 17 Puzzling question (6) 18 Warning light (6) 20 When expected (2.3) 22 Spooky (5) 23 Part of the eye (4)

Happy New Year So, it has come to light that financial fraud has significantly increased over the last nine months since COVID-19 started. I went to see an individual last week, whose father has been the victim of individuals calling him from abroad. He is over 90 and receives persistent calls from fraudsters telling him that he has committed tax fraud. This has impacted his health, he is not able to sleep, and as you can imagine his health has deteriorated.

Spot the



First and foremost, please please, get rid of idiots immediately if they telephone you. If you give too much away, they will keep calling you, or their so called, business associates will be sold your data. It can happen to any one of us, as scammers are getting more and more sophisticated. So, this week I have come to appreciate the how to avoid scammer letters providers send out to us, when we request information relating to clients. The scale of fraud regulators etc. have been underplaying, and it’s not a few million as indicated previously, but it actually runs into billions of pounds over the last few years. If you do get a call from someone from the internet requesting to review your pensions, then please check to make sure the individual referred to you is actually a financial adviser from a reputable firm, and please do not get sucked into anyone that tries to say your pension can be transferred from the current provider to your bank account, abroad etc. I can tell you now this is not possible, and a breach of pension rules. Also, taking the money out in cash is seriously unwise as the only winner is the tax man as you will end up paying up to 45 per cent tax, as well as the fraudster possibly taking the rest. We also have an increase of fraud relating to government funding, which let’s face it runs into billions again. The bounce back loans have been abused by many, as well as the Furlough payments. I would encourage you to report said individuals to action fraud because let’s face it they are benefiting on the back of a pandemic and taking advantage of taxpayers who will inevitably foot the bill. I honestly believe the government has been naive, incompetent, and allowed fraudsters to target individuals. I have heard of many stories of people being sucked into paying commission on loans etc. Let’s hope the reviewers of said loans (once the government finally gets round to investigations) are more competent and get back monies given rather than it becoming a forgiveness loan with no consequences.

ANSWERS SPOT THE 5 DIFFERENCES 5. The color of the child's T-shirt. 4. The child's sweater. 3. The buttons on his jacket. 2. The button on his pants. 1. The zipper on his blouse.

Disclaimer: Please note views of columnists, do not represent the views of the newspaper.





FIVE TIPS TO HELP YOU KEEP EXERCISING THIS NEW YEAR Exercising more is one of the most common new year resolutions people make. But more than a quarter of people fail to keep their resolutions, and only half maintain some of them. But if that still sounds daunting, here are five tips from Professor Bradley Elliott Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Westminster that may help you better keep exercising if that’s your goal this year.

sub-goals, you’re more likely to be successful. Being able to tick off the goals as you go may also give you a positive motivational boost to keep going.

2. Don’t take up running (unless you enjoy it)

1. Have a plan and an end goal

Running is great. Almost anyone can do it, it’s great for the whole body, requires minimal equipment and you can do it almost anywhere. Running also improves cardiovascular health and bone density. That said, I hate running – so I don’t do it.

Resolutions can be great – don’t let me discourage you. But when you start out, set both your lofty goal, and a firm roadmap of the steps you need to follow to get there. This will help you maximise your odds of success in reaching that goal.

People often ask what type of exercise they should do, and I typically tell them that the answer depends on what they enjoy doing. This is because you’re much more likely to keep doing exercise you enjoy over activities you find yourself dreading.

Want to run 2,021km in 2021? Breaking this larger goal down would mean you should plan on running 5.5km a day (every day) or about 8km every day before work if you work Monday-Friday. But also consider what happens if you get an injury – do you have redundancy built into your plan? You should also plan breaks to prevent overtraining.

And somewhat surprisingly, research shows that it doesn’t seem to matter what type of exercise you do when it comes to health and longevity – as long as you’re exercising you’ll see benefits. Resistance training, aerobics, highintensity interval training (HIIT) and possibly even yoga may all stimulate your body in different ways, but have positive outcomes in terms of health and longevity – especially when combined together.

Research shows that by combining ambitious goals with multiple achievable

But if you do want to take up jogging, you can also keep yourself motivated by joining group events – such as parkrun.

