Issue 209

Page 1



APRIL 2016 ISSUE No.209


APRIL 2016



Is this the story that inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet?





hizzical Productions in association with the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry present Bring on the Bollywood, a brand new Bollywood musical combining influences from British classical literature and contemporary Bollywood style. City and country, old and new collide at Colonel Pawar’s ancestral home – the shabby and un-chic Lakshman Villa. Confined within these walls, his wife Mrs Pawar pines for the cultural polish of London, New York or Paris! Enter the dashing Bollywood actor Amit and his newly eligible cousin Ronny – a quiet and withdrawn young British man who is here to scatter the ashes of his love. The Pawars have found a potential suitor for their quick-witted and resolute daughter Katrina, who is sharp, sassy and in complete control, until she learns of her parents intentions. What could possibly go wrong? Bring on the Bollywood’s creative team include the critically acclaimed writer and director Samir Bhamra, choreography from internationally renowned performers Subhash Viman and Sonia Sabri and outstanding contributions from multi-disciplinary composer Niraj Chag. The unique sights and sounds of Bollywood cinema are recreated to perfection by musical director Sonum Batra, stage designer Oliver Shapley and Faye Rowse with costume design by Almari and lighting design by Pete Bragg. Director Samir Bhamra said “Over the last decade Bollywood has been revitalised by a new generation of visionaries presenting contemporary stories coloured with the vibrancy of India. We wanted to to take British audiences on a journey to one of the most romantic locales, the Valley of Flowers and fill it with the comedy that comes from a dysfunctional Indian family.” Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England added “One of our aims is to invest in the creation of artistic work which reflects England’s contemporary culture. Phizzical’s production of Bring on the Bollywood will do just that. Mixing iconic elements of Bollywood and British culture, the show will offer a new take on a traditional story that we hope will entertain and inspire audiences at the Belgrade.”

Fresh from her role in the hugely successful Bend it Like Beckham on the West End, Nottingham-born actress Sohm Kapila stars as Katrina Pawaar. She is joined by Adam Samuel-Bal as Ranbir ‘Ronny’ Kapoor who was last seen at the Belgrade Theatre playing Sully in the critically-acclaimed UK Tour of Blood, a co-production between Tamasha and the

Belgrade Theatre. Completing the cast are Sakuntala Ramanee, Rohit Gokani, Bhavin Bhatt, Rishi Nair, Nikkita Chada and Rasheeda Ali. Phizzical is renowned for creating entertaining and thought-provoking theatre and dance that brightens the audience’s imagination with the colour and spirit of Bollywood.

BRING ON THE BOLLYWOOD An all-new Bollywood musical!


The Musical

From the creators of the award-winning Britain’s Got Bhangra (People’s Favourite Musical – Off West End Awards), comes a new contemporary musical, retelling the greatest love story from the east. Laila takes shelter from a raging storm in an old bookshop, where she chances upon a book with her name on it. She is compelled to open the book and is consumed by the story – Laila finds herself in an old story and on a new journey… From the Persian deserts, the bittersweet story of star-crossed lovers Laila and Majnu, has been passed down through verse and song over centuries. The story of young love and feuding families is given a modern musical twist, taking you across the sands of time. Will love or fate prevail? “In every heart there is an inclination to love her. Her tresses are like the night, and her name is Layli.” Nizami Ganjavi (Circa 1192)





amrick Singh Bahia was honoured by Prime Minister David Cameron for his efforts in raising over £100,000 for prominent cancer charity, Delete Blood Cancer UK. Samrick, who overcame his cancer battle, was diagnosed with Leukaemia, in January 2013 at the age of just 20.

The student explained to medical professionals how he constantly felt lethargic and run down while studying in his second year at Worcester University, but doctors routinely dismissed his concerns as tonsillitis and low levels of iron. . “I was at uni and I was constantly getting ill,” explains Samrick, from Essington.

“I was tired all the time and always in bed. I went to the doctor but they just told me it was tonsillitis and said I’d be fine." It was only when Samrick reached such a level of fatigue that he decided to give up playing rugby that his coach intervened and insisted he get a blood test. Continued on Page 3


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Labour Lets Down LGBT Community

Prime Minister praises Wolverhampton student for his campaigning and fundraising for those in need of a blood stem cell donation. Continued from Front Page: He adds: “I had been playing for ages, and he said I looked thin, and when I ran it was more painful than it was worth.’’ “He told me to get a blood test before I decided to give up.” Samrick was finally given a blood test by doctors and soon was urged to go straight to New Cross Hospital. Within a week he was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and began a nine month intensive chemotherapy treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. “I was scared at the start,

but I knew that there was a high success rate,” he said. “I spent seven weeks on the ward at one point, without going home. “There were other patients far worse off than me, some with missing limbs, and some that needed life-saving transplants. “That is when I set up a just giving page, it raised around £5,000 and from then I decided I wanted to keep going.” Since then, Samrick who was nominated for a Pride of Britain award in the West Midlands last year, has been active in raising awareness and funds for the cause, including organising a charity ball, which helped to enlist 250 people as stem cell

donors, as well as raising a staggering £32,000 for Delete Blood Cancer UK. The motivational Business student has been speaking publically about his ordeals and urging those, especially people in ethnic minorities, to sign up to the register. David Cameron recognised Samrick’s invaluable work with a Point of Light Award, after raising £101,083 for Delete Blood Cancer UK and recruiting more than 1,000 new donors on the Stem Cell Register. “It’s a lot harder for minorities to find a match, because those communities don’t sign up,’’ he said. “They aren’t educated about what it involves, and it just a simple swab.

You get the chance to save someone’s life.” After being given the ‘all clear’ last month (March), Samrick has set his heart on completing the Three Peaks Challenge in June. After recognising Samrick’s invaluable work with a Point of Light Award, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Samrick knows how vital it is that we do everything possible to fight blood cancer – and he is helping to lead the way for us all. “I am delighted to recognise Samrick as a Point of Light in our country and wish him luck in all his future events – including the Three Peaks Challenge in June.”

If you are interested in becoming a stem cell donor, it takes no longer than five minutes online. Simply request a cheek swab kit, which will enable you to do your own tissue test to become a potential blood stem cell donor please visit for more information on how you could save a life today.

One of Birmingham’s rising political figures has lodged a formal complaint against the prevalence of homophobia within the Birmingham Labour Party. 19-year-old Luke Holland yesterday resigned his role as Youth Officer for the Hall Green constituency, citing the issue of homophobia within the Labour party, stating: “Obviously homophobia isn’t just restricted to the Labour party, but it’s so big at the moment I felt I had to raise it which I have done.” The young role-model, who identifies as gay, announced his resignation publically via social media, claiming he could no longer keep quiet on the issue of homophobia in the Birmingham Labour party. Holland, who had been a member of the party for less than one year, said he had attempted to address the issue with officials on several times but to no avail. He added: “I have tried on numerous occasions to raise the issue of homophobia in the city and it has sadly fallen on deaf ears. In doing this publicly I hope the issue can be tackled.” Mr Holland, who stood as an independent candidate in Mosley and Kings Heath in last year’s city council elections, is known for his ongoing efforts to tackle Islamophobia Last year, the community-minded teen made headlines after spreading a message of peace and unity by altering Islamophobic graffiti that he

• Luke Holland

came across on his way home. He said: “I … got rid of the racially aggravating hate crime graffiti. You will get some people who will hate me but you can’t please everyone. He went on to add: “You can’t let racism divide us. You can’t let far right groups rip us apart. I’m proud to be a Brummie.” Holland is now appealing to City Council Leader John Clancy in hopes of addressing the prevalence of homophobia and urging the Labour leader to further investigate the discrimination within the equalitydriven party. In an interview with The Asian Today, Luke Holland touched upon his involvement with the Asian community and his efforts in tackling Islamophobia. The teenage entrepreneur, who started his own business at a young age, explained how despite his continued efforts to support Muslim community, a majority of the prejudice he received was from councillors of Asian descent. He stated: “Specifically in Birmingham, the homophobia has been from Asian Councillors, but if people think homophobia is limited to the Asian community then they’ve obviously never stepped out.


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ikhs from all over the UK were at Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Willenhall to watch displays of swordsmanship, falconry and more as part of celebrations of Hola Mahalla. For the second year running organisers allowed Sikhs an opportunity to partake in an ancient festival dating back to the 18th century, one which has been largely neglected by the Sikh diaspora in recent decades. One of the chief organisers of the event, Amarveer Singh said: “Hola Mahalla is one of the most unique types of celebratory festivals in the world. Holding this event is our way of trying to keep this tradition alive whilst reconnecting Sikhs to the warrior spirit that is such a big part of our faith.” Hola Mahalla was established

by the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and follows the Hindu festival of Holi. Unlike Holi celebrations, when people playfully sprinkle coloured powder on each other, the Guru made Hola Mahalla an occasion for the Sikhs to demonstrate their martial skills in simulated battles. The military aspect of Sikhi is an integral part of the faith, with Sikhs having had their own armies since the 17th century. With Hola Mahalla being an ancient martial festival based on showcasing the military and martial prowess of Sikhs, hundreds of visitors were in attendance for displays of gatka, the Sikh weapon martial art, with families enjoying many more family-oriented activities which created a day filled with fun and education. In keeping with the fact that the Guru kept

horses and falcons, both animals were also available on the day for families to enjoy. Hola Mahalla celebrations in India are biggest in sacred Sikh city Anandpur Sahib, where thousands gather to witness or participate in horse riding competitions, displays of weaponry and more. One of the organisers, Simran Singh, said: “The festival dates back to the 1700s. This is the first time we’ve ever held this event at Guru Nanak Gurdwara. “We had a few hundred people come along to celebrate throughout the day. There was something for the kids and something for the adults. “It’s a chance for everyone to get together and learn more about Sikhism.”

Sparkhill Smashes National Trend The independent shopping capital of Britain has been announced and it is none other than Birmingham’s very own Sparkhill. Containing more shops independently owned than anywhere else in the country, the area has beaten the national trend with almost 95% of all shops being independent retailers Labour Councillor for Springfield, Habib Rehman said: “We are very proud of the fact that independents are thriving in Sparkhill. “We are very proud of our local shopkeepers.” He added: “Sparkhill is a very diverse community, it is a cultural fusion, and a lot of people will come from all over

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the country to come shopping for the Asian wedding scene. “We have people travelling from Cardiff and even Middlesbrough.” “This is why I am pushing for Sparkhill to become recognised as a business district. “It will mean that shopkeepers will pay an extra one per cent on their rates, but this will go towards extra cleaning in the area by the council, and our own Christmas lights and so on.” On a national scale, the number of independent shops has seen a dramatic fall with 2015 seeing the slowest opening rate in seven years. According to recent data, 2015 saw only one new shop opening a week compared to a daily opening of 11 new shops in 2010.

Across the UK, pubs, newsagents and Indian restaurants have seen the greatest decline whilst the number of cafes, e-cigs and barbers has risen. The West Midlands as a whole has fared little better, with figures released by The Local Data Company (LDC) showing the number of independent shops had seen a rise of 0.62 per cent last year. Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company, said: “Independents are a key component of our high streets and this is seen both in the fact they represent a majority (65 per cent) of the units but also the diversity and vibrancy they can bring along with their direct connection to local economies.”









APRIL 2016

Umar Bags National Win A Higher National Diploma (HND) student at Solihull College & University Centre has won a national competition to secure him a work placement at a London-based games studio. Muhammad Umar Anjum, a second year computing course student, entered the competition hoping to win an opportunity to complete a week-long

workshop with a digital effects and games studio in London’s Shepherd’s Bush. Hosted in partnership with Pearson College, the competition affords winners an intensive crash course experience in design, which will equip them with skills they can take into their future careers. The university level student applied to

without the course I most likely wouldn't have made my Android App which won me a place on the project. “The course also gave me the knowledge of how to make games which I wouldn't have had if I had not done the course.” Working at the design studio helped Umar add to his existing design knowledge and the college student is now working towards completing the latter half of his HND before moving into employment within the field.

the competition by entering an android app he had designed as part of his Creative Media Production (Computer Game Design) course. His application impressed the judges so much they offered him a place at the workshop as one of the winners. Umar said: “My course definitely helped me with the competition as

High-Flying Student Found Hanged

17-year-old Mani Singh Dulay of King Edward VI Five Ways School was said to have the world at his feet. Mr Dulay explains the harrowing experience: “We are all devastated that he is gone and words cannot describe how we feel. “Mani was a happygo-lucky kid, very, very intelligent and loved by his old Asian boys. family and his friends. “That is our only lead; “We don’t know what could otherwise he was a very have possibly caused this. bright and happy boy. “He always seemed happy “He had been and there accepted already were no A high-flying to university and pressures student at one didn’t have any at home or from school of Birmingham’s pressures from school or from that I can top schools was home – he always think of.” knew in what The found hanged direction he was teenager in the garage of going. was set to his family home “He started off go on to study for a by his distraught wanting to do an apprenticeship Computer father. and then decided Science university was and Maths the way to go to achieve his degree at University College goals. London. “He wanted to get into Mr Dulay, aged 48, said: the field of computing and “He left for school in the mathematics.” morning as normal, saying Mani, who lived with his goodbye to his sister and family in Smethwick was leaving as he always did. confirmed dead at the scene “It’s a complete mystery and an inquest has been to us. opened and adjourned. “The only thing I can think of is something we have The cause of death was been told about a chemical said to be asphyxia due to imbalance in the brain that hanging. mostly affects 16 and 17-year-


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APRIL 2016

Saltley Scrapyard Fire Cause Identified

Eleven-year-old Amay Churasia is already considering taking up the role of Prime Minister after being awarded two prestigious scholarships at top English schools.

Saltley fire said to have been started by a spark from a battery or ignited scrap metal. After further investigations, the Saltley blaze that occurred on Tuesday afternoon, at the ERM site, is said to have been started accidently by a stray spark. More than 17 fire-engines and over 100 fire-fighters were present at the scene to tackle the uncontrollable blaze, which saw 800 tonnes of scrap metal and rubber set alight.

Clouds of grey smoke could be seen from miles and Saltley locals were urged to keep their windows and doors shut to reduce the inhalation of fumes and toxins from the smoke. Power supplies were temporarily cut off which left 536 homes in Yardley, Small Heath, Sparkbrook and Spark Hill without power overnight and surrounding routes were also closed for several hours after the fire. In a Twitter prompt from West Midlands, Fire Service investigators warned: “Saltley fire caused accidentally, as result of a spark from either a vehicle battery or metal, igniting combustible materials in the pile.” The West Midlands fire service who were called just before 2pm, employed the use of two aerial platforms, a highvolume waster pumping unit and a drone to tackle the raging fire.


Birmingham Boy Bags a Place at Top Boarding School

he Year 6 pupil from Grove Vale Primary School in Great Barr has been honoured with the Maclaren Scholarship to Summer Fields School in Oxford as well as a coveted place in Eton College which boasts alumni such as David Cameron, as well as royals Prince William and Prince Harry. “I’m leaning towards politics,” says Amay. “I wouldn’t mind being Prime Minister one day, that would be nice. 43-year-old Ajaykumar Chaurasia, proud father of Amay adds: “I’m a very middle class man who came to this country from India to give my children a better education and a better life. “Amay has proved that if you’re passionate about something, and have determination and dedication, then no-one can stop you from achieving your goals.” Amay’s dream of becoming Prime Minster may not be so far fetched. If achieved, he could become the 20th Prime Minister produced by Eton. The prosperous young boy is set to begin his educational journey in 2017 at Summer Fields School and then to Eton College in 2019, an education that could have cost the Chaurasia family up to £63,000. “I never thought I’d get the chance to go to such a nice school,” says the eleven-year-old schoolboy. “I was quite satisfied with myself when I heard the news. “I still rely on my parents for a lot in my life, but this opportunity will give me a lot of independence, and I think that will be beneficial for my future. “In saying that, I wouldn’t be anywhere without my parents. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have. I want to thank them for everything they have done for me.”

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APRIL 2016

Grieving Son Jailed A grief-stricken son has been jailed for setting fire to his father’s home following a dispute over his mother’s ashes. Samat Sapaun was high on a number of drugs when he launched the arson attack, fleeing from the bungalow in Sheldon after setting fire to his father Mohammed Singh’s favourite

armchair. At the time, the victim was preparing to go to bed. His pet dog raised the alarm by barking, affording Mohammed the opportunity to extinguish the flames. The defendant, who was his father’s primary carer, was rowing with the older man over his mother’s ashes, Birmingham Crown Court heard. The 37-year-old, who resided with his father in Downsfield Road, Sheldon, was sentenced to five years and four months behind bars, following an admission of arson with intent and assault. Samat, who was also handed an indefinite restraining order, returned to the bungalow later that night and punched and kicked his father after demanding to know the location of the ashes. The judge accepted the incident was an isolated act and acknowledged that Samat had shown remorse for his actions.



Life Sentence For Man Who Set Wife Alight A

man who murdered his wife by setting her on fire following a row has been handed a life sentence. Muhammad Hammad attempted to conceal his crime, claiming that Nazia Akhtar had set herself alight in their home in Birmingham. He maintained that he had fearlessly tried to save her, setting himself on fire in the process, but a jury at Birmingham Crown Court rejected his account of the events. The judge said the defendant had set himself alight after pouring spirit over his own head, intending to make the incident look like a “terrible accident that engulfed you both”. However, Judge Inman accepted that the attack had not been fore-planned. The 30-year-old was convicted of murder at Birmingham Crown Court and was ordered to spend at least 25 years in prison before being considered for release. Judge Melbourne Inman said: “Nazia was only 31 when she died. “She had much of her adult

life before her. “She enjoyed life and her work as a care assistant. “She had a loving family whose lives have been shattered by the loss of a much loved daughter and sister and I have read moving statements from her family. “At about 9.30pm on April 25 last year you and Nazia were a home together at the flat where you lived. “You deliberately threw a significant quantity of white spirit over Nazia’s clothes and then deliberately set fire to her clothes with a naked flame. “The effect on her was that Nazia was very quickly engulfed in flames with her upper body becoming a fireball.” He added: “It is difficult to think of a more wicked attempt to conceal a crime.” He said: “Nazia suffered terribly before she died. “She suffered full thickness burns to 60 per cent of her body. “Because of her suffering she was placed in a coma for most of the two months before she died.”