3. Get an exercise buddy When England first went into lockdown in March, I started a new exercise programme with my partner. Nine months later, we’re still both stuck at home and still exercising together six days a week. That peer encouragement, motivation and occasional guilt trip from my better half has really helped. And plenty of research shows that starting a new exercise programme with someone else will help you both to maintain your regime in the long term. This could be because the external peer pressure is helpful, or possibly because the positive social interactions from exercising with others makes it more fun. Daily lunchtime walks with someone in your bubble, the whole flat doing morning yoga before the workday starts, or weekday football with you mates are all great ways to help you start exercising in the new year – and stick to that goal. And since exercise is “infectious”, starting a new type of regular activity may motivate those close to you to join in too. So, even if you can’t convince your flatmate to start with you, you might end

up getting them to join in and you’ll both benefit.

to prevent them from stalling your progress.

4. Remove as many barriers as possible

5. Get a dog

What are the things that stop you from going for a walk, or to the gym? Is it because you’re too busy? Schedule time. Is it too expensive? Look for cheaper alternatives such as park exercises or YouTube workouts.

This last one isn’t for everyone – I get that. But multiple peerreviewed papers suggest that dog owners live longer. We do know that dog owners walk about 3,000 steps more per day, so it could be a simple as being more physically active than nondog owners.

Identifying the barriers keeping you from achieving your goal will allow you to figure out what you can do

If you don’t have a dog, try thinking of reasons to walk more anyway. Small amounts of physical activity done

throughout the day really do add up. Things like avoiding the lift and taking the stairs a few times per day or standing up every ad break really does lead to positive changes over time. Exercise is good for, and will help you live a longer and healthier life. Even if you think you don’t like exercise, perhaps you just haven’t found the right type yet. And if that’s not the case, breaking your goals down, removing any barriers and finding a buddy (with two legs or four) to exercise with will help you maintain your new exercise routine throughout the new year. This article originally appeared in The Conversation



WANT TO WORK FOR ASIAN STANDARD NORTH EAST? Journalist Wanted RF Publishing Ltd publishes the North’s leading FREE ethnic print title – Asian Standard platforming the South Asian community with a view to reaching out to wider communities. We currently have three regional titles based in Bradford, Kirklees and now the North East. Our news patches are growing along with our readership and therefore we are looking for more journalists to join our team. We are looking for experienced journalists to join our news patch for the North East. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 1-year journalism experience covering community and political news. They will have media law knowledge and trained with or to NCTJ standard. The ideal candidate needs to be self-motivated and a go getter. They need to get to the heart of our communities and find stories that are not only breaking, but fresh and exclusive. Candidates must also be familiar with social media apps and be able to use word press to post articles online. Understanding of South Asian communities would be an advantage but not necessary. With Covid in mind we will be offering opportunities to work from home with both freelance and employed opportunities, providing excellent perks and remuneration. It’s a really exciting time to join our organisation as we have growth plans to expand both our digital and print offerings. Pay: Freelance and Employment opportunities available Hours: Flexible To apply send your CV and an example of a written piece of work to

Sales & Distribution We are looking for an energetic individual who can deliver our newspapers business to business on a weekly basis. The right candidate will have a positive and friendly personality and be able to use their personality to build partnerships and relations with local business owners to help grow our news sales and distribution within the North East region. Our newspaper – Asian Standard North East is FREE for the public to pick-up from supermarkets, cafes, offices and community centres. While we already have arrangements with business owners, we want our distributor to be able to regularly monitor and increase pickup points and find new places to distribute the newspaper. You will be required to keep records and take images to manage all the distribution locations and proof of delivery. So good organisation skills and preparing spreadsheets is an essential part of the role. As you will be the face of the company, you will be expected to be well presented, with excellent communication skills. From time to time business owners may also ask to advertise in the newspaper and you will be required to be on hand to provide the information. A flexible working approach is required due to weather conditions and delivery delays from time to time. A clean driving license is advantageous and will be prioritised when shortlisting for the position. Pay: £10ph plus expenses Hours: Flexible Email your CV to





YOGA FINDS GROWING ACCEPTANCE AMONG BRITISH MASS CULTURE The world has now become an unpredictable place with people from all walks of life contracting several health ailments even at an early age in their lives. And, with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the capriciousness has further accelerated. Amid the unpredictability, stress, depression and anxiety seem to have become a daily part of our lives, putting millions of people on the verge of collapse. Certainly, mental health has become a much bigger challenge than anything in today’s world. In a view of the rising fear of mental illness among people around the world and steps to tackle this problem, Yoga provides the utmost solution that enables people to recoup from any mental trauma or get rid of persistent anxiety or stress. Having its roots in ancient India and practiced as a comprehensive spiritual healer for the mind and the

body, yoga has become increasingly popular in the western world as a universal approach to health and wellbeing. It is now practiced by millions of people globally. If we look at the UK, the popularity of yoga has increased to dominate a market worth over £875 million and the latest health and wellness trends show that yoga appears to have no sign of stopping.

Yoga’s popularity among Brits It may be a surprise for some people, especially those who were born during the 1940s and 1950s, to see how quickly ancient India’s yoga practice has been embraced into Britain’s mass culture. Love for Yoga among Britishers has grown in numbers over the years, suggested by a prominent British scholar of modern yoga Suzanne Newcombe.

She revealed the numbers after the vast majority of Britain’s people practicing yoga increased from 5,000 in 1967 to more than 50,000 just six years later in 1973. These numbers were further increased in 2019, with nearly 500,000 British people practicing yoga regularly each week. With such massive popularity in the UK, Yoga has been promoted by many on social media platforms, with several yoga lovers have endorsed their videos on Instagram and subsequently found many followers. There are numerous viral videos of Spandex-clad women in intense postures disseminated on social media. In fact, contemporary yoga has transformed into a digital extravaganza of yoga enthusiasts competing for followers. Professor David Gordon White, an expert in South Asian religion and culture, stated that yoga is India’s

biggest export to the world, and it has transformed many lives across the globe. Yoga has also strongly dominated social media

channels with trending hashtags such as #yogaeverydamnday, #namaste, #instayoga, #yogababe and

#idoyogasoidontkillpeople. Interestingly, the popularity of yoga is not restricted to the adults or mid-aged population in the UK

WWW.ASIANSTANDARD.CO.UK For instance, a Kent-based 10-year-old schoolboy has been felicitated with the Global Child Prodigy Award 2020 for achievements in spiritual discipline yoga in January this year. Ishwar Sharma was chosen from the UK for the awards which honour child prodigies from across 45 countries and 30 different categories such as paleontology, biking, choreography, fitness and martial arts, among others.

ASIAN STANDARD / NORTH EAST the $4.5 trillion worldwide wellness market.

Health benefits of yoga While there are numerous different forms of yoga,

the main elements of yoga include breathing methods physical poses, relaxation and meditation. There is growing evidence that yoga is an effective multi-component health intervention that lowers stress, improves physical

25 activity and enhances wellbeing.

blood pressure, diabetes, or any heart-related ailment.

Clinical studies have suggested that the regulator practice of yoga not only reduced stress or anxiety but also helps in controlling

Yoga also exalts spiritualism among its practitioners and soon they find peace of mind, positive thinking and a sense of purpose and belongingness in their lives.


Sharma told media: “I started an e-petition with the UK government to include yoga in the national school curriculum and nearly 20,000 people signed. I hope it will be done soon. “My aim is to promote yogic lifestyle to combat climate change and help yogic methods to improve mental health among children and adults. This award gives me an opportunity to be an ambassador for yoga and spread the message”, he added. Another interesting aspect of modern yoga practitioner’s is that they are making yoga classes/sessions more unique by creating a soothing ambiance around in order to enhance the yoga practice and also paving the way to make it more spiritually enlightened.

alone, but even the young lads in Britain are getting attracted to this worldwide phenomenon irrespective of their origins, religion, or race.

In the wake of this, Britain’s flourishing yoga market is also an indication that more and more people are eager to prioritise their health. The growing yoga practice among the British population has significantly contributed to reducing stress, depression and anxiety levels. Meanwhile, trends such as broga are making yoga more comprehensive for men who could otherwise struggle hard to pursue a healthy outlet for stress. The #yogisofIG lead Britain’s yoga artistic with their flat stomach, toned waists and picture-perfect poses. Other procedures such as disco and tequila yoga make it more appealing to the people. Also, a UK-based business Hotpod, which is now Europe’s biggest yoga brand, believes that yoga practices, not only in Britain but across the world, have been reinvented. With shimmering lights, mesmerising music and soothing aromas, Hotpod classes offer an extremely advanced and immersive yoga experience. On the commercial front, Britain’s yoga segment is presently worth about £926 million and forms part of

Downward Facing Dog: It is used in most yoga practices and it stretches and strengthens the entire body.