Muhammad Hammad set fire to himself in “wicked” attempt to conceal his crime




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APRIL 2016


Aston arts centre The Drum set to close its Doors for Good

The Drum Arts Centre in Aston, which was originally set to undergo a major extension, is set to close its doors in June after a staggering 22 years, unless a new source of funding can be found. The Birmingham arts establishment, which has hosted performances from the likes of singers Laura Mvula and Mary Wilson and comedian Richard Blackwood, is well known for the annual free Simmer down Festival in Handsworth Park, which has previously seen performances from Street Pulse and Apache Indian. Specialising in entertainment from the Afro-Caribbean and Asian community, the centre is on the site of the Aston Hippodrome, a major variety theatre which has seen performances from Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Judy Garland. Newton Cultural Project, the organisation behind The Drum, has taken the difficult decision to wind down and liquidate, unless a new source of funding is found. Events advertised between now and June are still set to take place as planned. The centre is currently funded by

Birmingham City Council, the Arts Council and its own events. Sharon Palmer, chairman of the board, said: “After months of undergoing an organisational review, staff restructures and constant negotiations with funders, we can assure everyone that this decision was not taken lightly “We genuinely feel for everyone affected by this decision, especially for all staff members and to artists who provided the cultural heart to audiences. “Without them, The Drum would not have such a strong legacy we can all be proud of. “It is important that the community come forward over the next few months to work together in ensuring this legacy is built upon for the future.” Chief executive Charles Small said: “It would be a shame to lose such a valuable service. “We can’t all rely on everything being in the city centre. Birmingham is a large place and we need cultural and arts facilities throughout the city, especially in areas of real need.”


APRIL 2016


Scamming Parents Caught Out NEWS


Brummie parents tried to cheat the system by placing fraudulent school place applications

Let’s infect T the city!

Ammo Talwar MBE @punchrecords It's all happening, it really is. People are on the streets, doing it for themselves. They're blogging, jogging and even dogging; making things happen without waiting for permission! Back in the day, a van load of flyers and twenty slots on the pirate radio and I could fill any venue. But today people pick their own playlists, and it's us who need to tune in. Twitter, Facebook, Streaming and Insta are broadcasting live to the streets! That's where Boris Johnson chases down oiks (or perhaps Zak now)and where brothers and sisters stand up to thugs. It's where the Council wants its giant TV set. The Great British street has always mattered; marches, concerts, festivals - they're expected. But we've never been very happy about art, especially in Birmingham. We paint over Mohammed Ali's murals while he wins global awards elsewhere. We take down posters because we 'don't know they're art'. But over in the Whitehouse, Obama knew all about art. Obama knew The Street helped him get the top job even though it’s his last 100m now. He knows that people take its message to their hearts. There's a place over there called Providence. It's not all urban and exciting, like the Bronx or Detroit or Chicago - in fact it's the 'Moseley Village' of America. You might wonder why I'm interested. It's because they've had a street gang there for years; the 'Urban Curators' badass! They put gilt frames up in alleyways. They sticker and they stencil. And Shepard Fairey is from Providence. Many moons ago he stenciled Barrack Obama, labelled him "Hope" a million copies went up across the US. Obama later wrote to Fairey; "You encouraged Americans to believe that they can help change the status quo. Your images had a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign." And now Obama has inspired me; this year it's going to be happening in Birmingham. Starting today we're setting up a project: "Counter / Culture" studying those who've changed the nation from our city's streets; Radicals, Chartists, Abolitionists, Suffragettes, Artists, Rockers, Bhangramuffins, Rastas and Punks. If you're inspired, get in touch. Consider this a manifesto.

he number of parents trying The growth in competition for school to scam their children into places has intensified the nation over Birmingham schools has seen in recent years, with figures across an increase, new figures have shown. England revealing an increase of 15 Motivated by a desire to secure their per cent in fraudulent school place child an education at a better school in applications. the West Midlands, dozens of parents Up from 476 in 2014, the UK saw 550 from the region have been caught out applications being found to contain trying to cheat the system by placing incorrect information in 2015. fraudulent school place application. Coun Hunt, leader of the Liberal Figures show that councils in the Democrats on the city council, said: West Midlands have received over 80 “Families can be scattered all over the such applications in the past If you put down an address two year, with nearly all of them using the wrong address for the and you don’t live there, that child in question. The four most common is clearly fraud ways applicants were caught out included claiming to live with a place – if someone wants to claim their relative, pretending to have a different child lives with another family member faith, renting a property near a popular it can be hard to track down. school and attempting to use the “But I don’t think it is ever address of a property they owned but acceptable. had rented out to someone else. “If you put down an address and you Of the 84 fraudulent applications don’t live there, that is clearly fraud.” placed in the West Midlands last Mr Hunt added: “I think they are year, half were in Birmingham while going to go through another period 22 were in Coventry, 14 in Sandwell, with intense pressure on school places five in Dudley and only one in because the quality of schools are all Wolverhampton. over the place at the moment.”

Speeding Driver Caught with £250k Heroin Sentenced A heroin dealer has been sentenced after he was found to be in possession of more than a quarter-of-a-million pounds worth of the drug in his car. Kamal Choudhury was halted by police after he was found to be speeding on the M6 near, the Spaghetti Junction. When prompted, the 23-year-old failed to produce the correct insurance details, causing his car to be seized by authorities. As police aided Mr Choudhury and his female passenger in unloading the Volkswagen Passat, they expressed concern at the weight of one of their bags. After investigating the contents, they uncovered two suspicious looking plastic blocks covered in duct tape

The pair were arrested on Monday February 22nd on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply. Further investigations uncovered heroin with a street value of £266,700. Detective Inspector Darren Crutchley from SOCU said: “Whether he was involved in the distribution or not, this is a man who was responsible for bringing heroin and the crime and misery associated with Class A drugs to the streets of Birmingham.



APRIL 2016



APRIL 2016

HEALTH COLUMN BOWEL CANCER Sharon West, bowel cancer screening nurse at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, discusses living with bowel cancer. Known as colon, rectal or colorectal cancer, bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United Kingdom and is a general term used to describe cancer that begins in the large bowel. Over 40,000 people living in the UK are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year and 72 percent of bowel cancer cases develop in people who are aged 65 and over. If you have recently been diagnosed with the condition, support and advice is available to help you cope. Talk to your friends and family as they can be a powerful support system. Talking to others who are in the same situation as you can also be a good way to learn about your condition. Reading about the symptoms and treatments available to treat bowel cancer will help you gain a better understanding of the disease. Initial symptoms of bowel cancer may include: • Blood in your stools (faeces) or bleeding from your rectum. • Changes in your normal bowel habits, such as diarrhoea or constipation, which persevere for more than three weeks. • Stomach pain. • Unexplained weight loss. See your local GP if you have any of the above symptoms. The sooner bowel cancer is detected before symptoms occur; the better the chances are of recovering from the disease. More than 90 percent of people survive at least five years when bowel cancer is found at its earliest stage. Depending on the type and size of cancer as well as your general health, doctors will decide what treatment is best for you. Undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are some of



the treatments available to help tackle bowel cancer. People can also receive biological therapy treatment. Biological therapies are drugs that can help the body control the growth of cancer cells. Here are the best ways to help minimise the risk of developing bowel cancer: • Diet – eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as whole grains can help reduce your risk of getting bowel cancer. Avoid having a high sugar diet. For British Asians, eating jelabis and barfis regularly can not only lead to you having bowel cancer, you could also develop other types of cancer and heart disease. • Exercise – people who exercise for at least 150 minutes a week will have a lower risk of developing bowel and other cancers. • Healthy weight – making changes to your diet and an increase in physical activities will help you keep your weight under control. • Smoking – smoking can damage your heart and blood circulation. Giving up smoking will help reduce your risk of developing bowel and other cancers. Bowel Cancer Awareness Month takes place every year in April. Are you on Twitter? To find out what is going on around our hospitals, and for latest news and updates follow us @heartofengland. Join our conversation today! - Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust staff provides general and specialist hospital care across Heartlands Hospital, Solihull Hospitals, Good Hope Hospital and Birmingham Chest Clinic. The Trust also provides community health services across the borough of Solihull. The Trust employs more than 10,000 members of staff, making it one of the top five employers in the Midlands.

Are you on Twitter? To find out what is going on around our hospitals, and for latest news and updates follow us @heartofengland. Join our conversation today! Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust staff provides general and specialist hospital care across Heartlands Hospital, Solihull Hospitals, Good Hope Hospital and Birmingham Chest Clinic. The Trust also provides community health services across the borough of Solihull. The Trust employs more than 10,000 members of staff, making it one of the top five employers in the Midlands.

My Choice! My Right! My Life! DID YOU KNOW? In 2015, 141 cases of forced marriages involved victims who had either a physical or learning disability.


Of these cases, 62% were male.

Zaima Khaliq Journalist

33% were aged between 22 – 25. 59% of families involved were from a Pakistani background.


t is no secret that the practice of forced marriage is prevalent within the South Asian community. Forced Marriage is defined as a union where one or both individuals involved, are coerced to consent to a marriage against their will and is still an issue which is ever-present. The issue of forced marriage, though being normalised within South-Asian culture, is still considered taboo. That is why organisations like the Forced Marriage Unit and Karma Nirvana are so crucial to aid those in dire need of support. The West Midlands has the second highest level of forced marriage in the country, accounting for 12 per cent of all cases according to an agency set up by the

Home Office and Foreign Office. This month saw Birmingham’s Ark St. Albans Academy host the Forced Marriage Conference, in hopes of raising awareness of the issue, its practice and the support available, as well as working towards a more positive future for those at risk of being forced into matrimony. The conference, with the participation of the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), West Midlands Police, Muslim Women’s Network-UK (MWN-UK) and many other partners, aimed to bring together young people, community members and faith leaders in a bid to eradicate a practice that no longer has a place amongst our society.

Taking a Practical Approach In an effort to truly tackle the ongoing issue, the school orchestrated workshops covering all major fields. These included ‘It affects us to: male perspective’ run by Youth worker Raqia Akhtar and ‘Supporting lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people around forced marriage and domestic abuse,’

which was run by LGBT Independent Domestic Violence Advocate, Anna Robottom. By presenting these alternate views, it cemented the fact that forced marriage is not only applicable to South-Asian females, but spreads far wider than we may have assumed.

Disability and Consent Police have identified a growing concern of people with learning disabilities being forced into wedlock by parents. In the case of vulnerable individuals who lack the capacity to consent, coercion is not required for a marriage to be considered forced. Those with learning difficulties and disabilities, who cannot comprehend what marriage fully entails, are particularly vulnerable to being coerced into forceful relationships. Trudy Runham, guest speaker at the conference, spoke on her involvement with the West Midlands Police Force, particularly her efforts in obtaining the first Forced Marriage Protection order

(FMPO) for a young adult without mental capacity. In an earlier interview, West Midlands Police Sergeant Trudy Runham, said: “Sometimes people with learning difficulties are being forced into marriage by parents looking to secure a long-term carer for themselves in old age or for their disabled child. Another common motivators include trying to gain financial security, to obtain a visa for a non-UK resident, cultural pressures, or even out of a belief that marriage will somehow ‘cure’ the sufferer of their disability. “I’m in no doubt it’s a vastly underreported crime because the victims

“The reason we are here is to raise awareness about the issue and to make sure people know that support is available. Whether that’s people like our-selves who run a helpline where there is someone you can talk to who understands your culture and your religion and what the law says in terms of what your legal rights are in this country.” Faeeza Vaid - Executive Director Muslim Women’s Network UK.

“Forced marriage isn’t a cultural value, arranged marriage is. There is a big difference between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage and we really wanted to clarify that it wasn’t just about South Asian girls because if we go down that root, we will miss those people that really need to be identified. So it’s about changing our perceptions and stereotypes and looking at what we can do to impact. It’s not about criminalising families, it’s about changing minds, to educate and re-educate them. Patricia Stiyel, Safe Guarding Lead and Learning Support Manager Ark St. Alban’s Academy

often don’t realise they’re being forced to marry or are easily coerced – and they are reliant on others to spot the signs and raise concerns with police or support groups. In many cases the families are receiving social or health care services so one of the aims of the conference is to highlight the issue amongst our council and NHS partners, plus wider communities, and urge them to look out for the signs report any concerns to police.”


Well Minted


NEWS he ground-breaking Near Neighbours programme has been awarded £1.5 million in funding this year, the government has announced. Countering a narrative of hate, the Near Neighbours programme works to build bridges between communities and tackles issues of hate and fear by bringing together different groups within a neighbourhood to work side by side on issues of shared concern and common values. The third wave of funding has been received following two successful phases of government funds which saw communities being transformed, with all Near Neighbours projects centred on developing relationships across faith and ethnic boundaries in some of England’s most diverse cities which have had a history of clashes between cultures and communities. The Near Neighbours grants fund has awarded seed capital worth £3.66m to over 1,120 projects. These projects have

impacted the lives of 941,000 people and 71% of projects have continued to run after the initial seed capital was spent. In challenging voices of hate, projects tackle a variety of pressing social needs and issues including employment, homelessness, and healthy eating, with 53% of projects providing new skills to the unemployed and 33% offering important social support to refugees. An advisor at Near Neighbours, Dilwar Hussein said: "I’m very happy to hear that the Near Neighbours programme has been awarded a third round of funding. This work is vital in bringing people together at a time of extreme anxiety, to bridge divides and challenge narratives of hatred and division. “Near Neighbours manages to reach right into the heart of communities, where people are working at the coal face of relationship building. I look forward to the programme expanding and reaching even more people.”

APRIL 2016


Black Country Teen Designs Most Secure £1 Coin In Circulation

Changing Hearts and Minds

Additional Government Funding Awarded To Near Neighbours



M i d l a n d s schoolboy who won a competition to design the new £1 piece will soon see his design in national circulation, with the Royal Mint having started manufacturing the coin based on his creation. Production of the new coin has begun, with the current £1 piece being replaced for the first time in three decades following fears of its susceptibility to sophisticated counterfeiters. The new coin, featuring 12-sides and resembling the old ‘threepenny bit’, will be the most secure coin in circulation anywhere in the world.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has announced that the new coin, chosen following a public competition organsied by The Royal Mint on behalf of the Treasury, will enter circulation in March 2017. Seeing over 6,000 entrants, competitors were asked to create a design symbolizing the UK. The winning design, created by 16-year-old David Pearce of Walsall-based Queen Mary’s Grammar School, incorporates four well-known symbols of Britain – a rose, a leek, a thistle and a shamrock, all of which emerged from a Royal Coronet.

Drive-By Shooting Leaves Victim Hospitalised

The life of a person suffering from drug or alcohol addiction can be one of misery, anxiety and frustration, not just for themselves but for those closest to them. There is a way someone can be helped to regain sanity, normality and control of one’s life through the Narconon Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Programme. The Narconon detox programme does not use drugs to get a person off drugs but instead uses nutritional supplements and sauna to help cleanse the body of toxic substances. The life skills courses seek to get to the root cause of addiction. Narconon is a secular program and accommodates people from all different countries, nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. The aim of Narconon is drug free lives. For good.

George Osborne said “I am delighted that the Royal Mint are now producing the most secure circulating coin anywhere in the world. “With ground-breaking technology, developed in Wales, the new coin will help secure our economy and get rid of counterfeits. “In a year’s time, the new coin, which will incorporate emblems from all four of our home nations, will line millions of pockets and purses around the UK.” Other entries featured cups of tea, flags, maps, the weather, famous writers, seaside piers, and even the Rolling Stones Motif.



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A man has been left hospitalised after being wounded in a drive-by shooting in a leafy cul-de-sac in Birmingham. Detectives have launched an investigation into the early-morning gun attack which took place just after 5am in Weeford Driver, Handsworth Wood. The 27-year-old victim was shot from a passing vehicle and was believed to be deliberately targeted in the shooting which left him with an injured leg. Police officers taped off a section of the road and questioned local residents whilst a team of forensic officers carried out a search in the area. Det Sgt Adam Hicklin, from West Midlands Police CID, said: “We are keen to speak to the occupants of a large dark coloured vehicle which made off from the scene and anyone who saw what happened, but has not yet spoken to us.” Anyone who has information to assist the enquiry is asked to call detectives on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

APRIL 2016


Smartphone Compulsive Disorder By: Mita Mistry


re you seeing the world through your own eyes or your phone screen? Recently, Ed Sheeran came off @mitamistry social media admitting his happiness was been affected by his addiction to it. With over 16 million Twitter followers, he is one of the most eagerly viewed British celebrities on social media. He said, “I’m taking a break from my phone, emails and all social media for a while. I’ve had such an amazing ride over the last five years, but I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes, so I’m taking this opportunity of me not having to be anywhere or do anything to travel the world and see everything I missed.” In this digital era most people have a smartphone. We only have to look around us to see there is always someone on his or her phone. This is awesome in the evolution of technology but is it possible your smartphone is making you unhappy? If you find yourself checking your smartphone while getting ready, having breakfast, in meetings or tapping it mindlessly before going to bed and immediately upon waking you are not alone. According to research by Professor Matsushita at the Harvard Business School, 51% of professionals check their phone continuously while on holiday with a whopping 70% checking their phone within an hour of getting up and 44% stating they would experience “a great deal of anxiety” if they lost their phone for a week. So why are we so hooked to our smartphones? According to some psychologists, Email gives us satisfaction but we never know when we'll get a satisfying email, so we keep checking repeatedly like seeking that pleasure hit on a gambling slot machine. Smartphones enable us to get this pleasure hit anytime, anywhere in addition to email from twitter feeds, videos, Facebook and the rest of it. But is this behaviour healthy? The answer to this is unique to each one of us but it really depends on what impact it has on the rest of your life from your personal relationships, environment and work. On a small scale, if you are having lunch with friends ignoring them while posting the meal on Facebook you may be upsetting them without being aware of it. On a larger scale feeling the need to be on your smartphone 24/7 at the expense of personal relationships because your colleagues are is likely to cause stress. According to research published in the journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, people are addicted to "checking habits" that develop with boredom being the main cause to trigger it. On average a user checks their smartphone 35 times a day, given that we are on autopilot 46.9% of the time there is no surprise our nation is getting more stressed feeling overwhelmed. You don’t have to give up your smartphone completely like Ed Sheeran did, there are some things you can do to control your usage but first of all before you reach out for your smartphone be aware of your emotions – are you lonely, bored, anxious? Maybe you could fill that void with a healthier nourishing option? You don't always have to answer your phone, putting it on silent when you are having downtime is allowed and good for you. Perhaps you can decide to not use it between certain hours, you will regain a sense of being more relaxed and in control as well as rediscovering simple pleasures around you.






hai Sahib Mohinder Singh of Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha UK (GNNSJ) and Nishkam Group, a retired Civil and Structural Engineer with 27 years of practice across three continents in the fields of engineering, town planning, housing, appropriate local materials research and policy formulation. Epitomising humility and totally unassuming, he is fondly known by many as simply Bhai Sahib Ji - a term of endearing respect or ‘older brother’. He was officially bestowed the title ‘Bhai Sahib’ by the Jathedars (senior leaders) of the five most sacred Sikh Takhats (pillars) in India, for selfless service in faith propagation, heritage conservation and restoration of most scared Sikh shrines in India. This recognition was on behalf of the 26 million Sikhs worldwide. He is also recipient of the Papal Knighthood of St. Gregory the Great (KSG), Officer of Her Majesty the Queen’s British Empire (OBE) and three honorary doctorates from UK universities for interfaith and peacebuilding work. Bhai Sahib is the third in line of Sikh religious leaders of GNNSJ and since 1995, Chairman of the Nishkam Group of Charitable Organisations. He is active in religious practice and propagation; social regeneration; heritage conservation; education, health and infrastructure development on a local and global platform. GNNSJ began as a diasporic organisation; its origins were informal and it was aimed at transforming lives in very practical ways and in that it mirrors and embodies the teachings of the Sikh faith. GNNSJ was born out of necessity to meet the needs of contemporary diasporic realities to exalt the individual.