Mountain Pose: It is the base for all standing poses; it gives you a sense of how to ground into your feet and feel the earth below you.

Plank: It teaches us how to balance on our hands while using the entire body to support us. It is a great way to strengthen the abdominals and learn to use the breath to help us stay in a challenging pose.

Triangle: It is a wonderful standing posture to stretch the sides of the waist, open up the lungs, strengthen the legs and tone the entire body.




BREXIT DEAL DONE: WHAT’S IN IT AND WHERE NEXT FOR THE UK AND EU? BY ANDREW GLENCROSS, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, Aston University To misquote Shakespeare, our Brexit negotiating revels now are ended. The tempestuous talks did not lead to a dramatic walkout, even if at times the UK government gave the impression this was a feud worthy of the Montagues against the Capulets. The negotiators ignored the background noise and succeeded in drafting a dense legal document on which the future of UK-EU relations now hangs.

How the deal came together The UK was adamant throughout the negotiations that it be treated as a sovereign equal of the EU and have its independence respected. This was particularly important when it came to fishing rights – one of the last issues to be resolved. There were always two problems with this argument. Firstly, as explained by the Spanish foreign minister – a veteran trade

negotiator – a trade agreement is designed to establish interdependence rather than being an exercise in asserting independence. Secondly, the EU is simply a bigger beast economically speaking than the UK. This meant Brussels was confident it could weather the disruption of a no-deal separation better than the UK. By refusing to extend the transition period despite the pandemic, prime minister Boris Johnson ensured both parties faced the same time pressure. But they did not face the same level of risk if no agreement was reached. Hence the real ringmaster of the Brexit deal was Father Time, not Johnson or Angela Merkel, as UK newspapers often reported. Nevertheless, it looks like the UK government will claim victory by arguing that it is now able to escape the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice while getting tariff and quota-free


access for goods exported to the EU. In a statement immediately following the announcement of the deal, the UK government did just that:



would lead to potentially restricted access to the single market. In a press conference on the deal, Johnson reassured “fish fanatics” there would be plenty for their dinner plates, but the

is reviewed on an ongoing basis, depending on the UK approach to financial regulation and data protection. That puts the sector on a much less firm footing than, say, manufacturing.

This is because the deal requires a constant dialogue with the EU over things that can affect the terms of the agreement, such as government subsidies. This is the position Switzerland constantly

major revolt. But his strongest card might be to simply shift the blame to his predecessor, Theresa May, for triggering Brexit without a plan. Meanwhile, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted

deal means that for the next five and a half years EU-based vessels will continue to enjoy significant access to British waters, during the transition to a final arrangement.

Selling the deal

finds itself in. The Brexit deal requires both sides to submit to a general review after four years to make sure both sides are meeting the requirements. Hard eurosceptic Conservative backbenchers, who pushed for a no deal, may see this as a

immediately after the deal was announced that “no deal that will ever make up for what Brexit takes away from us. It’s time to chart our own future as an independent, European nation.” So, while one episode in this long drama may be drawing to a close, it seems that

concession too far. What can Boris Johnson do to overcome internal opposition? His parliamentary majority is sufficient to overcome anything short of a

others, relating to the very future of the UK , are far from over.

The deal … guarantees that we are no longer in the lunar pull of the EU, we are not bound by EU rules, there is no role for the European Court of Justice and all of our key red lines about returning sovereignty have been achieved. It means that we will have full political and economic independence on 1st January 2021. The reality though – as with everything Brexit-related since 2016 – is far more complex.

In the deal Johnson’s negotiator David Frost liked to argue that the UK just wanted a standard free-trade deal like that between Canada and the EU. In reality, the UK was asking for extras, such as mutual recognition of conformity assessment for goods and mutual recognition of professional qualifications. The EU does not appear to have budged on those. Brussels was also adamant that the deal required legal guarantees to prevent the UK undercutting the single market by using its new regulatory autonomy to lower environmental standards or employment rights. Johnson agreed in principle to this level playing field idea in the political declaration that accompanied the 2019 withdrawal agreement he got through parliament. Then, later in negotiations, he tried to renege on this pledge. In the end he u-turned again. The deal states that divergence from EU standards

It’s clear that free movement of people has ended, while goods will face customs and regulatory checks. Transport chaos around the port at Dover is therefore still a distinct possibility after January 1 if exporters fail to have the proper paperwork to cross the Channel. Given they have not done this in a generation, there are bound to be difficulties. EU-based hauliers might also opt for caution and in the short–term avoid the risk of getting their lorries stuck in the UK. The UK will also leave the Erasmus higher education exchange programme, which will come as a blow to many students – although the UK now plans to launch its own “ Turing” scheme to offer placements at universities around the world. Much less clear is the future of the UK’s key export industry: financial services. Outside the single market, the City of London relies on the EU to grant permission to service EU-based clients and sell them banking, accounting, and associated legal products. This “equivalence” arrangement

The dance is over but now comes the hard sell. Credit claiming and blame avoidance will be the twin priorities for the UK government. Johnson is bound to play up the sovereignty angle by highlighting

the ability to avoid the intrusion of EU law. The blame game is where things are likely to get more interesting.

This article originally appeared in The Conversation




Gulfisha Kabab

Soyabean, Chana Dal Ke Shami

Chef Shaeem


hef Shaeem Mohammad Quraishi is a consultant chef based in Lucknow with more than two decades of hospitality experience. He specialises in a range of Indian cuisines from Awadhi, Mughlai, Dum pukht, Kabab, Punjabi, Hyedrabadi and Kashmiri adding a contemporary touch of modern India.

He began his culinary journey at the age of 13, under the guidance of his father, Mohammad Naeem Quraishi, who was very well known for providing catering at high profile weddings and large banqueting events for the who’s who of Lucknow. Chef Shaeem shadowed and witnessed at close quarters his father’s culinary skills and started working for his father by first learning the art of frying onions – correctly. He went on to graduate at Lucknow University and then completed his catering diploma from Kohinoor Catering College in Dehradun and followed it up by completing his MBA from Anna Malai University. After working in international hotels in the Middle East to gain experience and travelling globally to open food festivals and restaurants, Chef Shaeem has returned to his roots in Lucknow where he is at his most comfortable best recreating his father’s unique dishes with his own twist. Asian Standard are delighted to be partnering up with Chef Shaeem to bring our readers some of the tastiest and most unique dishes for you to try at home.

Method In a pressure cooker add soyabean, chana dal ginger garlic paste, black pepper, green cardamom black cardamom, cloves, mace, bay leaf, cumin, black cumin, whole chili, cinnamon, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, fried onion and add water mix well and boil it for 4 whistle. Remove from the heat. The mixture should not be watery it should be able to make ball of the mixture once cooked. Take out all the whole spices. Let the mixture cool down and grind to a smooth paste. Then add coconut, ittar, kewra, rose water , roasted chan powder and coriander leaves and mix well. Then take a small ball of mixture, make it flat on your plam stuffed cheese and make round patties. In a non stick pan add oil at medium heat. then shallow fry them in hot oil. Let it fry both the side until it is golden brown. Serve with any chutney.



• 100 gm. Soyabean (overnight soaked) • 50 gm. Chana dal (overnight soaked) • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste • 10 no. black pepper • 4 no. whole red chili • 4 no. green cardamom • 2 no. black cardamom • 2 no. javitri (mace) • 2 no. bay leaf • 4 no. cloves • 1 no. cinnamon • ½ tsp cumin • ¼ tsp black cumin (shahi jeera) • 1 tbsp red chili powder • 1 tsp turmeric powder • Salt to taste • 1 drop metha ittar • 4 drop kewra water • 4 drop rose water • 50 gm gm. Desiccated coconut (dry) • 50 gm roasted chana powder • Coriander leaves fina chopped • 1 no. big onion slice fried. • 2 cup water • Oil for frying • For stuffing • Cheddar cheese