Bhai Sahib holds a firm belief that civic responsibility must go hand in hand with spiritual responsibility. He is passionate about empowering individuals and organisations with values and virtues, through selfless service, education and exposure. This is evident in the regeneration work carried out locally and globally in Kericho (Kenya) with the building of a Gurudwara Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Kenya and Nishkam Saint Puran Singh Institute - offering free educational and vocational training to over 400 members of the local indigenous population. His inspiration, motivation and resolve emanate from the Sikh’s eternal, living and timeless Guru (sacred scriptures) Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and spiritually enlightened predecessors, Sant Baba Puran Singh Ji and Bhai Norang Singh Ji. Bhai Sahib Ji is a strong practitioner and propagator of interfaith collaboration and participation. He has been instrumental in numerous interfaith initiatives which have been recognised by the Sikh faith and wider faith communities. He is Patron of a ground-breaking Sikh ethos multi-faith school trust operating four statefunded schools in the UK. This supports and bears witness to his deep passion for education and engendering the youth and future generations with values and exemplar character. To strengthen and deepen interfaith relations amongst the Birmingham Faith Leaders Group, Bhai Sahib Ji took all the faith leaders and their partners to the sacred city of Amritsar, India for a spiritual retreat. He was also instrumental in the development of the 24 Spiritual and Moral Dispositions that are the cornerstone of Religious Education teaching in Birmingham as part of the

In the month of Vaisakh, how can the bride be patient? She is separated from her Beloved. National Curriculum. Bhai Sahib Ji is also Chair and Trustee of the proposed Museum of World’s Religions UK (MWR UK) and co-convenor of the proposed International Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation. He is one of fifty co-presidents and an international trustee of Religions for Peace (RfP) International which operates globally on peace initiatives. These initiatives are underpinned by values and education and continue the theme of interfaith cooperation and peacebuilding on a global scale with enormous potential to place the work of Birmingham’s faith communities in the limelight. Bhai Sahib Ji shared a prayer from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji composed by the 5th, Guru Arjan Dev Ji specifically about Vaisakhi:

She has forgotten the Lord, her Life-companion, her Master; she has become attached to Maya, the deceitful one. Neither son, nor spouse, nor wealth shall go along with you only the Eternal Lord. Entangled and enmeshed in the love of false occupations, the whole world is perishing. Without the Naam, the Name of the One Lord, they lose their lives in the hereafter. Forgetting the Merciful Lord, they are ruined. Without God, there is no other at all. Pure is the reputation of those who are attached to the Feet of the Beloved Lord. Nanak makes this prayer to God: "Please, come and unite me with Yourself". The month of Vaisakh is beautiful and pleasant, when the Saint causes me to meet the Lord. ||3||

International Award Win For Midlands Family Lawyer Midlands family law solicitor Mark Hands has won a prestigious international award for young family lawyers. Based at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office in the Divorce and Family Law team, Mark specialises in a variety of family related issues from straight forward divorce cases, to resolving complex financial and children matters that arise from separation. His growing reputation has led to him being recognised by the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) European Chapter winning their Annual Award for Young Family Lawyers that was open to both barristers and solicitors with up to 10 years qualified experience in family law. The IAFL is a worldwide association of

practicing lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries. The IAFL panel were highly impressed with the written legal advice Mark submitted about the disputes among separated parents over the relocation of children across international borders, and have invited him to their annual meeting in Amsterdam in May, where Mark will be presented with his award. Mark said: "To be honest I am incredibly humbled to have received this award. I have to say I am very fortunate in so far as I am part of a fantastic team of lawyers and a firm whose reputation for success precedes them. As a firm we pride ourselves on offering first class advice in a

cost effective way and this award provides some recognition of those values. “From a wider perspective I am hopeful the award will represent another small step in bolstering Irwin Mitchell’s growing reputation in the international and domestic matrimonial arena. I would like to say a big thank you to all those who supported me and to my loyal clients from the Worcestershire and Midlands area” Irwin Mitchell Family Law Partner Clare Wiseman said: “Mark certainly is an up and coming rising star and we are really pleased for him. “The role as a family lawyer is to help clients with the emotional consequences as well as legal, and Mark shows that he is willing to put his clients first and help them through the difficult time in their lives.”

APRIL 2016



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APRIL 2016

Teenagers Tackle CSE West Midlands Safari

Teenagers from across the West Midlands gathered to discuss how they can help prevent and tackle child sexual exploitation. At an event hosted by MyPlace Youth Centre in Walsall, the youngsters from Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall debated how to challenge unacceptable behaviour in relationships. Supported by representatives from each local council on the day, discussions from the day will help to shape

a set of standards of behaviour all young people should expect from and display within relationships. The event was organised by the regional CSE team, which through its awareness campaign See Me Hear Me is raising the profile of child sexual exploitation and how to spot the warning signs. Emma Bennett, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Service Director for Children and Young People, said: “This was a great way to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation among teenagers and for them to agree upon the sort of standards all young people should be able to expect from relationships. See Me, Hear Me was launched in 2014 by Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, Coventry, Birmingham and Solihull councils, along with West Midlands Police, to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.

Robbery Bungled By Bear Hug

Park Celebrates first Rhino Birth in 10 years…


taff at West Midland Safari Park are celebrating the birth of a male southern white rhino calf (Ceratotherium simum simum). After a lengthy pregnancy of 16 months, first time mum, six year old Ailsa, gave birth to the long awaited new arrival on Good Friday, 25th March. This is the first baby rhino to be born at the tourist attraction since the baby’s dad Barney, who was born in 2005. Within the first hour the cute youngster was up on his feet, demanding attention from mum. Ailsa will have her work cut out for her over the next few

A masked crook who fled the scene of a bungled robbery after a brave shop assistant wrapped him into a bear hug is being hunted by the police. The 30-year-old hero at Hob Moor News in Small Heath put an end to the daylight raid when he saw the robber pull out a metal bar following a demand for cash. The desperate thug freed himself from the physical restraint that lasted almost a minute and rushed out of the shop door, left ajar by a customer. The armed robber, clad in dark trousers

weeks, as the newbie needs feeding regularly throughout the day and will stay closely by her side for up to two years. Southern white rhino are considered a conservation success story, with this particular subspecies being the most common of all the world’s rhino species. However, rhinos still face a huge threat in the wild due to habitat loss and more commonly, poaching. Deputy Head Keeper of Ungulates, Lisa Watkins said, “The calf is absolutely gorgeous and his birth is not only fantastic news for the Park, but also for white rhino conservation. The

and a hoodie on the day of the raid, is believed to be in his early 20s. The brave shop worker who wishes to remain anonymous is now back at work according to store manager Choudhry Khan, having suffered minor hand and mouth injuries in the incident. The business owner, 38, who opened the shop on Hob Moor Road only seven months ago, said: “He was behind the counter when the robber walked in with his face covered, he could just see his eyes. “He was carrying a man-bag and








International Union for Conservation of Nature lists them as ‘near threatened’ and with rhinos being poached every day for the trade in illegal rhino horn, we hope that our adorable newcomer will help highlight the very real danger the species still faces.” The not yet named calf is the newest addition to the Park’s small ‘crash’ of southern white rhinos, made up of four females and one male. It marks a great success for the Park’s European Endangered Species Programme, a breeding initiative of endangered species in association with the European Association of Zoo and Aquaria.

walked behind the counter and demanded my assistant put all the money in it. “When he said no, the attacker pulled out a very heavy metal bar from behind his back and then tried to hit my assistant on the head. Mr Khan said: “My assistant managed to grab hold of the bar and with the other hand grabbed the young man and held on as they fought.” He added: “This was such a shocking incident, we only opened seven months ago. It has been shocking for us and shocking for our neighbours.”

Local Leaders Awards 2016 are taking place in Birmingham. The Future Leaders Club and All 4 Youth & Community CIC in association with South & City College Birmingham bring you the Local Leaders Awards 2016. At the awards night on Thursday 21st July 2016 Birmingham will honour leaders and managers from its Third Sector for their contribution to society. This prestigious event will celebrate outstanding contribution to Birmingham made by leaders from Birmingham charities, not-for-profit organisations, voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises. The Future Leaders Club, a social enterprise established in 2013, is dedicated to developing effective and compassionate leaders in Birmingham through their leadership training and development network, events and programmes ( During the awards night money will be raised for the Aspire@BCH programme (, which is an enterprise run by Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Every day all of our lives are shaped by individuals doing great things – often behind the scenes, or away from the glare of publicity. Birmingham’s Third Sector leaders and managers are the key to making our society and communities the special places that they are. So what could be better than to highlight their contribution with a Local Leaders Award 2016? There is only one category, ‘Outstanding Contribution to Birmingham’. The award is underpinned by the overarching qualities of transparency, integrity, determination and achievement. If there is an exceptional Leader in your community or workplace that you feel is making a significant difference, someone that impacts your life and the lives of those around you, why not nominate them for a Local Leaders Award 2016? They need to be achieving something exceptional. It is recognition for determined, committed endeavour in improving the lives of others or our communities – effectively impacting the lives of those around them. Check out the website and nominate a top Birmingham Third Sector leader or manager at Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For further information about Local Leaders Awards 2016 and for sponsorship opportunities, contact Jazz Singh on 07984678543 or email JAZZ@FUTURELEADERSCLUB.COM.


APRIL 2016


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Yorkshire local Tanveer Ahmed has been accused of murdering the 40-year-old shopkeeper outside his newsagent shop in the Shawlands area of Glasgow, jus after 9pm on Thursday. Mr Shah was found outside his convenience store, on Minard road, with serious injuries on March 24th. He was rushed to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead upon arrival. At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Mr Ahmed made no plea and has been remanded in custody. The incident occurred just hours after Shah had posted well wishes on his Facebook to those celebrating Easter. The message read: "Good Friday and a very happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation." On the night following Mr Shah’s brutal murder, a silent vigil was held outside his wellknown newsagents with hundreds of people in attendance including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. A fundraising page has been set up in honour of the late shopkeeper by some of his loyal customers to raise money for the family. More than £87,000 has been raised by the online GoFundMe page with over 4,500 individual donations. Jen Bannerman, a neighbour of the Shah family, set up the fundraising page as a way for Shawlands residents were to show their support after the tragic event. “Mr Shah was a popular, well-respected and much-loved member of our community and his death has devastated many. He was a warm and friendly man and he always went out of his way to make time to talk to you – he was more than just our local shopkeeper. He was a friend to many. “We are raising funds for his family to use in whatever way they see most fitting – whether that be to contribute towards funeral expenses, provide financial security for his family in the coming months, or simply to do something in his memory. We know money will never make up for his loss but this is our way of showing our support for him, and showing his family how much he was cared for in our community.” Over the Easter weekend, tributes continued to flood in for Mr Shah, with many Easter Sunday services mentioning him in their communal prayers. Shawlands locals described the well-known shopkeeper as a gentle man who cared deeply for his community.


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One to Watch -(

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APRIL 2016


31st july 2016 cannon hill park free family event live music & entertainement




Signature Awards 2016 WWW.THEASIANTODAY.COM

APRIL 2016



‘Irrespective of the what stage the business cycle is in, opportunities always remain for the brave’. This was the cry from Paul Bassi CBE – CEO of Real Estate Investors Plc.


aving survived through a number of recessions, Mr Bassi reminded the audience that the previous recession had interests rates in excess of 14%, inflation and unemployment in double figures. He encouraged to think big and to look at the bigger picture and to view downturns in the business cycle as opportunities rather then dwell on the negatives. He spoke passionately about the region and pointed to the potential of HS2, the rejuvenation of the city centre, the revamping of New st station, the spectacular Grand Station and the rapid rate of inward investment as illustrated by the relocation of HSBC into Birmingham. For businesses looking to grow, Mr Bassi encouraged entrepreneurs to seek the best quality professional advisors and to surround themselves with positive thinking people and was very optimistic about the regions attractiveness from a property development perspective and that this would only increase in time with the

development of HS2. The Signature awards in their second year celebrated a number of awards included excellence in a number of categories including finance, law, banking, business, owner practice and finally an award for excellence in diversity. Other awards categories also included Young professional of the year and a final award for the lifetime achievement award. Awards winners included : • Excellence in Finance : Chan Nandhray (West Bromwich Building Society ) • Excellence in Law – Anurag Singh (Gowling WLG ) • Excellence in Banking – Rav Bagri (Santander Bank ) • Young professional of the Year – Jatinder Paul ( Irwin Mitchell ) • Excellence In Business – Shahid Sheikh (Clifton Packaging ) • Excellence in Professions for Owner

Practice – Ranjit Thaliwal (Thaliwal & Co Solicitors ) • Diversity Award – Kavita Bachada (PEL Solicitors ) • Lifetime Achievement – Sewa Singh Mandla both in terms of sectoral coverage but also from a geographical basis where London was still seen as overheating. He also warned the region to collaborate and work together in order to safeguard funding for crucial issues such as transport infrastructure and local skills development. Sponsors on the night included : Birmingham City University, Brit Asia, BSJ Fixings, Cobra Beer, Divya Group, East End Foods, Hollywood Monster, Pathway Group, Rational FX, The BusinessDesk, Vision and Wolverhampton University. Lovebrum was the charity on the night and raised £6500 on the night where over 460 people attended. Host for the evening was Tommy Sandhu, a BBC presenter and the entertainment was produced by Gabhru Panjab De.

• Tommy Sandhu, Chan Nandhray Alan Hill.

• Tommy Sandhu, Anurag Singh, Sanjeev Gill

• Tommy Sandhu, Rav Bagri, Alex Turner

• Tommy Sandhu, Jatinder Paul, Tim Andrews

• Tommy Sandhu, Shahid Sheikh, Raman Sarpal

• Tommy Sandhu, Ranjit Thaliwal, Jaspaul Bains

• Tommy Sandhu, Kavita Bachada, Pally Sagoo

• Sewa Singh Mandla, Ninder Johal , Narinder Johal

KERALA AYURVEDA SPA CLINIC [Sparkhill] Tel: 0121 777 7007 |

KERALA AYURVEDA SPA CLINIC 719 Stratford Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham, B11 4DN

OPENING TIMES: 10:00AM - 8:00PM Separate section for ladies with female staff only & male with male staff only

Authentic Ayurveda Treatments for: Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Depression, Diabetes, Digestive problems, Eczema, Eye Diseases, Frozen Shoulder, Headaches, High blood pressure, High cholesterol levels, Inflammations, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Menopause problems, Migraines, Memory problems, Obesity, Parkinson, Paralysis, Pregnancy difficulties, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sciatica, Skin Diseases, Stress, Pain Control Treatment for Body Aches & Pains, one of the treatments we use is Marma Abhyangam to relieve back pain, stiffness and sports injuries, it also stimulates various bodily organs and systems.





Free Initial Consultations based on the Tridosha Theory by Qualified Vaidyars (BAMS) from India, free BP and Pulse checks are taken during the consultation. Our clinic is keen to work with primary health care providers to progress our clients towards well-being.

We have therapists who are qualified and trained to offer Aromatherapy, Natural Colon cleansing, Hopi Candling, Hot Stone Massage, Reflexology and Swedish Massage.

We offer Yoga and Meditation Classes to complete the body treatments with that mind and spirit balance which is so complete.

Offering Pain Control Treatments for Body Aches & Pains, one of the treatments we use is Marma Abhyangam to relieve back pain, stiffness and sports injuries, it also stimulates various bodily organs and systems



We give dietary advice tailored to individual needs.

Offering natural beauty therapies as part of our holistic service where our clients come to get that extra treatment to look extra special. Including Body Scrubs, Manicures / Predicures, Facials and variety of Skin Care therapies.


WEDDING: Bride, Groom & Families GRADUATION: Graduate & Family

AYUR SPORTS / GYM MASSAGES Muscle Spasms, Pins & Needles, Aches & Pains etc



Imported Wife

Abused & Enslaved Unprecedented case sees Londoner face jail time for domestic servitude


n a milestone case, a Londoner is facing jail after enslaving his wife, a Pakistani national, in his British home. Safraz Ahmed, of Charlton, initially denied the offence but later changed his plea to guilty. Charged with conspiracy to hold a person in domestic servitude, the 34-year-old faces jail time following sentencing at Woolwich Crown Court. The unprecedented case is the first time in Britain for a conviction of slavery to be passed in a case involving a husband and wife. In 2006 Safraz and Sumara Iram wedded as part of an arranged marriage set in Pakistan’s city of Gujrat. However, Sumara didn’t join her husband in Britain until 2012, having decided to complete her masters in Islamic Studies before she moved. Upon reuniting with her husband in the home he shared with her mother-in-law,

APRIL 2016


Vic's Column

Debt Recovery Recovery of business debts is a vital part of running a business as debtors can severely affect cash flow. If you are a business, recovering money that is owed to you consumes time and can be costly especially if you arrange for someone to chase up payments that are due to you. The general rule is that if your debt is less than £10,000 and your matter proceeds to Court then you will not be able to recover your legal fees. Given the ever increasing Court fees there is a general perception for the matter to be resolved quickly and the most cost effective way possible. Anyone wishing to start a new claim must ensure that they are fully compliant with the Civil Procedure Rules as failing comply may mean that the Court impose sanction upon you. Before you start proceedings it’s always in your interests to ensure that any action is not barred by statute. Following this “a letter before action” should be sent to the debtor giving them between 14/21 days to respond. If no response is received or the debtor disputes the debt, then you are at liberty to commence legal proceedings. Completing the claim form can be tricky for some individuals so it’s in your interests to obtain legal advice. At Painters Solicitors, we are proud to be debt recovery specialists for all types of businesses and we can offer fixed cost pricing and representation, for further advice please contact Vic Younis on 01562 82295.

w: t: @painters_law or @vic_younis Sumara was made to complete a neverending list of chores. Sometimes forced to work from dawn until midnight, she often received vicious beatings. She was imprisoned inside the house and threatened with rape should she ever set foot outside it. To further isolate her, her mobile was also confiscated. She also suffered humiliation at the hand of her British Pakistani husband, who would make her wash in the garden. Safraz, who refused to consummate the marriage, told his wife her presence was solely to bring his parents happiness. After two years of abuse and slavery, neighbours became suspicious of the goings-

Let’s Make It Halal!

on in the Ahmed household. Following a brutal attack which saw Safraz break her nose, Sumara fled into the street where neighbours witnessed the injured woman being dragged back into her house. Though the police were called, Sumara’s inability to speak English meant she wasn’t able to place a formal complaint about her husband, who was released from custody. Half a year after the assault, she attempted to take her own life by overdosing on painkillers. Following the failed suicide attempt, she was placed in her brother-in-law’s house “for safe-keeping”, where she finally phoned the police, who came to her rescue.

Some of the world’s biggest brands will take part in the first ever B2B conference on Muslim lifestyle - a sector worth trillions of pounds. MLE Connect will bring together famous brands, businesses, sector experts, entrepreneurs and industry specialists to discuss how to tap into one of the fastest growing sectors in the world today. The event is the first of its kind to ever be held in the UK and will feature a series of seminars and panel discussions on a range of topics including how to reach the Muslim consumer, business start-ups, crowdfunding, modest fashion, halal food, halal travel Industry and Islamic finance. The event will attract entrepreneurs and businesses from across the UK keen to understand the Muslim lifestyle market. Confirmed names set to attend include supermarket giants Tesco and Asda alongside investors and SMEs

across a variety of sectors. The Muslim consumer lifestyle market is today one of the fastest growing sectors globally with a recent report estimating the global expenditure on food and lifestyle sectors at £1.36 trillion. Tahir Mirza, founder and director of MLE Connect, said: “This conference is open to anybody regardless of faith and will be a great way to network and develop new partnerships.” Last year, the team behind MLE Connect, organised the Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2015 that took place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. It brought together 7,000 visitors from across the UK and 85 exhibitors from countries including Malaysia, Norway, Turkey, USA and South Africa. Earlier this year, the Expo won the Services in Creativity and Technology category at The British Muslim Awards 2016.

Sparkhill BusStop Banksy

We’re all used to the dull daily commute, but travellers at one bus stop in Birmingham were in for a surprise when a mysterious artist brightened up their view. An unidentified artist has turned the number two and three bus stop on Yardley Wood Road into an open air gallery by displaying art work for passers by.

Over the past few weeks, half a dozen canvasses showing abstract images and eye catching portraits have appeared nailed to a wooden fence near the Sparkhill stop. The pictures appeared a few weeks ago but it’s unclear who left the pieces of work. Despite being appreciated by most passers-by, some of the pieces have been vandalised and slashed through the centre. Robert Geoghegan, a nearby artist says: “It’s good, it’s unusual. I’m all for putting pictures outside of art galleries. I sell my pictures from market stalls so I am very much for the man on the street looking at pictures of art.” One commuter said: “It’s quite different; you don’t really see artwork on a daily basis. It was nice when I first saw it.”


Vaisakhi! APRIL 2016

A Look At Why And How The Harvest Festival Is Celebrated

The month of April sees the celebration of Vaisakhi, one of the most important observances in the Sikh calendar. Marking the Sikh New Year, the festival also commemorates the founding of the Khalsa in 1699, the year in which Sikhism was established as a collective faith. Celebrated by millions of Sikhs across the world, the harvest festival of Vaisakhi was traditionally celebrated in India’s Punjab region. However, in the 17trh century, it was chosen by the tenth guru to transform members of the Sikh faith into a family of sant-sipahi (saint-soldiers). Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa collective, representing the eternal embodiment of the Guru, through a baptism ceremony in front of a crowd of thousands at Anandpur Sahib. During the Vaisakhi festival, the Guru came out of his tent with a sword in his hand and dared any Sikh willing to risk his life to come into the tent. A brave volunteer stepped up to the challenge, entering the tent only to have the Guru resurface from his tent alone, his sword covered in blood. The Guru then requested a second volunteer, with the process being repeated four times until five men had disappeared into the tent, leaving a concerned crowd watching on. The audience soon realised their worry was baseless, when they saw the five men return unharmed from the tent, clad in fresh turbans. Through this initiation of the Panj Pyare (Five Beloved), all of

Warmest Vaisakhi Wishes, All!

“I am delighted to extend my warmest wishes to everyone in India, Britain and around the world celebrating Vaisakhi. “This is a much celebrated and significant time for the Sikh community. The centuries old festival of Vaisakhi marks the year Sikhi was born as a collective faith in 1699 and will be marked by holy processions and the decoration of Gudwaras up and down the country. “Vaisakhi is also an important occasion to celebrate the huge contribution of British Sikhs, who have been a keystone of British life for over 160 years. “Every day I see how the Indian diaspora and Sikh communities in the United Kingdom have enriched our sense of identity and I am proud to be part of the multiethnic, multi faith democracy we are today. “I wish you all a joyous and peaceful Vaisakhi.”


whom were from different castes, signifying the Khalsa view that the human race is one, the Khalsa was born. The men were baptised by the Guru, who sprinkled them with the Sikh holy water known as Amrit, meaning immortalising nectar, and read prayers. This scene formed the basis of the Sikh baptism ceremony. The Vaisakhi festival is celebrated with the traditional parades and processions held in the streets. Known as nagar kirtans, these processions are led by traditionally dressed the Panj Pyare and form a significant part of Sikh culture and religious celebrations, with much dancing and singing taking place throughout the day. Hymns are sung from the Guru Granth Sahib, with the Sikh holy book being carried in a place of honour during the processions, and scriptures are also chanted on the day.




Bristol Hosts Bapu Surat Singh Exhibition

APRIL 2016

Mosques Unite To Support Local Children’s Hospice



isitors to the #Art4Justice after seeing images of Bapu on social exhibition included Laura media. He said, “I wanted to help his Pye, Head of Culture for campaign using the following I have Bristol City Council and George on social media. I did a painting based Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, who on one of the photos which I thought commented that it was a, “Brilliant, was very powerful. The strain of his eye-opening exhibition.” hunger strike shows on his face.” Singh Sabha Gurdwara, St George This was the first time Jyoti has Bristol hosted an art exhibited in Bristol exhibition inspired by Bapu I have learnt and he added, “Bristol Surat Singh, an 83-yearis amazing. There has so much, old Indian from the United been a steady flow of not just States who has been on people who came to see hunger strike in India for the exhibition. I will about the over 400 days calling for definitely be coming protest, but the release of Sikh political back to the city as there also about prisoners. He has been is a real interest in arts periodically detained by the and culture and I would the Sikh Indian Police and force-fed community, like to do some street art during his hunger strike. or mural work here. It’s that has Curator of the exhibition been a great experience.” been Dr Manjit Kaur Dhinsa Emerging artist Melody said, “This has been a grass Sale from Plymouth said, amazing. roots campaign, and the “I was asked to do a contributions we have had piece for the exhibition from artists and poets have been by event organiser and Plymouth humbling. We have had work from councillor Chaz Singh. I didn’t know around the world, including the very much about the campaign so it USA, Canada, India and Russia. The was as much a learning process for me exhibition has been supported by all as well as a creative one. the Bristol Gurdwaras and we are “I have learnt so much, not just thankful to Parmjit Kaur President of about the protest, but also about the Gurdwara for allowing us to host the Sikh community, that has been it here.” amazing. I really want to help and I Artist Jyoti Dhanjal from hope that through this exhibition Hertfordshire said he found out we can raise awareness and help the about the human rights campaign prisoners.”

15 mosques from around the capital city united to raise invaluable funds amounting to £2,500 for Richard House Children’s Hospice. The project, through which money was raised to fund the work of the hospice to support children and young people with life-limiting and lifethreatening conditions, saw Quwwat-Ul-Islam Society Masjid in Upton Lane, Markaz Ud Dawat Wal Irshad in Eastham, MasjidE-Hikmah in Plaistow, North Islamic Association in Newham, Tauheed Masjid in Manor Park, Al Falah in Kensington Gardens, Forest Gate Masjid, Ashville Rd Masjid, Leytonstone Islamic Association, Newham


United, Stratford Islamic Association, East End Masjid, Masjid-E-Quba in Forest Gate, Masjid-EHidaya in Manor Park and Masjid-E-Bilal in Eastham partner up. Mr Abdullah Dalal speaking on behalf of the 15 mosques said, “Last year the mosques came together and supported Richard House and we as a community felt Richard House deserves our support again for the wonderful work it does with children and young adults.” Anna Bates, Head of Community and Events said, “We are absolutely delighted that the local Muslim community are continuing to support Richard House Children’s Hospice.”



APRIL 2016



Harrowing & Heartfelt

Winter Woes

A Reconnaissance Mission in Lesvos M

Tariq Jahan Founder of Haroon Tariq Jahan Foundation

ore than four years on from the death of his son, Mr Tariq Jahan now views the world with a renewed sense of faith. With the charity in honour of his son, the Haroon Jahan Foundation, the bereaved father is channelling his grief into helping those in dire need through his aid work tackling the European refugee crisis. It was 1am on the night of August 10th 2011, when Tariq Jahan, heard the bang of a car crash. Following his instinctual response, he rushed to the scene of the

The 2nd Trip:

Disorder, No More!


accident, unaware of the sight that was to greet him. As Tariq leaned over the bodies of the three young men, it became apparent with searing agony that his beloved son, Haroon Jahan, was amongst those severely wounded while defending local businesses from angry rioters. The emotional scars from that harrowing night will probably never heal, but Tariq Jahan endeavours to persevere with patience, honouring his son by helping those in dire need.

hen we got back from Greece, we went directly to the media in order to raise awareness of the refugees’ plight and get together some donations for our second trip. We said we needed to take goods over to the refugees, things like winter clothing, shoes, blankets, tents, food, pots and pans, utensils, anything to help set up kitchens. By the grace of God, the British public is an amazing bunch of people. They gave a fantastic amount. We filled a forty-foot container with their donations, leaving not an inch of space in the container. It took roughly thirty days to get there, having to go through a number of different islands via ferry. We’d taken a week out to go back to Greece to continue our aid work and distribute the donations but unfortunately the container was delayed and didn’t land in time for our trip. There were, however, some kind people who gave finance. I collected about four thousand and two volunteers who went with me had collected their own money from their families, about four thousand too. When we got there, the scene had changed completely. There are a lot more volunteers and a lot more organisations on hand to assist in the crisis. The UNHCRs are now working well and are well organised. Their coaches arrive

Abdullah Rehman Tariq Jahan and Cllr Caroline Bradley at the camps distributing aid

with their medical teams and there are many volunteers, beautiful wonderful people,that are helping on the ground. It takes a bit of time for everybody to adjust and get used to the new system that’s working there. But everyone is all-hands-on-deck when the boat comes in and, with all of these organisations putting their little bit in, and, as the numbers of newly arrived refugees are small, they’re getting dealt with beautifully. Now, as soon as the refugees hit the ground, volunteers run out and grab them, and say, “Come with us. Tea, sandwiches, clothes, medical assistance, what do you need? How many are there in your family?” Then the refugees are put into tents and the medics come in and look after them. They’re given

brand new clothes, shoes, blankets, everything. Once they’ve got that, they’re directed to the processing area to get their papers by providing their name, address, fingerprints. It’s that efficient. The Greek government has even allowed taxis to take any refugee from the camp to the ferry port. They have to pay ten euros per taxi, at a fixed rate. Regardless of whether there are four or five people in a taxi, the government have fixed the rate and will not allow taxis to overcharge. If the refugees have got their documents and volunteers like us are available with vehicles, we can take them to the port and drop them off there and not charge them a penny. I’ve got a van so I can put 16 in the van. Usually if the refugees don’t have the money to pay for taxis, they walk the five miles into town where the port is. These people are very used to walking, so for them it’s no big deal. When you see them on the road, you can’t help but pick them up and put them in the van.

The Greek government has even allowed taxis to take any refugee from the camp to the ferry port. They have to pay ten euros per taxi, at a fixed rate.



ue to the fact we travelled to Greece during winter months and the sea was a lot rougher then, the smugglers hadn’t been launching any boats. To put things into perspective, for the first three days that we were there, the camps looked like a ghost town. In Moira camp, where they used to hold ten thousand to twelve thousand people, there were literally two families. Seeing this, I thought surely we’re not needed here any more as there are no more refugees. We were informed that the lack of refugees needing our aid was due to the weather and we were told to go and look at the state of the sea. When we went to the sea. I saw waves higher than houses that were coming in. To me, they looked like they were coming in at two hundred miles per hour. It was frightening to see such a horrifying sight. I was told that three boats had left the other side and were never heard or seen again. To think 60, 120, 200 people have simply disappeared. Where have they gone? The people there said they’ve got no account

r s

APRIL 2016

TO ADVERTISE CALL NOW ON 0121 667 8719 of them. Nobody knows that. In the media, that never gets mentioned. They don’t tell you how many people die every day out at sea. While we were there, four boats came in literally in the space of five minutes, landing all together. You could see them coming in, four dots on the horizon. For us, looking out to sea, it’s like watching special forces coming in on a dinghy. You look at it and you think ‘Wow!’ These dinghies bob up and down as they’re coming in and soon you see another two behind them coming in, and then you see the life boat following suit. On the day that we landed, in the evening, we met some Pakistanis what we call economic migrants - who told us that nine of them had drowned crossing the sea. Nine of their colleagues had drowned. They had hit a high wave that flipped their boat and nine of them fell in. Unfortunately they couldn’t turn the dinghy around and go back for their colleagues, so they just left them behind in the water. You hear stories like that and you say, “Why couldn’t you turn the dinghy around?” The men said that the guy

Making a Difference


who was driving didn’t know how to turn it around. The winds were so violent; they wouldn’t let you turn around and so you couldn’t go back. Then there are those people who don’t come to the camps. From the beach, for five miles, all you can see is just orange all the way down. These are life jackets that have been thrown off. We have footage of people going into the mountains, afraid that the authorities will arrest them and not understanding what actually happens when they land in Greece, that we’re all here to help. They hide in the jungles, in the mountains, literally, and in caves. People make fires in the woods, living in little caves and holes in the mountains. Then, later on, someone finds the refugees and tells them that they have nothing to worry about, that they’re here to help them. They’re given clothes, food, everything. Then the volunteers and aid workers take them to Moira camp, to Kara Tepe and Skala Sikaminea. They get picked up and brought to the main camp, Moria camp, where they are processed.


hilst we were in Lesvos, we worked with other organisations and groups. Through WhatsApp groups we’d joined together, we communicated with each other. We would be at the hotel and suddenly we would receive a message saying a boat had been spotted at such and such a coast coming in to the beach by the airport and that it should reach the shore in an hour. We would run to get to our vehicles. We would fill them up with food, clothes, whatever we could, and drive to the airport, where we’d see the boats coming in. One person would record the event unfold whilst everyone else was handing out food. We would take the children and the women out, and they’d be soaked. You can imagine eight hours in the dinghy on that rough sea so they’d be soaked. First aid is given and the refugees are looked after. You find the ones with the sores, those suffering from cold burns, and so on and so on, we give them first aid to those

Abdullah Rehman with amazing young refugee

We would take the children and the women out, and they’d be soaked. You can imagine eight hours in the dinghy on that rough sea so they’d be soaked. that need it. We took the money with us and spent it all buying food, drinks and water. We bought palettes of water, of croissants and nutrition bars and we distributed them to the warehouse we have there. Run by an organisation called Greengate, it’s managed by some boys from Oldham who finance their own warehouse. They told me to send all the stuff that was coming by container to their warehouse in order for them to distribute it to all the camps and organisations. Having put the food in their warehouse, we told any volunteers that came to fill their cars up, saying that if they found anybody in need, to give the food to them, to help them. We actually went to the ports and found families who were destitute and had no money. We discussed their needs with them and we soon realised that they needed money to get to the other side with the ferry, fifty euros to be exact. So it turned out we handed gave out cash donations as well, what we call zakat money.


Catholic School Celebrates Holi TO ADVERTISE CALL NOW ON 0121 667 8719

APRIL 2016

JAS SANSI Man's Mouthpiece king The Thin Photographer and LoveBrum trustee, Jas Sansi brings a dose of all things Birmingham. With an unprecedented love of the city and its unique diverseness, he brings his 6-foot passion to The Asian Today.