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SEVEN-TIME F1 CHAMPION LEWIS HAMILTON KNIGHTED IN UK HONOURS LIST Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton added another feather to his illustrious cap after he was awarded a knighthood in the United Kingdom New Year Honours list. The award comes at the end of an exceptional year for Hamilton in which he

won a record-equalling seventh world title while helping Mercedes to a seventh straight constructors' crown. Hamilton also matched and then surpassed Michael Schumacher's all-time

record of 91 wins, taking the tally up to 95. The award, which dates back to medieval times and carries the title 'Sir', is given to a select few for exceptional achievement in any given activity, with

previous F1 recipients including Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Frank Williams, Sir Patrick Head and Sir Jack Brabham. "Lewis is a true giant of our sport and his influence is huge both in and out of a car. What he has achieved is phenomenal with still more to come," said Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1's incoming CEO, in an official statement. "All of us at Formula 1 congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition of his achievements and look forward to seeing more of his brilliance in 2021," he added. Hamilton equaled Schumacher's record after an astounding performance in the Turkish Grand Prix in November this year, which was also his 10th victory of the season.

DON'T KNOW WHETHER LIVERPOOL WILL SIGN CENTREBACKS: KLOPP Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that he does not know whether the club will be looking to sign a centre-back during the transfer window, despite their injury concerns. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are out with longterm knee injuries and Joel Matip is recovering from an adductor problem and as a result, Liverpool is without their three recognised defenders. Midfielder Fabinho has been filling in for these injury concerns while

19-year-old Rhys Williams made his Premier League debut against Tottenham in December last year. "We have solutions in the squad obviously, but we struggled still with injuries. For most of the time with centre-half position, it can happen like this -- when it starts, it does not stop. We have solutions with the squad but if we can do something in the window, I don't know. It is like that," quoted Klopp as saying. "It is a very difficult transfer

window, as you can imagine. Not all of the clubs have real money. Just doing something makes no sense. Doing the right thing makes sense. So far, we have really liked what we have done," he added. Liverpool is currently at the top of Premier League 202021 standings with 33 points from 16 matches. The side will next take on Southampton later in the Premier League and if the side wins the clash, it can gain a 3-point advantage at the top.


RONALDO OVERTAKES PELE TO BECOME 2ND HIGHEST GOALSCORER EVER AS JUVENTUS BEAT UDINESE Five-time Ballond'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed Brazilian legend Pele to become the second-highest goal scorer ever after scoring a brace for Juventus in the Serie A clash against Udinese recently. Ronaldo netted his 757th and 758th career goal in either half of a 4-1 win as Juventus got back to winning ways in Serie A. Summer signing Federico Chiesa and Paulo Dybala also got their name on the scoresheet, but Ronaldo stole the limelight with his record-breaking feat. Juventus superstar now sits second in the list of all-time goal-scoring charts in football, only behind Austrian-Czech legend Josef Bican, who had netted 805 official goals in 530

matches between 1932 and 1955. Bican had played for the likes of Slavia Prague, Rapid Vienna along with representing Austria and Czechoslovakia at the international level. Ronaldo's first-half strike marked the 15th consecutive season he has plundered 20 goals for club and country. Ronaldo followed that up with an assist and another goal to complete a wonderful individual performance, and he has now scored twice in six Serie A matches this season, a joint-record alongside Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski across the big five European leagues. The defending champions are at the fifth spot with 27 points in 14 games.

BEIJING 2022 UNVEILS SEAL-CARVING STYLE PICTOGRAMS The Beijing 2022 organising committee BOCOG on New year’s eve, released gala 30 pictograms for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, which are inspired by Chinese calligraphy and seal carving.

which is the first city to host both Summer and Winter Games, and constitute a vivid example of how Olympic legacies are carried on," said Lin, who is also the chief designer for Beijing 2022 emblems.

The pictograms will also have a kinetic form to attract the younger generation to Beijing 2022 and the millennium-old craft, a historic first for an Olympic Winter Games.

The 30 pictograms, 24 for the Winter Olympics and six for the Paralympics, were finalized with the work of half a year before the final appreciation of the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee and every International Winter Sports Federations.

"Our earnest hope is to present China's cultural system through these tiny sports logos. The Olympics is a platform for China to express itself, and these pictograms encompass its tradition and modernity," said Lin Cunzhen, chief designer of the pictograms, Xinhua news reports. When the graver carves into the surface of a seal, chips are presented as ice and snow splashes when the "athletes" move in the

animated pictograms.

craft," he said.