Pupils at a Christian school enjoyed colour play as part of an educational day into the Hindu festival



ast week saw the inaugural Emirates A380 flight between Birmingham and Dubai. Taking a tour of the world’s largest passenger jet, I couldn’t help but wonder why India, where many Brummies can claim heritage, haven’t introduced their own Airbus service. The arrival of a direct non stop flight between Birmingham and India was a welcome relief when announced in 2013. It was the result of four years campaigning here in Brum. ‘Incredible India‘ has a stumbling block in attracting visitors; it’s visa process. A United Kingdom passport is one of the most powerful in the world. It allows visa free entry into 173 countries, India is not one of them. The cost of a tourist visa is approximately £110, but more significantly £440 for a family of four. The process of getting a visa is another hurdle. There is an online Indian visa application process that is far from easy. My grandparents and my parent’s generation often had to return to India for a number of reasons. My generation, born here in the UK are less inclined. It’s the next generation India will have their work cut out to

attract. My children’s generation are even less inclined to travel to India. Shaped by technology solutions, they will have zero tolerance for outdated visa application processes. Increasingly affluent, they have been exposed to other tourist destinations. As long as India fail to address their visa application process, the Airbus A380s will continue to land at Birmingham Airport but their livery will not be Air India, and that’s a pity. So what’s the solution for India? A visa waiver process would be very welcome. India is a great place to visit. I hope future generations will always feel an affinity for this far away country. But don’t assume heritage will guarantee future visitors. If India continues to stifle tourism and stubbornly maintain their visa requirements and visa processes, future generations will simply vote with their air miles. I welcome the Emirates A380 daily service between Birmingham and Dubai. I congratulate the UAE for their foresight, their commitment to Birmingham and their visa waiver procedure. Come on India, you can do it too.

Jas Sansi Twitter: @jassansi Facebook:

A Butler Well Served



n a remarkable interfaith gesture, Prior Park Prep School in Cricklade, celebrated the Hindu “festival of colour” Holi. The Catholic school for children aged between three and thirteen saw the pupils throw colored powder paint at both pupils and staff alike. Students in years three to eight also learned about the religious festival before engaging in colour play. The day and boarding co-educational prep school, which works to promote a Catholic/Christian ethos, has as part of its mission statement the intention to provide a Christian, specifically Catholic, education. The school, aiming to lead the children towards “a lasting belief” in the Christian faith, organises a collective

act of worship at Mass every Thursday that sees the entire faculty and student body gather together, with all pupils taking an active part. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed commended Prior Park Prep School Cricklade for organising Holi activities, describing the move in a statement as ‘a step in a positive direction’. Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted that thus opening-up pupils to major world religions and non-believers’ viewpoint would make them wellnurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow. He also said that students should know and understand the different aspects of society as a whole if they aspire to become full participants in that society.

Joie de vivre Hindu festival of Holi welcomes the beginning of spring and starts about ten days before the full moon of Phalguna. Besides colour play, ceremonies also include the lighting of the bonfires, during which all evils are symbolically burnt. Holi also commemorates the frolics of youthful Lord Krishna; and celebrates the death of demoness Putana, burning of demoness Holika, and destruction of Kama by Lord Shiva. Roman Catholicism, with followers numbering around 1.2 billion, is the largest denomination of Christianity currently headed by His Holiness Pope Francis from Vatican City. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Bollywood Night Fundraises For India’s Rubbish Tip Kids

Church Parishioners from the Ribble Valley are set to host a Bollywood Night to fundraise for Indian children and their families who have made a rubbish dump their home. Mother of two, Meriel Woodward, visited the city of Vijayawada in India, and her moving account of the plight of children living on a city rubbish dump inspired fellow parishioners to host a Bollywood Night by way of a fundraiser. The event will include a 3 course Indian meal, an Asian wedding style photo booth, a disco as well as a demonstration and lesson in Bollywood dancing by dancers from the Preston Hindu Temple. Attendees will also be able to enjoy having their hands decorated with henna tattoos, winning raffle prizes as well as receiving a lesson in basic Hindu.


APRIL 2016


Is this the story that inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet?


hizzical Productions in association with the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry present Bring on the Bollywood, a brand new Bollywood musical combining influences from British classical literature and contemporary Bollywood style. City and country, old and new collide at Colonel Pawar’s ancestral home – the shabby and un-chic Lakshman Villa. Confined within these walls, his wife Mrs Pawar pines for the cultural polish of London, New York or Paris! Enter the dashing Bollywood actor Amit and his newly eligible cousin Ronny – a quiet and withdrawn young British man who is here to scatter the ashes of his love. The Pawars have found a potential suitor for their quick-witted and resolute daughter Katrina, who is sharp, sassy and in complete control, until she learns of her parents intentions. What could possibly go wrong? Bring on the Bollywood’s creative team include the critically acclaimed writer and director Samir Bhamra, choreography from internationally renowned performers Subhash Viman and Sonia Sabri and outstanding contributions from multi-disciplinary composer Niraj Chag. The unique sights and sounds of Bollywood cinema are recreated to perfection by musical director Sonum Batra, stage designer Oliver Shapley and Faye Rowse with costume design by Almari and lighting design by Pete Bragg. Director Samir Bhamra said “Over the last decade Bollywood has been revitalised by a new generation of visionaries presenting contemporary stories coloured with the vibrancy of India. We wanted to to take British audiences on a journey to one of the most romantic locales, the Valley of Flowers and fill it with the comedy that comes from a dysfunctional Indian family.” Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England added “One of our aims is to invest in the creation of artistic work which reflects England’s contemporary culture. Phizzical’s production of Bring on the Bollywood will do just that. Mixing iconic elements of Bollywood and British culture, the show will offer a new take on a traditional story that we hope will entertain and inspire audiences at the Belgrade.”

Fresh from her role in the hugely successful Bend it Like Beckham on the West End, Nottingham-born actress Sohm Kapila stars as Katrina Pawaar. She is joined by Adam Samuel-Bal as Ranbir ‘Ronny’ Kapoor who was last seen at the Belgrade Theatre playing Sully in the critically-acclaimed UK Tour of Blood, a co-production between Tamasha and the

Belgrade Theatre. Completing the cast are Sakuntala Ramanee, Rohit Gokani, Bhavin Bhatt, Rishi Nair, Nikkita Chada and Rasheeda Ali. Phizzical is renowned for creating entertaining and thought-provoking theatre and dance that brightens the audience’s imagination with the colour and spirit of Bollywood.

BRING ON THE BOLLYWOOD An all-new Bollywood musical!


The Musical

From the creators of the award-winning Britain’s Got Bhangra (People’s Favourite Musical – Off West End Awards), comes a new contemporary musical, retelling the greatest love story from the east. Laila takes shelter from a raging storm in an old bookshop, where she chances upon a book with her name on it. She is compelled to open the book and is consumed by the story – Laila finds herself in an old story and on a new journey… From the Persian deserts, the bittersweet story of star-crossed lovers Laila and Majnu, has been passed down through verse and song over centuries. The story of young love and feuding families is given a modern musical twist, taking you across the sands of time. Will love or fate prevail? “In every heart there is an inclination to love her. Her tresses are like the night, and her name is Layli.” Nizami Ganjavi (Circa 1192)



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Soap Split

Love is most certainly not in the air for Ankita Lokhande and Sushant Singh Rajput, as the couple call it quits on their six year relationship. The duo, who met on their first Tv soap Pavitra Rishta in 2009, appear to be feeling the distance on their social media platforms. If you have been following Sushant closely on Instagram, you may have noticed fewer photographs of the soap-stars together. The couple were last spotted together at the Zee Cine Awards where they looked happy hand-in-hand, but soon afterwards, Sushant was seen making solo appearances. “They have simply grown apart. It happens. When they started, they both wanted similar things. They both had dreams. But somewhere along the way, Ankita was just content doing nothing while his career took off. I think that is where the disconnection began,” The Daily reported. The two had revealed plans earlier to get married in December this year, but with a break-up on the cards it appears the rumoured wedding is off!

Batman v Superman


illed to be one of the biggest superhero movies of the year, ‘Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice’ was set to take in a staggering $150 million in its opening weekend alone. But, as the first few reviews begin to leak, it seems that the anticipated movie appears to be getting resounding thumbs down! According to critics, Hollywood hunks Affleck and Cavill don’t quite cut it as a superhero fighting force. Paired with a weak plot and disorientating action sequences, it’s no wonder the movie only

scored a painfully low 31 per cent approval rating on renowned review site, Rotten Tomatoes. When asked by one plucky journalist about the poor response, Cavill hastily replied: “The interesting thing is that we get the critics who have their personal opinions. And the thing about personal opinions is that they always come from a place. And there’s a preconceived idea which you have to get past a critic before you start writing your article or your review, and that affects everything.”

Breaking Boundaries!

Fawad Khan is breaking boundaries in his new Bollywood hit ‘Kapoor & Sons’ which sees the Popular Pakistani actor play the role of Rahul Kapoor, who identifies as gay. In a feat which many South Asian males might struggle with, Fawad battles the stereotypes, addressing an issue often swept under the rug. In an interview, Khan admitted he was not afraid to play a gay character, adding: “Everyone has a tendency to be gay. But this movie is not about sexuality. It is just about a family that is trying to sort out their differences.” The 34-year-old Dastaan actor is hopeful that the way people’s perception of homosexuality will change, stating: “Even if someone plays a character like that, why will he or she become an outcast? Give it some years, and things will become normal. In the future, everyone who gets worried about these things will learn to accept them. If someone is a certain way, he or she just is.”



APRIL 2016




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Jaz Dhami & PBN Collaborate for the 1st time Fresh off the back of his second Bollywood release of the year for Kareena Kapoors upcoming movie Ki and Ka, Jaz Dhami is now going to lead the way for Bhangra anthems in 2016. Talks of a collaboration between Jaz Dhami and the 'hit-

maker' PBN had been ongoing, Jaz said "the moment I heard the lyrics for Bhangra Machine by Jaggi Jagowal, I knew PBN was the man for it." He adds, "There's been so much talk how the scene in the UK has just fizzled out and that UK Bhangra is dead, we thought

it's about time we bought some fire back to it." The track sees Jaz Dhami give a nakhra packed vocal performance superbly complemented by the trademark PBN party beats. You'll also get to see the lads give a energy packed performance in the video

by Frame Singh - look out for PBN in Desi attire for the first time too! Bhangra Machine is also Jaz's first release with Moviebox Records. A word of warning.... Be prepared to struggle for elbow space on the dance floor with this one!



onned as the world’s biggest star, Adele easily rivals her single-named predecessors. At the first of her four sold-out Birmingham show, the fabulous British diva proved that she could belt out a beautiful ballad as easily as she could make crowds laugh. The songstress used her huge platform to pay tribute to those killed or injured in Sundays Lahore bombings in a poignant moment. Joined by the audience, Adele asked the Birmingham audience to wave their torched in solidarity with those affected by the tragic event where 69 people were killed. The star previously paid tribute to those killed in the Brussels attack earlier in the tour. As well as the show of solidarity, Adele wowed crowds with her awe inspiring vocals in some of her greatest hits including Hello, Chasing Pavements, Hometown Glory, and Rumour has it. The British singer enthralled fans in her usual casual charm, even welcoming one fan on stage that looked strikingly similar to the star herself, for the selfie of a lifetime. .


bombing victims


It’s no secret that Priyanka Choprah has been making ripples worldwide. The Bollywood beauty has recently acquainted herself with audiences across the pond through hit TV series ‘Quantico’ and soon, she may feature on the list of Time's 'most influential' people. According to a report in Times of India, Priyanka has been nominated as a contender by Time magazine for its annual list of most influential people in the world. The list, which will feature 100 world-wide influential figures, is set to be released next month with many other personalities from sports and entertainment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and tennis player Sania Mirza are also in the running as probable candidates for the coveted list. TIME said Chopra, one of the highest paid actors in Bollywood, has "caught Hollywood's attention" for her role in the drama series 'Quantico' and "will continue to do so in the Baywatch remake".




Kar Gayi Chull


High Heels Te Nachche


Jabra Fan


Ji Huzoori



6 7

Most Wanted Munda Sab Tera


Rock Tha Party


Buddhu Sa Mann

10 Soch na Sake


Panjabi MC - Picha Ni Chad De


Shaan & Verinder Ft. Bhinda Jatt - Truck


Ranjit Bawa - Chandigarh Returns


Kaur B ft. Jazzy B - Attwaadi


Kulwinder Billa - Gutt Naar Di


OMG Music ft. Ravi Duggal - Nach Leh

7 8

Imran Khan - Hattrick Surjit Khan ft. Aman Hayer - Jatt Di Heer


Jagz Kang - Resurrection (Album)


Nachhatar Gill - Tere Na Di Mehndi

UK 1 Mike Posner - 'Ibiza' 2 Sia feat. Sean Paul - 'Cheap Thrills'

Plays Her Part

Holi Horrors With the festival of colour right around the corner, everyone’s abuzz with plans for Holi, that is of course everyone but Ranveer Singh. That’s right, when asked about his plans for the fun festival of colour, the Bajirao Mastani star told reporters he doesn’t like to take part in the festivities. "I don’t celebrate Holi, I have this OCD for cleanliness; therefore, I don’t play Holi,” said Ranveer. According to reports, the Bollywood hero opts to keep a hand sanitizer on him at all times due to his OCD. There’s just one question on our lips, how did he manage to do all those Holi scenes in Ram Leela? Turns out Ranveer did feel quite uncomfortable during the shoot, but being a professional, he didn’t let his OCD get in the way of a great scene. Rightly so!

pays tribute to the


3 Tinie Tempah feat. Zara Larsson - 'Girls Like' 4 Fifth Harmony - 'Work From Home'

Ranbir Kapoor’s not having much luck with the ladies. After an awkward break-up with Bollywood beauty Katrina Kaif, Kapoor seems to be nursing his broken heart by spending time with his ex-girlfriend Deepika Padukone. The Tamasha actor reportedly flew to Los Angeles to visit old flame Deepika, whilst on set for her new Hollywood action film ‘xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage.’ The two, who claim to continue to be great friends, were said to have spent some “quality time” in LA and were seen talking for hours. Deepika also took some time out of her busy shooting schedule to fly back to Mumbai, where the starlet was said to have visited Ranbir at his Mumbai home before heading to Sri Lanka for her best friend’s wedding. Are Ranbir’s regular rendezvous with Deepika cause for concern for current flame Ranveer Singh, watch this space!

Ranbir Rendezvous


Zara Larsson - 'Lush Life'


Lukas Graham - '7 Years'


Alan Walker - 'Faded'


DNCE - 'Cake By The Ocean'


Blonde & Craig David - 'Nothing Like This'

10 Sigala feat. Imani & DJ Fresh - 'Say You Do'

Tweet of the Month



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******************************************************************** *** SHOWBIZ Manish Gajjar Hindi Film Adviser for Vue Cinemas



Read the full interview on our website:


FAN Director: Maneesh Sharma Cast: Shah Rukh Khan

We tend to easily forget who made sportsmen, pop singers into stars, superstars and megastars. It all boils down to their fans. Every individual fan from their teenage years to adulthood has their own personal relationship with their hero. Gaurav (Shah Rukh Khan) is one such young man in his twenties. His world revolves around the mega movie star Aryan Khanna (Shah Rukh Khan) or God as he prefers to him. From the by lanes of Delhi, young Gaurav embarks on a journey to the city of dreamsMumbai in order to wish his God a happy birthday. After all he is Aryan’s biggest FAN and even has a striking resemblance to him. How difficult could it be for the world's biggest fan to get an audience with the world’s biggest star? Well, when things don't go according to plan, Gaurav’s love and passion for his God turns into a dangerous obsession. It is not long before Aryan and Gaurav discover their own personalities within themselves which they didn’t know existed in this edge of the seat thriller seeing King Khan in a double role. The film has been directed by Maneesh Sharma who already made two box office hits Band Baaja Baarat and Shuddh Desi Romance. Playing a dual role in the movie Khan got to play the role of being the biggest fan himself. So he got a complete make-over from Hollywood’s make-up artist Greg Cannom. To achieve a different look to match the second character Khan is playing, he underwent the process of 3D face scanning in Los Angeles. Producer Aditya Chopra also left no stones unturned when it came to action sequences. Shot on exotic locales of Croatia, Netherlands and Scotland he roped in South Korean action director Mr. Seyoung who has previously worked on ‘King and The Clown’ and ‘Blades Of Blood’ to choreograph the action scenes in the movie.




Going back to being live, its quite reminiscent of your radio days, are you one for improvisation?

When we film the show, we film in front of a live studio audience and some of the best bits are when Mr Khan is chatting directly with the audience in the studio, we have a lot of fun with that. So hopefully there will be a lot of audience participation and Khan being able to get amongst the rows, it will be great I think.


The show is about 1hr and 45 minutes, so there will be a kind of narrative but I think a lot has to be adlibbed with the audience, speaking to the audience and finding out who they are and what they do. Improvisation is a large part of it and I quite enjoy that actually, I forget how much I do enjoy that.

It’s difficult to believe that it’s been four years since the beloved Khans burst onto our TV screens. It still seems like yesterday when we first saw Mr Khan driving his yellow Mercedes around Sparkhill and run into trouble at Central Mosque. Four series’ later, Citizen Khan has a huge following, with viewers tuning in to see the beloved Brummie self-proclaimed community leader’s questionable antics. As the Cast of ‘Citizen Khan’ gear up for their first UK-wide tour, The Asian Today had a chance to speak to the man behind the beard, Mr Adil Ray.

Obviously you go through a huge physical transformation to become Mr Khan. What transformations do you have to go through mentally? There’s kind of a weird thing that happens, as soon as the suite, the beard and the hat goes on I just slip into the character. Having done the character for quite some time now, there is almost a switch I can flick. He never quite leaves me. I’ll watch the news now and I’ll be in two minds, what I think and what Mr Khan would think.

So aside from wardrobe choices, what traits do you share with Mr Khan? Ha! I think we’ve all got a little in common with Mr Khan, yes he’s Pakistani, yes he’s in the Muslim faith, yes he’s British, but he’s a human being and he make mistakes. He can be a bit proud at times, he can be a bit arrogant and a bit clumsy, but those are things that we all do; we all want to be a bit important at times!

PUNCH ANNOUNCES SOUL ACOUSTIC ’16 TOUR The UK’s leading music and arts development agency Punch returns with their Soul Acoustic tour taking place across the UK in April 2016. Now in its fourth annual outing, the developmental tour will feature an allfemale line up in 2016 to honour women’s contributions to music and continue the celebration of the British Female musical experience. The 5-date tour is set to showcase impressive live performances in an acoustic setting. Soul Acoustic provides a great platform for


They All Know Him!

Adil Ray So you’re taking the Khan family on tour, are you looking forward to it?


audiences to experience the depth of quality of song writing, singing, and performance from an elite line up of artists. Previous artists have included, Omar, Shakka, Carroll Thompson, Terri Walker and We Are Dora Martin. Confirmed artists for 2016 include Misha B, first coming to prominence as an X Factor finalist, who then went on to tour alongside Nicki Minaj; Aleighcia Scott, winner of Radio Cardiff’s best local artist, currently nominated for MMG’s Best Reggae Act; One of the UK’s most talented MC’s and writers, Birmingham’s

own MC Roxxxan; Headhunted by JME for his ‘48 Hour’ mixtape London based songstress Miraa May and 18 year old singer songwriter Kara Marni who recently toured with Bridget Kelly. “We are proud to be rolling out Year 4 of Soul Acoustic”, said Punch CEO Ammo Talwar MBE. “Live music, and the opportunity to perform in such a pure style has always been a vital component within the black music market and I am pleased to see that some of the artists we have championed previously have gone from strength to strength”




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JOHN ABRAHAM Champion of the action genre, John Abraham has made a welcomed return to the silver screen in one of his slickest performances to date, in and as Rocky Handsome, released recently, produced by J.A. Entertainment and Azure Entertainment, distributed overseas by Reliance Entertainment. Critically acclaimed director, Nishikant Kamat, has presented a taut, edge-of-your-seat thriller that will resonate with audiences well beyond the end

SYNOPSIS: The journey of a vengeful man who embarks on a deadly rampage when the only person he cares about is kidnapped and taken away from him. Shot in Goa, Mumbai and Seychelles, Rocky Handsome is an adrenaline-pumping action film embellished with a strong emotional story of the relationship between a father who never had a daughter and a seven-year-old daughter who never had a father.

credits. Entrenched in richly dark atmosphere and menace, RockyHandsome features stunt sequences courtesy of East Asia’s most celebrated action directors to complement a compelling narrative. Joining John Abraham onscreen is rising star of Indian cinema, Shruti Haasan, while child artist, Diya Chalwad, plays a pivotal role. Sharad Kelkar, Nathalia Kaur and Zubair Nazir are among the seasoned supporting cast. A haunting musical score courtesy of Sunny Bawra, Inder Bawra andAnkit Tiwari adds a further layer to the onscreen sense of sinister and intrigue, while Bombay Rockers’ classic anthem, ‘Rock Tha Party’, punctuates the soundtrack with its hypnotic beats.

WE HAVE SEEN YOUR COMICAL SIDE RECENTLY IN WELCOME BACK AND NOW ROCKY HANDSOME IS QUITE DIFFERENCE. WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED TO DO DIFFERENT KIND OF MOVIES? I think, it’s very important to do different work. I speak for all actors when I say that, it’s very easy to get typecast in certain roles. Hollywood does not have this problem as actors are very confident in being typecast. They a r e very confident with the roles they have to play. However, the kind of audience we have to reach out to, you just can’t be an action star or just a romantic star or just a comedy star. You have to do a bit of everything. Personally, I love experimenting and normal is boring. I will keep yo-yoing in terms of my choices. The idea ultimately, is to entertain audiences. Welcome Back made the simplest man smile, which is beautiful. Madras Café on the same hand, made the most intelligent man think. I believe, there are different audiences and we must cater to all of them.

SUNNY MALIK TWITTER: @SUNNYMALIK READ THE FULL INTERVIEW ON OUR WEBSITE WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE FOR A FILM LIKE ROCKY HANDSOME? As a producer and as an actor, it is very important for me to entertain my audience. That is the main priority. Secondly, as a producer, it’s important for people to know that my company JA Entertainment produces content that is qualitative and credible. It’s also important for me that when people go to the cinema to watch a John Abraham movie or a JA Entertainment production, that they expect quality. That is what I wanted to achieve with Rocky Handsome in the first place. You entertain an audience by making them laugh or cry. This film has a mix of all. It’s definitely very high in in its emotional quotient. It’s a beautiful relationship between a little girl and this man and their journey thereon. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOUR CHARACTER AND THE LITTLE GIRL REMINDS ME OF BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN. DO YOU THINK IT WILL HAVE THE SAME EFFECT ON VIEWERS? Bajrangi Bhaijaan was a beautiful film. Our film is very different in terms of storyline. The man-child relationship is the only similarity. We have a lot of action in the film and I don’t know how much the action will move the audience but I am hopeful that the emotional quotient of the movie manages to do that as well. When children are involved, a sense of innocence comes through. You can never replicate a child’s emotions. They are pure and organic.


17TH MAY 2016 @ 8PM First pioneered by Sadler’s Wells, Dance: Sampled is at Birmingham Hippodrome on 17 & 18 of May as part of International Dance Festival Birmingham. Enjoy a feast of different dance styles all in one night, from classic to contemporary and exotic, Dance: Sampled has it all. Featuring Company Wayne McGregor, Birmingham Royal Ballet, BBC Young Dancer finalist Vidya Patel, world tango champions German Cornejo and Gisela Galeassi, and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Faun.

Simply answer this question: In which 1987 Pattrick Swayze film bought dancing to the attention of the British public? 1. Flashdance 2. Dirty Dancing 3. Fame

e-mail your answers to: with your name, contact number and e-mail address. Closing date is: 3rd May 2016

Terms and Conditions - Tickets are only valid for the performance of Dance: Sampled on 17 May at 8pm. Tickets cannot be exchanged for cash or re-sold by the winner. One family ticket admits four people. There is no age limit on the show but under 3’s will not be admitted.


APRIL 2016




More than 200 people have been detained since the EasterSunday Lahore bombings, which left 76 men, women and children dead

"After the Lahore attack, Nawaz Sharif repeated old words to give himself false assurances," he wrote. "Nawaz Sharif should know that war has reached his doorstep, and God willing the mujahideen will be the winners in this war." Despite the online taunting, Nawab said he was working to help arrange funeral services for those affected by the attacks. "Everybody is frightened and the Christians particularly feel unprotected," he said. The bombing is the worst attack so far in a country that is well acquainted with grim atrocities. There is no doubt the incursion will further fray any inter-religious ties between the two coexisting communities. 1.6 per cent of Pakistan’s diverse population is made up of Christians, a community that has long faced discrimination. Double suicide attacks which took place last March, against churches, left 17 people dead and sparked two days of rioting by thousands of Christians. Hindus and Muslim’s met at the site of the horrific Easter Day bomb attack, in a united act of sympathy and solidarity for the victims. Candles were lit at the multi-faith vigil, which took place at the exact moment that the March Blast occurred. Christian, Muslim and Hindu religious leaders, including the Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, Bishop Samuel Azariah, joined hearts and hands as they prayed for the victims and bereaved families.

Jas Sansi's Scribbles



Lahore Grieves for Lost Children

Hundreds were injured in the suicide bombing attacks which took place at Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park, in the teeming provincial capital Lahore. Conducted by the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar faction of the Pakistani Taliban, the horrific attack saw explosives packed with ball bearings tear through crowds of families near the children’s play area. Many of the victims were children and griefstricken families spent Easter Monday burying their dead. A spokesperson from the organisation said it had hoped to target Christians, a small community in a majority Muslim Pakistan. Punjab provincial law minister, Rana Sanaullah told reporters: "More than 5,000 people were searched and interrogated and most of them were allowed to go, but some 216 have been apprehended for further investigations," Sanaullah added police, paramilitary troops and intelligence agents had launched 56 intelligence operations in the last 24 hours in Punjab. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and military chiefs have vowed to bring justice to those responsible for the harrowing attack. "Terrorists cannot dent our resolve. Our struggle will continue until the complete elimination of the menace of terrorism," the Prime Minister said after visiting those bereaved and injured. The Jamaat-ul-Ahrar faction has responded to Nawaz Sharif’s claims of justice. Ehansullah Ehsan, spokesman for the terrorist organisation, disparaged the Prime Minister and his hopeful claims of peace on Twitter.

APRIL 2016



Twitter: @Jassansi

Law Firm Irwin Mitchell Hosted Fundraiser For Women’s Charity The Birmingham office of national law firm Irwin Mitchell hosted a Chai Day to raise money for Asian Circle, which helps victims of domestic violence in South Asia. The event, which was supported by Bhangra All Stars, The Asian Today and Grand Central Kitchen, helped to raise funds that will be used to build shelters for women

with Asian Circle, helped organise the event. She said: “This is a fantastic charity to be involved with and we were delighted to hold the event at our Birmingham office. “The money raised on the day will be put to good use in East India and help to provide help and support for women from some of the poorest tribal communities in the region who

and provide counselling, sustenance and education programmes amongst the poorest indigenous tribal aboriginal communities in East India. The charity, in partnership with Oxfam, also works with young people and men in the region to raise awareness of domestic violence through education programs illustrating how domestic violence abuse is not the norm. Neelam Heera, from Irwin Mitchell, who will take up a position as a regional co-ordinator

have experienced domestic violence.” Santosh Bhanot, the founder of Asian Circle, said: “As a charity we rely heavily on fundraising events to ensure we can continue our work helping victims of domestic violence and educating and raise awareness of the issue. Thanks to the money raised at the event organised by Irwin Mitchell we have raised money that will be put towards our project to ensure we can help the women of Chhattisgarh and Odisha in East India.”




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APRIL 2016

THE ASIAN TODAY Fashion & Beauty Correspondent: Sara Khan Twitter: @sarakblog


FASHIO Facebook: /sarakblog website:

Celebrity Stylist & Designer Pria Kataaria Puri’s Pop-Up Be Kind Movement, a UK registered charity, hosted the exclusive Pria Kataaria Puri’s Pop-Up during the day for the general public followed by a private and exclusive Champagne Reception at the prestigious The Mandeville Hotel in London to raise funds for the Girl Child's Education Program in India. Guests from the world of media, business and politics mingled over champagne and canapés whilst enjoying the stunning collection of luxury clothes and accessories by British and Asian designers. Pria Kataaria Puri’s vibrant collection included glamorous signature kaftans, blouses, palazzo sets, dresses, sarees was complemented beautifully by an exquisite and luxurious collection of jewellery, shawls, scarves and shoes provided by designer labels Chahat Jewellery, Leanne Claxton, Lucy Choi, Rubina Kapoor and Zevar.



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The Best Dressed at Dil Trust Annual Ball I take a look at the best dressed at this year’s DIL Trust UK’s annual gala. What do you think of the best dressed? We would love to hear your thoughts, join us on www. and share you best dressed social media celebrities.



ON & BEAUTY Rosehip Seed Oil:

Nature’s alternative to Botox!

The Golden Rule INGREDIENTS:


2 tbsp of gram flour A pinch of turmeric A pinch of ground sandalwood 2 tbsp of rose water 2 tbsp of milk

1. 2. 3.

Mix all of the ingredients together to create a paste Apply it to your face and keep it on until it dries (15-20 minutes). Rinse off with warm water.


urmeric, commonly known as Haldi, is a spice with multiple uses. Despite being a chief ingredient of any good Asian curry, this golden powder’s benefits stretch far beyond the kitchen. As well as have anti-aging and anti-bacterial effects, turmeric is well known for its innumerable beauty benefits. Often associated with brides-tobe, generations have harnessed its skin clearing, brightening, and softening qualities.


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Anti-Bacterial – Turmeric has been used by many generations as an anti-bacterial agent. When mixed into a paste, Haldi can be used to heal small cuts and burns and keep bacteria at bay by keeping wounds sterile.

2 3

Facial Hair Control – For many South-Asian women, the issue of facial hair is a burdensome one. But fear not, if applied to the face daily in paste form, the appearance of that pesky facial air will appear reduced. Control Dandruff & Hair Loss - If you have itching scalp, dandruff or hair loss then turmeric can help. It has been proven that turmeric, applied in the form of a hair mask, can help to rejuvenate the scalp and gets rid of itchiness, dandruff as well as hair loss.




Dal Dhaliwal is UK’s first Indian Female Health and Fitness Coach to launch a private fitness gym. She is also a Health and Fitness TV Presenter. Dal has been working in the wellness Industry since 1998. She will teach you strategies to overcome obstacles and develop a positive mental attitude, and will share with you methods on how you too can follow a healthy lifestyle which includes exercise, correct nutrition and wellbeing.

Can stress make you fat?

Roses have long been known for their distinct beauty and fragrance as one of nature’s most beautiful flowers so why not borrow from nature for ourselves. Rosehip seed oil is the newest essential oil everyone seems to be raving about. Celebrities such as well-known Victoria secret model Miranda Kerr swear by it for a glowing and youthful complexion. Harvested from the seeds of rose bushes grown in Chile, the oil is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids giving it anti-ageing and skin rejuvenating properties. Experts claim it has the ability to correct dark spots, hydrate skin and even reduce fine lines and wrinkles as it is able to naturally stimulate collagen production. It is also a great salvation for sun damaged skin. The natural ingredient has definitely withstood the test of time as the Egyptians Mayans and Native Americans all harnessed its skin healing properties for generations. We are convinced and definitely feel that it’s worth a try!

To see the beauty benefits of this magic ingredient, follow our directions for a truly skin-rejuvenating face mask.


Are you finding it difficult to lose weight? Or maybe you have lost some weight but still find you have fat around your mid-section. Do you feel you’re gaining more pounds and that the weight seems to have crept on gradually over the years? If this all sounds familiar to you – then have you stopped to think that stress maybe making you fat? Stress is a way of life in the 21st century. It is extremely difficult to have a complete stress free lifestyle. But for some people the effects of stress go beyond feelings of anxiety and discomfort. The stress can leave them feeling emotional and also affect their appetite and leave them feeling ravenously hungry. This then can lead to weight gain which can further lead to more stress. When we become stressed our bodies switch into ‘fight or flight’ response. When this occurs our bodies are triggered to release various hormones, energy - a change in metabolism, blood flow and various other changes. Our neuroendocrine system activates a series of hormones whenever we feel threatened such as; Adrenaline and Cortisol. Chronic stress and cortisol can contribute to weight gain. If you remain in a stress state for a prolonged amount of time chronic stress can affect your health. Apart from the host of health dangers, chronic stress can lead to weight gain. Many turn to food for comfort and to help cope with anxiety and stress. Often, eating becomes the activity that relieves the stress. Research also confirms this fact and many studies show that stress plays a big role in excess fat / weight gain. “Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high

stress can prevent you from losing weight—or even add pounds,” says Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women. Chronic stress and cortisol can contribute to weight gain in the following ways: • An increase in cortisol can slow your metabolism, causing more weight gain than you would normally experience. • Chronic stress can lead craving more fatty, salty and sugary foods. • Excessive stress can lead to greater levels of abdominal fat. • Emotional EatingThe Increased levels of cortisol can not only make you crave unhealthy food, but excess nervous energy can often cause you to eat more than you normally would. The good news is that there are things you can do to reverse the pattern of weight gain, reduce your stress levels and waistline at the same time. Some of these include; exercise, eat a balanced diet, get adequate sleep, avoid caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol, try relaxation techniques i.e. meditation, Yoga, massage. If you find yourself chronically stressed out, the experts say, you should do what you can to decrease or manage your stress levels. The next step would be to follow a reduced-calorie, yet balanced, diet. This will combat weight gain and enable you to lose the extra pounds. When you find yourself becoming stressed, stop and think of the possible implications that it may have on your health and weight. Adopt strategies and techniques to manage your stress.





APRIL 2016




Salmonella Contamination Steaks are High PR supremo and food blogger Anita Champaneri brings her blog Ms Delicious PR and all things food to The Asian Today, bringing all the news from hot restaurants to cool bars and everything in between.

TRS Wholesale has announced a product recall for some of their spice powders amid salmonella poisoning fears.


The steaks are high in Birmingham with not one, not two but three new steak houses for you beef lovers to enjoy. The city has gone mad cow crazy with three super stylish venues for Brummies to enjoy.

Bar and Block Beefeater has gone upmarket with its new high end venture, Bar and Block, on Waterloo Street. This area is going great guns with Adam’s Nosh & Quaff, Pure Bar and Chung Ying Central all on the block too. It looks like Beefeater has gone for a more classy and sophisticated approach with its’ interior, so you better dress your best when hitting up this spot. The menu runs from dusk ‘til dawn, allowing you to kick start your day with scrumptious steak and eggs, or better yet, you can sit back and enjoy the succulent steaks throughout the day. WWW.BARANDBLOCK.CO.UK

CARNE ARGENTINA UNICA [CAU] Argentina meets Birmingham with a new, vibrant restaurant called CAU in picturesque Brindleyplace. Looking for that vitality, that passion, that sense of fun – this is a place inspired by the heart of Palermo, Buenos Aires. They’re offering mouth-watering steaks, burgers and sandwiches but it doesn’t stop there, there’s an incessant list of ‘Argentine wines, global beers and experimental cocktails.’ Let’s not forget to save room for dessert – apparently the Corn Flake Ice Cream Sundae is one to try. Having been to the Wimbledon branch, Cau is definitely on our must-visit list and can be enjoyed by non-beefeaters too.


opular SouthAsian brand TRS have urged customers to return particular batches of cumin and coriander powders in light of a recent Salmonella scare. The product recall requests the return of • TRS Jeera Powder, batch number P353340, 100g pack labelled best before December 31, 2017 • TRS Dhania Powder, batch number A481514, 100g

pack labelled best before end of December, 2017. The well-established company, based in Southall, will be displaying point-ofsale notices noticed in all stores, informing customers as to why products are being recalled and what to do in the product in question has been purchased. Steven Sowerby, head of operations at TRS Wholesale Limited, said: “TRS would like to reassure all customers that we are fully committed

to supplying top quality and safe products conforming to all UK food regulations. “The two products in question were packed at reputed facilities in India and the goods tested by the Spice Board of India for conformity with European regulations prior to shipment. “On receipt in UK the goods were again tested at reputed UK laboratory and all results showed the absence of salmonella.” Salmonella, a bacterium

in a homogeneous manner, as a further precaution the packets carry a usage instruction stating 'Do not consume uncooked'. “Testing in these two batches found two packets of Jeera powder and one packet of Dhania powder to be contaminated with salmonella. “These two batches have been withdrawn from sale and the outlets who purchased these batches advised to withdraw the same.

that can cause severe food poisoning can lead to diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps. Symptoms develop between 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated foods and usually lasting four to seven days. In extreme cases, diarrhoea and dehydration may be so severe that hospital treatment is required. Mr Sowerby added: “As salmonella is not present

“No other batches are affected. “It should be noted that, to date, no complaints have been received from customers and the problem was raised as part of a routine sampling.” Its no the first time that TRS have had Salmonella scares. In December 2007, the company recalled a batch of sesame seeds due to the presence of the same bacterium.