Zhang Mingguan, an engraver and professor with China's Central Academy of Fine Arts, who was in charge of carving out the designs, believes kinetic pictograms add vigor into the traditional art.

The style also brings back the memory of the 2008 Summer Games in the Chinese capital. The emblem for the city's firstever Olympics was a red Chinese seal enclosing a lively dancing figure that resembles the Chinese character "Jing," which means capital.

"Some young people may feel calligraphy and carving are distant, so we want to deconstruct the art form and let them understand the

According to Lin, the seal carving style demonstrates

winter sports' speed and strength and echoes the 2008 Games. This time the design captures the style of the Han Dynasty some 2,000 years ago, which was a golden age in Chinese seal carving. Although the sports logos resemble Chinese characters, they do not have a reference to any specific ones. "These two designs will imprint on Olympic history the cultural mark of Beijing, Floyd Mayweather

"You cannot catch the sense of the sport without drawing one hundred sketches, and some take even a thousand," recalled Lin, who repeatedly consulted experts in each sport. Each pictogram has two renderings in Zhuwen and Baiwen. Zhuwen, which literally means red characters, are imprinted by

cameo carved seals while Baiwen, or white characters, are left by intaglio carved seals. Moreover, the colour red is the 'Glowing Red' from the Games' colour system, which represents the ink paste and goes with the seals, to stay consistent with the look of the Games as well as add a festive vibe to the Games, which will overlap with the Chinese New Year in 2022. "It's another example of presenting time-honoured Chinese art in a modern way while integrating the quintessence of Chinese culture into sports presentation on the Olympic stage," said Gao Tian, vice director of the culture and ceremonies department. According to the organisers, the pictograms will be applied in various formats, including event signposting, advertising, communications, TV broadcasting and souvenir design.

2 - 8 JANUARY 2021




PCB AWARDS: BABAR AZAM NAMED ‘MOST VALUABLE CRICKETER’ WHILE FATIMA SANA TAKES ‘EMERGING WOMEN’S CRICKETER’ TITLE AT ANNUAL CRICKET AWARDS Despite the pandemic that forced limited cricket, Pakistan’s premier batsman Babar Azam managed to leave his impact in the few opportunities he got. Following his brilliance in 2020, Babar was named the ‘Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year’ and the ‘White Ball Cricketer of the Year’ by the Pakistan Cricket Board on New year’s day. The stylish top-order batsman amassed 338 runs in four Tests at an average of 67.6. In limited-overs cricket, he was stupendous as he scored a total of 221 runs in three outings at an average of 110.5 in ODIs. In T20Is, he scored 1681 runs at an average of 55.2. With such numbers, Babar is without a doubt the best player in Pakistan right now. At just age 26, Babar could certainly make International cricket really exciting. It was also good to see Women’s cricket being acknowledged with Fatima Sana taking the emerging cricketer title. At just 19 years old, Fatima Sana is one of the youngest members of Pakistan’s squad. Although inexperienced on the international stage, she has impressed representing the PCB Challengers in the National Triangular T20 Women’s Championship 201920 in Pakistan. Mohammad Rizwan – who has replaced Sarfaraz Ahmed as the wicketkeeper for Pakistan – won the prestigious Test Cricketer of the Year. He scored 302 runs at an average of 43.14 in 2020.

He also has 12 dismissals to his name in five Tests this year. Fawad Alam’s brilliant 102 versus New Zealand in the first Test was the ‘Individual Performance of the Year’. Another big award went to young pacer Naseem Shah who won the ‘Men’s Emerging International Cricketer of the Year’ Aliya Riaz was named the ‘Women’s Cricketer of the Year’. LIST OF ALL WINNERS: • Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year – Babar Azam • Test Cricketer of the Year – Mohammad Rizwan • White-ball Cricketer of the Year – Babar Azam • Individual Performance of the Year – Fawad Alam (102 v New Zealand, 1st Test) • Women’s Cricketer of the Year – Aliya Riaz • Domestic Cricketer of the Year – Kamran Ghulam • Corporate Achievement of the Year – First-ever HBL PSL 2020 in Pakistan • Men’s Emerging International Cricketer of the Year – Naseem Shah • Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Rohail Nazir • Women’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Fatima Sana

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