AWARDS 2016 In association with



BUFFALO AND RYE American Buffalos have struck Brum, with the recent arrival of Buffalo & Rye on Bennett’s Hill. Rustic with an American Diner twist you can get stuck into its ‘smoked meats, dirty burgers, gourmet hot dogs and lip-smacking cocktails.’ It’s mostly known for its Bourbon beverages and US imported beers. Although I’m not a bourbon, beer kinda gal, it’d be rude not to try a sample of its’ commended bourbon menu. WWW.BUFFALOANDRYE.CO.UK

Get more food news on twitter @deliciouspr & on the web :



Monday 6th June 2016 @The Edgbaston Stadium - Birmingham

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AVEL Safer Travel in Birmingham

Crimes on Trains, Buses and trams have reduced across Birmingham after live CCTV footage has been introduced. Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has praised the work of the Safer Travel team, a link between West Midlands Police, British Transport Police and Centro. He commended the use of high-profile operations like Vemotion technology, which allowed Safer Travel officers to monitor live cameras on board public transport. Adding: “This report highlights the work that is going on to reduce crime on the public transport network. “Strong pro-active action has led to a further five per cent reduction in total recorded crime, with public confidence in their safety increasing too.” Mr Jamieson also reiterated his calls for region-wide bans for trouble-makers on trains, trams

and buses. The Commissioner said: “The public quite rightly expects to be able to travel on buses, trams and trains without fear for their safety. “Giving the West Midlands the ability to apply one criminal behaviour order covering its entire network is a key tool that will make our transport even safer and encourage more people to use the service.” Earlier this year, a man was banned from using public transport for 10 years at peaks times after molesting a minor on the top deck. 30-year-old sex-fiend, Stefano Sabo, will not be able to use the bus between 7am- .30 am and 3pm to 6pm Mr Sabo pleaded guilty to sexual assault and was given an eight month jail term suspended for two years, as well as the Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning him from buses.

APRIL 2016


Airbus A380 Arrives


he aircraft, weighing in at staggering 560 tons, landed on Birmingham soil in preparation for the airline’s inaugural Dubai service on Easter Sunday. The impressive plane, which takes over an hour to refuel, is set to replace the carriers daily lunchtime service which was previously run by a Boeing 777. With a capacity for over 557 economy passengers and 58 business-class passengers across two decks, the aircraft will help increase the carrier’s daily capacity to the Middle East region by 15 per cent and will create more routes accessible for British travellers. The A380’s arrival in Birmingham means the UK is now serviced by 77 such flights by the UAE flag-carrier every day.

Announcing the aircrafts introduction to Birmingham Airport last December, Laurie Berryman, Emirates' vice president for the UK, said: 'In 15 years of operating at Birmingham, Emirates has experienced exceptional levels of growth driven by an increase in demand from the Midlands. 'The A380 is hugely popular amongst our passengers as it provides a unique level of service that has become synonymous with the Emirates brand. We are very excited to be the first airline to introduce the iconic A380 into the region.” Passenger Alison Gabrielle who was on the inaugural flight into Birmingham commented: “As a Bollywood cellist I fly to Asia and the Middle East almost on a monthly basis. “I live 20 minutes from Birmingham

Airport, so being able to fly on an A380 from so close to home means that I can travel in even more comfort during my work trips, which when you fly as regularly as I do means a great deal.” Over £1 million has been invested into changes at Birmingham Airport to accommodate the colossal aircraft, including a longer runway and a new air bridge designed so passengers can disembark from both decks of the plane at the same time. Craig Burrows, from Emirates, said: "The challenge is trying to turn the aircraft around safely and securely. "We need extra ground service equipment which we have to ensure gets on the aircraft safely and there's more fuel up-lift and a lot more baggage to be carried on the aircraft due to the bigger number of passengers."

Leicester Train Traumas Nation-wide average cost for train travel is £12 per 100 miles, but research by travel comparison site Gopli, shows Leicester locals pay on average £35 per 100 miles when travelling by train. The research centred on the cheapest available train tickets one week in advance, from Britain's 20 largest cities to their top destinations. Rodolphe Morfoise-Gauthier, manager UK of Gopili, said: "This can be explained by several factors such as the distance of the journey, the demand, the competition and the number of stops between the two locations. "Britain has a strong rail network with train operators offering high quality services. It is surprising to see that train travel costs can vary a lot depending on the city you're travelling from." The survey also revealed that cities with a larger population, like London and Birmingham, were the cheapest to use train travel.

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APRIL 2016



Asian Business


of Commerce

C o n n e c t i n g y o u t o o p p o r t u n i t y. . .

tel: 0121 450 4203

Applications are still open for Pitchfest 2016 Patrons top strip new theme.indd 1

Fifteen of the region’s most scalable businesses are already through to the shortlisting panels, with the hope of reaching the competition final at Venturefest West Midlands on Thursday 23rd June 2016, but there is still an opportunity for more top quality businesses to join them. Pitchfest is a unique pitching competition, conceived and jointly organised by Aston University, the University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick. It is an opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs to raise their profile in front of a national audience of investors, and gives them the chance win one of several awards at Venturefest West Midlands 2016. Tim Powell is Executive Director for Minerva Business Angels Network at the University of Warwick Science Park. He feels that for any small businesses seeking investment, it is important to know their funding requirements and to get their approach to investors right first time. "Pitchfest is a perfect platform for early stage companies to understand the right sources of funding for their business, and how to prepare


and pitch for funding to finance professionals - in particular to Business Angel investors". David Coleman, Head of Enterprise Acceleration at the University of Birmingham works directly with small businesses in the region. “Although the West Midlands is a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity, the lion’s share of investment still goes to London and the South East. The Pitchfest platform is a great tool for redressing that balance. By bringing investors directly into our selection process, we are enabling companies to both improve their investment prospects, and to network with potential funding sources”. James Richmond, founder of Roompik – a fledgling tech company creating a mobile app for finding housemates – was one of those 15 and won the 2015 “Early Stage” award. James says that Roompik achieved a staggering hike in interest by taking part in the competition, and were easily able to achieve the investment they needed as a result. “Pitchfest was the catalyst for getting the deal across the line with investors - the moment it all finally happened. Our pitch evolved dramatically throughout the process and repeatedly answering questions from the judges really helped.” Applications are made online. The organisers are encouraging early applications so that entrepreneurs have the time they need to refine their presentation – a process that is key to delivering a winning pitch at the final. Shortlisted applicants will present to a judging panel, and selected finalists will pitch to leading investors and industry experts at Venturefest WM on Thursday 23rd June 2016 at the NEC, Birmingham, watched by an audience of potential investors. This one-day event is supported by Innovate UK and is part of a national network of Venturefests, which brings together entrepreneurs, investors and innovators to meet, engage, and discuss ideas. In 2015, the first Venturefest WM attracted 483 delegates and an independent evaluation by the ERC found that it led to £1.44m of financial returns, along with the development of 1,410 new connections between innovators, entrepreneurs, inventors and innovation support. Any business or entrepreneur interested in taking part in 2016 is invited to complete the Pitchfest application form or for further details they can contact the event team on 0121 204 3225 or by emailing

event catering, design & management


Thriving Chamber takes on new look 22/07/2015 15:36:01

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) today unveiled its biggest membership review for years – with exclusive new benefits to meet the needs of all its clients in the fast-changing business world. The region’s largest business support network hailed the introduction of the new look 21st century membership packages as a major turning point in the long and distinguished history of an organisation whose roots date back to the Napoleonic Wars. More than 200 years on from its foundation, the GBCC is marking its proud heritage with the introduction of a new 1813 Club offering businesses of all sizes the opportunity to raise their profiles and make new connections, increasingly through digital channels. Patronage will remain the “top tier” package,

divisions and re-named the Future Faces Chamber of Commerce. The whole new membership offer will be delivered by an integrated membership team, which has enjoyed great success over the past 12 months. The GBCC's membership base is currently eight per cent up on last year and the aim is for continual growth. In addition to the new packages, a group-wide website will be re-launched this month and will include a new and improved Member Directory, a Member Marketplace where members can place offers and request services and to give members a wider voice there will be a Spotlight feature giving members the opportunity to submit a blog to be published on the website.

offering a limited number of companies a large range of services, including access to national and local government figures, like the recent meetings with business secretary Sajid Javid and Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy. The concept was revealed today following months of extensive research undertaken since Paul Faulkner became chief executive of the GBCC in June. This included work with two Premier members. Brand agency Orb Creative staged a workshop with a cross-section of staff at their offices in Alpha Tower and Elonex Outdoor Media will be advertising the GBCC’s new offering on their billboards across the city. Rob Bloxham, founder of ORB, said: "The Chamber is a hugely important force in the region and to be entrusted by it to create a fresh, purposeful and vibrant brand that is set to play a crucial role in its future, while also reflecting its proud heritage, has been an honour. “We've looking forward to working alongside Paul and the team to really drive forward the brand and help the Chamber realise its ambitions." As part of the brand refresh, Future Faces will be fully integrated with the rest of the Greater Birmingham

Mr Faulkner said: “Today’s launch marks the culmination of extensive research, examining our membership packages and our digital services, including the launch of a new group-wide website. “We are reaffirming our position and purpose to ‘Connect Support and Grow’ local businesses whether through membership or our vast range of business support services, and are excited by what we will be able to offer businesses going forward. “At the same time we have not lost sight of the Chamber’s rich heritage and prestige through which we have been creating partnerships for businesses going back over 200 years. “This is an exciting time to be involved in business in the Greater Birmingham region, and there is a genuine sense that the area is experience a true renaissance, underpinned by a number of exciting plans and projects that are due to become reality over the next decade. “The Chamber has ambitious plans for growth that we make no apology for, and we look forward to playing an active role in the continued success of the region in the years to come.”

The Iconic Emirates' A380

BIRMINGHAM, U.K., 27 March 2016: Emirates’ iconic A380 aircraft touched down in the Midlands on Sunday as the airline commenced its brand new scheduled A380 service into Birmingham Airport. The 12:20pm touchdown was watched by hundreds of people who gathered at Sheldon County Park to witness the arrival of the world’s largest passenger airliner. Emirates has been serving Birmingham for well over a decade, with its first daily service launched in December 2000. Based on strong demand in the region for Emirates’ services, Birmingham now boasts three daily flights to Dubai. Passengers on board the inaugural A380 flight from Dubai to Birmingham connected from over 15 different destinations across Emirates’ global network. Alison Gabrielle, a passenger on

the inaugural flight into Birmingham, commented: “As a Bollywood cellist I fly to Asia and the Middle East almost on a monthly basis. I live twenty minutes from Birmingham Airport, so being able to fly on an A380 from so close to home means that I can travel in even more comfort during my work trips.” The new A380 service will be operated in a two-class configuration, offering 615 seats in total, increasing daily capacity on the route by 261 seats. Birmingham is the 38th destination served by the highly popular Emirates A380. The Emirates A380 daily service to Birmingham operates as EK039, departing Dubai at 7:35am and arriving in Birmingham at 12:20pm. To book a seat on the new Emirates A380 Dubai-Birmingham service, visit





Steel Industry Crisis

it can” to settle the steel crisis though he admitted there were “no guarantees of success”. Defending the manner in which the crisis had been handled, David Cameron insisted the Government’s intervention had stopped a complete closure of the Port Talbot works. David Cameron said: "The situation at Port Talbot is of deep concern.” He added: "Those jobs are vital to workers' families, vital to those communities and the Government will do everything it can working with the company to try and secure the future of steelmaking in Port Talbot

Wolves Welcomes

Porsche Doors to Wolverhampton’s new £5 million Porsche Centre are set to open this month, bringing fresh business and new jobs to the area. Originally based in Sutton Coldfield, the dealership is relocating to purpose-built premises on Stafford Road, near to the i54/ junction 2 gateway to the city. The Porsche Centre, which is one of the only two official Porsche showrooms in the West Midlands, will employ approximately 34 people, with five new recruits being added to the existing employees. Tim Johnson, City of Wolverhampton

Strategic Director: Place, added: “This is a prestigious development on the northern gateway of the city and a major boost to the local economy.” The Porsche Centre will offer the full range of services including new and Approved Pre-Owned vehicle sales, a full range of demonstrators, servicing, parts and courtesy vehicles. The new building features a 20 vehicle car showroom, a 16 bay workshop equipped with the latest technology, dedicated MOT and direct dialogue bays together, with extensive parking facilities available to customers.



The Government has ruled out nationalising the industry following Tata’s shock announcement

he shock announcement by Indian company Tata to relinquish its UK assets has left the country’s steel industry reeling. Intending to sell the giant Tata steel works in Port Talbot, South Wales, as part of the move, the Indian conglomerate has left the government in a crisis, with David Cameron heading a brief meeting of ministers in Downing Street to see how they can best handle the current catastrophe. The Prime Minister has said the Government was doing “everything

APRIL 2016

and across our country, it's a vital industry." Roy Rickhuss, leader of the Community union, who accused ministers of doing little to lobby the Indian conglomerate before it had reached its decision to sell its British assets, said he had been left “underwhelmed” by Government’s response to the steel crisis. He explained: "I am disappointed that the Government still has no plan for the industry but instead seems to be adding to the confusion and mixed messages that have been the state of play for the last 36 hours.

He added: "Now, thousands of steelworkers are faced with an uncertain future as their workplaces are put up for sale.” Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle said: "With tens of thousands of jobs on the line, the Prime Minister has failed to show any leadership and shows no sign of getting a grip of the very serious situation that has been allowed to worsen on his watch. She added: "Steelworkers and their families who will be worried sick about their future will take little comfort from the Prime Minister's warm words.”

Engine detox specialist hits £1m turnover milestone

Kent-based engine detox specialist EDT Automotive has turned over £1m since launching in 2013, generating £2.5m in additional aftersales turnover for franchised dealers and high end independent garages. EDT managing director, David Holmes FIMI, said: “To hit the £1m turnover mark is an important milestone. It exceeds what we thought was an ambitious target when we set up the company three years ago. “EDT is an exciting product which delivers much-needed profit for workshops while tackling pressing environmental concerns.” With an effect likened to descaling a dishwasher, the hand-built EDT machine cleans petrol or diesel engines with an environmentally friendly solution. It takes just 13 minutes to remove up to half a litre of black sludge that doesn’t come out in an ordinary oil change. The results are close to doing a manual engine strip, with fuel economy increased by up to 20% and harmful emissions significantly reduced: CO by an average 66% and diesel smoke by an average 58%.


APRIL 2016




English Village On Sale

Affordable Housing Crisis Strikes Southern England

Every city in southern England has been overwhelmed by unaffordable housing, according to recent research by Lloyds. In a study comparing average local income with average house prices in English cities, the bank found that not a single city exists in the country’s south with homes less than 7.5 times the average income in that region. With average residential property prices in any city in Southern England now costing 6.6 times the average wage locally, an increase from 6.2 last year, analysis provided by Lloyds Bank has revealed that the crisis in affordable homes has stretched beyond the boundaries of London. “The housing affordability gap has widened to its worst level in eight years,” Lloyds said in its analysis, in which the bank suggested that the current imbalance between house prices and wage growth has led to affordability of residential properties worsening for the third year in a row.

An entire North Yorkshire village has gone on the market with a guide price of £20M


Rules Toughen On Buy-To-Let Loans Previous British villages seeing sales

Successive tax clampdowns have led to buy-to-let investing becoming significantly more expensive and things are looking to get even tougher, with securing mortgages soon to be become as challenging as applications for residential mortgages. The Bank of England has put forward new proposals to set a higher bar for borrowing by people looking to become landlords. One in five loan applications currently being accepted could now face rejection should the new regulations by the bank’s Prudential Regulation Authority be accepted, according to the bank’s deputy governor, Andrew Bailey. Currently, the majority of buy-toletters do not face rigorous affordability assessments by lenders as they do not have to be formally regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Most prospective buy-to-let landlords are presently only subjected to basic assessments comparing mortgage repayments against future rental income. However, banks could now be required to look into the wider finances of borrowers, with tax liabilities, other sources of income and living expenses being investigated.

Linkenholt, Hampshire – With 22 cottages and houses, 1,500 acres of farmland, a village shop and a blacksmiths, the village was sold £25m in 2009. Bantham, Devon – A seaside estate with 20 cottages and a beach, the 750-acres estate

was sold in excess of its asking price of £11 Little Rollright, Oxfordshire – Featuring a manor house, five cottages and 500 acres, the village was being sold for an asking price of £18m when it went on sale in 2014

he entire village of West Heslerton, North Yorkshire, is up for sale at the same price as a large family home in London. Put on the market at a guide price of £20m, the village features a 21-bedroom mansion, primary school, church, pub and petrol station as well as 43 homes and 2,116 acres of land. Situated near Scarborough, the estate has remained the property of the same family for over 150 years but has been put on the market following the death of the owner. Though the owner, Eve Dawnay, passed away five years ago, leaving the estate without an heir, the estate has only just been placed on the market by the family.

For £20M, the buyer will receive: • • • •

21-bedroom mansion Primary school Church Pub

‘Striking Growth’ For Housing Market England and Wales have seen a rise in residential property prices by 6.1%, with the average value being £190,275. The majority of regions across the UK have seen house prices increase, despite the latest figures from the Land Registry indicating prices fell month on month. The greatest rise in the average value of properties has taken place in London, where a rise of 13.5% over the previous year has seen prices increase to £530,368.

The village, a short halfhour drive from the coast, has attracted interest “from far and wide” according to estate agents CUndalls. Tom Watson, the estate agent in charge of the sale, said: “It would be perfect for someone wanting to build up and leave a legacy. “The estate has been very much untouched in the past 50 years and is now a blank canvas, ready to be shaped for the next generation.” Miss Dawnay's sister, Verena Elliott, said: "We all loved it and it would be very hard to find a village with more loyal and lovely people living in it. "There is a real sense of community which is hard to find these days."

Following the upward trend in house prices, the North West saw the greatest monthly price rise outside of the capital at 1.8% whilst the most significant monthly price fall took place in the North East where prices decreased by 1.2% month on month and fell by 3.2% year on year. David Brown, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons, said: “There have been a lot of stimulants spurring on the housing market this spring. To beat the 01 April

• • • •

Petrol station Playing field with a pavilion 43 homes 2,116 acres of farmland

• 110 acres of woodland

implementation of additional stamp duty, second home buyers and buy to let investors have been frantically pushing through purchase completions as quickly as possible.” Rob Weaver, director of investments at property crowdfunding platform Property Partner, said: “High demand, a shortage in supply and out of reach properties in prime central London, has seen potential buyers flocking to outer London boroughs for more affordable housing and in turn that’s pushed prices ever skyward.”



Tesla Sparks A Buzz

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he first ‘affordable’ electric car has been unveiled by car maker Tesla, who revealed that 130,000 orders have already been taken for the mass market model despite production not being planned to start until the end of next year. Set to sell for £24,000, The Model 3 has received half the price tag of existing cars the Model S and Model X, both of which start at £49,000. With its production being described by the company’s chief executive Elon Musk as the concluding step in the company realising its dreams to develop a “mass market, affordable car”, it’s no surprise Tesla stores in California saw car enthusiasts queue overnight to place a deposit for one of the most highly-anticipated

Over 130,000 people rushed to reserve Tesla’s latest electric car, hailed the electric car for the masses

electric cars. The unveiling of the Model 3 Sedan prototype in California revealed a grille-less four-door vehicle featuring a roof made entirely of a panoramic pane of glass stretching from the front to the back. With only a narrow bar of actual roof dividing the windshield from the back window, the roof affords passengers a near-complete view of the sky above their heads. "We don't make slow cars," CEO Elon Musk said at the car's unveiling. He added: “You will not be able to buy a better car for $35,000, or even close, even if you get no options.” As common with electric cars, the Model 3 delivers a strangely quiet drive despite the

acceleration being wicked quick with the ability to go from 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds. Understood to include an automatic lanechanging feature, the car’s dashboard has mounted upon it a rectangular touchpad screen situated between the front seats which serves as the sole information display in the Model 3.The car is expected to cover at least 200 miles on an electric charge, almost doubling the current range available to drivers of cars available in the same price range. Set to increase its car production numbers to 500,000 by 2020, up from 50,000 last year, the company is also planning to increase its international store count to441, doubling the existing numbers by the end of 2017.

BIRMINGHAM REVEALED AS CRASH-FOR-CASH HOTSPOT Latest figures have revealed Birmingham to be the UK’s capital for whiplash scams. Known commonly as ‘crash-for-cash’, fraudulent whiplash claims in Birmingham reached their highest figures in 2014, with the number having only fallen by 2% a year later. As part of these scams, fraudsters deliberately target law-abiding motorists, hoping to make dishonest whiplash claims through their car insurance providers. However, mounting publicity surrounding these cases has led to an increase in dash cam sales, with savvy motorists using the

cameras to safeguard themselves from dishonest claims. Pete Williams, spokesman for the RAC, said: "Dash cams give drivers an added level of protection to guard against unexpected malicious events taking place on the road which they might otherwise struggle to prove. "By having a visual record of what took place it is far easier for an insurer to come to the right conclusion and avoid the affected motorists being unfairly penalised by a potential fraudster.”



Cyclists Warned Against Riding Whilst Intoxicated

Cyclists are being warned that they face 10 times more risk of injury after drinking alcohol than riding whilst being sober. Statistics show that cyclists who are impaired by alcohol are much more likely to be severely injured or killed than sober cyclists, with a significant link shown between alcohol use and head injury as cyclists who are impaired by alcohol are more likely to hurt themselves in a fall and are less likely to wear a helmet. Suzannah Robin, an alcohol safety expert at AlcoDigital, works with dozens of local authorities and councils helping them to address their drug and alcohol testing requirements through certified training programmes. She said: “Any amount of alcohol will decrease a person’s coordination and ability to react so we would urge cyclists to think carefully before pedalling anywhere after drinking.”

No Driving Ban For Some Diabetes Sufferers A review of driving laws in Europe has meant that some motorists who suffer from diabetes will no longer face an ‘unnecessary’ driving ban, new information has been revealed. According to current laws, motorists with diabetes who are dependent on insulin and have suffered at least one severe episode of hypoglycaemia resulting in the need for someone else’s assistance are required to inform the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), leading to some motorists losing their licences “unnecessarily”. The recent review of the laws has led to a rule change, with the European Commission acknowledging that the ban on driving should be lifted for those people whose blood sugar level falls to extremely low levels only whilst they are sleeping. A spokesman for the DVLA has said that the licensing will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be dependent on risk assessment and medical changes with the agency thought to be looking to put the changes into place by 2018.


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Bridging The Gulf A talented English striker has become the first footballer in the UK to sign a professional contract in the Arabian Gulf League. Jai Verma, 23, has joined Al Shabab FC, the top-flight Emirates League club in the UAE, after agreeing to a two and half year deal. The semi-professional ace, who had six years of non-

league football under his belt before he joined the highest ranked club in Dubai, was playing for Forest Cavaliers FC when he was spotted by an international scout. The left-winger with an incredible goal per game ratio has played for teams including West Bridgford Colts, Arnold Town, Radford and Forest Cavaliers as well

as having undertaken studies in sports science at university in Nottingham. Voted the best player of the round last year, Jai has gone from strength to strength in his football career, and an offer of a professional contrast was inevitable for the hardworking youngster. Jai tweeted: "I am

Thapa On Road To Rio


Shiva and the Kazakh boxer are counterpunchers. But Shiva was more aggressive and that made the difference.” Following the match, the former Asian champion, who last year became only the third Indian boxer ever to clinch a World Championship bronze, said the ‘Road to Rio’ has been the toughest journey of his boxing career so far. In an interview after securing a semi-final win, Thapa said: "This time, it's been mentally

"I had a point to prove, deep inside perhaps I was very angry and wanted to show what I could do."

over Kazakhstan’s former world championship bronze medallist, earning himself silver medal through a definitive 3-0 win. Refusing to engage in any exchanges during the match, Thapa connected his punches with consistency without letting Yeraliev, also a counterpuncher, respond to the jabs. Speaking about the semifinal, India’s boxing team coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu said: “He fought a perfect game. Both

more challenging and certainly the toughest of my career. I had a point to prove, deep inside perhaps I was very angry and wanted to show what I could do.” The youngster is now set for his second Olympic appearance following his sensational debut as an 18-year-old in 2012, which saw him become the youngest Indian fighter to qualify for the games through a breathtaking medal win in the qualifiers.

delighted to have signed professional contract with Al Shabab. The hard work continues.'' Speaking of his reaction when he was offered a trial with the club, he said: “It felt amazing when I found out. “It is incredible to just be asked to go on trial and be given the chance to play for a team abroad – but for it to be Dubai, the world’s up-andcoming city, is just fantastic. “I never expected it to happen at all, or to be called up or to be asked to come and play in Dubai.”

Kickboxing Showdown Accrington hosts Ali MMA and Fit To Fight Kickboxing Showdown

India has successfully seen one fighter from its thirteenmember squad qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Shiva Thapa became the only Indian boxer to make the cut for the tournament, beating Kazakhstan’s Kairat Yeraliev to secure a place in the bantamweight finals of the Asia and Oceania Olympic qualifiers held in Qian’an, China. The confident 22-year-old, the top seed in the bantamweight (56) division, reigned victorious


ccrington was a hive of excitement and activity when it hosted a kickboxing showdown, open to all ages and skill ranges. The tournament, organised by Ali School of Mixed Martial Arts and Fit To Fight who were joined by main sponsor Mr Compensator, had over 150 entrants and almost 400 supporters that attended throughout the day. Held at Mount Carmel High School, the event saw people from all over Accrington and surrounding areas come together to support family and friends and have a day out watching a highly skilled sport take place. A real buzz was in the atmosphere from all the fired up supporters when the event kicked off with a massive bang. With fights taking place from pairs as young as 6 to a retirement tournament for one fighter, there was a real range of skills, backgrounds and ages of all participants. In the main fight of the day, kickboxer Lucas Stirzaker came out victorious winning a WKU British Title against his opponent Jay Goodwin. With Mr. Compensator branded T-Shirts and merchandise being given away for FREE, there was a lot more than just the fighting to be excited about. Sponsor of the event, Mr Compensator is an Accident Claims Management company that works throughout the North West and is renowned for its involvement in community and charity events. Their charitable activities range from donating £10,000 to the Amir Khan Foundation to sponsoring local events in the community such as this one. Mr Compensator shared common grounds with the drive behind the event, to bring local communities together, to recognise talent and help support people further their skills in something they have a passion for. Hosted by Ali of Mixed Martial Arts and fellow trainer Billy from Fit to Fight, both of whom put months of planning into organising this event, their hard work definitely paid off on the day. Ali is well known for his work in and around Accrington, hosting his own school of he is driven to help people find a skill in something they enjoy and become the best at it.



England v Pakistan

Pakistan Return to Birmingham for Clash to n tur Re tan Pakis with England Pakistan Return to Birmingham for Clash with England sh Cla ham for Birming wi T th England est Match cricket returns to Birmingham this summer holiday as England take on Pakistan in an Investec Test on Wednesday 3 – Sunday 7 August. Tickets are onsale and are priced from just £31 for Adults and from just for Juniors to Birmingham returns 16s). cricket (Under Match est £6 England and Pakistan have seventake Test England as had holiday this summer Matchon meetings at Edgbaston with the on Testhosts in an Investec Pakistan currently yunbeaten with four wins and three onare Tickets 7 August. 3 – Sunday Wednesda draws. last from encounter Adults and just £31inforBirmingham are priced and The sale camejust in £6 2010 when England claimed a nine (Under 16s). for Juniors from wicket victory, yet Pakistan currently have seven Test have had and Pakistan England bragging rights at after claiming a the 2-0 hosts series n with Edgbasto meetings Match three and United victory over Alastairwith Cook’s men in the wins four unbeaten currently Arab Emirates last encounter Autumn. in Birmingham The last draws. a nine claimed Ledin by2010 Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan are targeting when England came their first victoryyet at Pakistan Edgbastoncurrently and will have fancy victory, wicket series a 2-0 their chances withafter six ofclaiming their players currently rights bragging United in the in the top 25Alastair of the ICC Testmen Batting Rankings Cook’s over victory and spin bowler Yasir Shah currently rated the Autumn. last Emirates Arab Pakistan are targeting third best bowler in -Haq, the world. by Misbah-ul Led their first victory at Edgbaston and will fancy their chances with six of their players currently in the top 25 of the ICC Test Batting Rankings and spin bowler Yasir Shah currently rated the third best bowler in the world.


Ahead of the third Test of the Investec Series, Edgbaston has introduced several new initiatives to make the fixture even more attractive to supporters of both teams. These include Halal food which will be served at a variety of the Series, of the Investec Testdesignated the third stadium’s outlets, Prayer areas Ahead of food new initiatives d several n has in the new £32introduce million Pavilion Stand, a Drayton Edgbasto to even more attractive the fixture makeFamily to Manor Stand (non-alcoholic) with family Halal include seating These of both teams. supporter friendly senvironment and dedicated of the a variety will be served food areaswhich for England’s Barmy at Army and Pakistan’s food outlets, designated Prayer areas stadium’s Stani Army. a Drayton Pavilion £32 million new in the With world cricketing starsStand, on show, electric family holic) Stand (non-alco Family atmosphere Manor Edgbaston and a with match-day seating dedicated nt and environme friendly experience that caters for all, it’s simply a day Army and England’s for be areas not to missed.Barmy Edgbaston hasPakistan’s become a Army. Stani fortress for England and has been officially electric show, cricketing With worldfor recognised having stars the on best atmosphere y match-da a study re and atmosphe n cricket Edgbasto of all UK venues in a of all caters for all, it’s simply a day e that experienc match days in 2015. a become n Edgbasto to be missed. not Simply visit www. edgbaston or call has been officially England fortress 0844 847for 1902 to bookand tickets. recognised for having the best atmosphere of all UK cricket venues in a study of all match days in 2015. Simply visit www. edgbasto n .com or call 0844 847 1902 to book tickets.

APRIL 2016




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We’re giving readers a chance to witness one of the biggest sporting events of the summer with a family ticket up for grabs for England’s versus Pakistan in the Investec Test Match at Edgbaston Stadium. Located in the Drayton Manor Family Stand, three lucky winners Located in the Drayton Manor Family three lucky will receive two adult and two under 16sStand, tickets for one winners; of England sporting biggest theday one of to witness a chance readers giving We’re will recieve two aduilt and two under 16s tickets for day on of versus Pakistan in the third Test of the Investec Series on Wednesday England’s for grabs for up ticket family a with events of the summer 3 August 2016. in Stadium. England versus Pakistan in theTest third Test at of Edgbaston the Investec Series on Match the Investec Pakistan versus winners To havein a chance of 2016. winning of the threethree familylucky tickets simply Stand, Family Manorone Wednesday 3rd August Drayton the Located answer thistwo question: adult and two under 16s tickets for day one of England receive will versus Pakistan in the third Test of the Investec Series on Wednesday Who is2016. Pakistan’s Test Captain? 3 August To have a chance of winning one of the three family tickets simply Nequidiatiis et apient, cus, odis re vendae. Ximus et quam To enter simply e-mail your answer to competitions@theasiantoday. question: this answer facerrumquam eaturfull si doloriate nonsectat pos Winners dolest, tem com along with your name andrecontact details. will netur be a dolorrumquam eos amus, eaturi aut adigeni hillend iaestio. Ut quia Captain? Test Who is Pakistan’s contacted by Friday 22nd July 2016. Terms & Conditions Apply. dolore volorat escium et eum quas dolupta doluptat lant volor arum et quam Ximus re vendae. quis imodisim voluptasiti aliquis tionsed que comnis. cus, odis apient, et volore iis qui Nequidiat netur tem dolest, pos nonsectat re doloriate si facerrumquam eatur a dolorrumquam eos amus, eaturi aut adigeni hillend iaestio. Ut quia dolore volorat escium et eum quas dolupta doluptat lant volor arum quis imodisim qui volore voluptasiti aliquis tionsed que comnis.

Who is Pakistan’s Test Captain?

Khan’s No Underdog! 46

APRIL 2016


Continued from page 47 the field, leaving their opponents, who had been millimetres away from victory, in despair. One of England’s heroes prior to that final torturous over, Stokes was inconsolable facing his team’s agonising defeat. Bowling two neat overs at a turbulent stage of the innings and making three difficult catches on the boundary, it was fated to have been all in vain at the final moments of the match.


Speaking of his team’s journey through the World Cup, West Indies captain Darren Sammy said: “We have been on a journey. We felt disrespected by the board. Mark Nicholas described our team as a team with no brains. All these things brought us together.” He added: "Every match, somebody stepped up. To see Carlos step up in his debut World Cup was fantastic. It shows the depth of quality we have in the Caribbean."

Windies Women Breeze To T20 Victory

Rumour mill is hard at work in the boxing world in lead up to Khan v Alvarez


anny Pacquiao is one of a handful of people who believe that Amir Khan has a good chance of beating WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez following a surprise announcement by Khan to face the Alvarez’s voluntary fight. The fight, held at a 155-pound catch-weight as called for by the 160-pound Mexican champion, sees Khan make a substantial leap to the heavier weight class. The risky move has left critics nervous that the Bolton fighter, who usually fights at welterweight and would need to add eight pounds to his natural weight in order to take on Alvarez, could be placed in a compromising situation. Former world champion, “King Khan”, has twice previously been halted, at both lightweight and light welterweight, with his most notable as well as most recent defeat being at the hands of current WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia in 2012. Such defeats have added weight to Khan’s position as underdog in the up-coming contest against the hard-hitting Alvarez, further secured by the British boxer’s potential size disadvantage which may ultimately affect the

speedy punches of the Englishman. However, Pacquiao has come out to back Khan in the fight, refusing to believe there’s much weight to Khan’s underdog status going into the match, with the Filipino boxer rejecting the widely accepted view that play on the day will swing entirely in the Mexican’s favour. The eight-time division performance on the night will be entirely dependent on his preparation and game plan though many critics are questioning if Khan’s body will be able to handle a beating from the hard-hitting champion. Despite having a record 46-1-1 in hand, with 32 wins by knockout, Alvarez is not taking the British boxer lightly. Noting that Khan’s speed is an issue of concern, the young Mexican’s supporter’s feel that Khan is one to watch as both Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have shunned him. Former lineal middleweight champion Andre Ward is also backing Khan, saying, "I see a lot of people ripping Amir, but he's got the guts to take on the challenge." He added: "He's chasing this. And whether he wins or loses, he took the risk."

Pakistan Returns To Defend Asian Snooker Championship Title

The Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PSBA) has announced its six-member team will represent the nation in the 32nd Asian Snooker Championship 2016. The contingent, comprising of four players and two officials, will see former world snooker champion M Asif, former world snooker team champion M Sajjad be joined by Pakistan No 1 M Bilal and Pakistan No 2 Sohail Shahzad in the games set to be played in Doha, Qatar. Returning as defending champion of the

It was a thrilling game of cricket that saw the Windies women breeze through their final against Australia. When Australia finished at 148, the total was considered to be on par, if not more than par, by many. Before the showdown between the West Indies and Australia, the highest run chase in this version of the games was 124. However, the Windies women proved in true Caribbean Crusade style that when they get going, no target is out of their reach and the team went on to smash the record at the tournament’s most critical stage. Following their batting performance, the final was supposed to be a cruise to the finishing line for Australia but when the West Indies picked up the bat, the rest of game simply did not go Austalia’s way. The sheer delight of the Windies was palpable when they sealed their victory, with the players bursting into dance to the tune of Champion that had become the anthem for the team.

Dwayne's Anthem goes Viral When West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo launched his official World Cup Anthem entitled Champion, little did he know the song would go viral within weeks. Released in the lead up to the T20 games, the lyrics reference a number of figures, both Caribbean and international, who the cricketer views to be champions in their respective fields. Dwayne has said the song inspired the West Indies team during turbulent times, with his fellow players taking to singing it as their

event, Pakistan, who secured a win last year through their sole professional player Hamza Akbar, will rely on the former snooker champions M Asif and M Sajjad to bring home the glory once again, following Hamza’s decision to turn professional. PBSA president Alamgir A Shaikh said in his statement announcing the team: “We have selected a balanced combination keeping in view the fact that we are the defending champions of the title.”

personal anthem during their celebrations. The West Indies men’s and women’s teams took to the song wholeheartedly, with both teams celebrating to the it following their victories in the finals over England and Australia respectively. The track has perfectly defined the team’s campaign in which they defied all odds to come out on top, leading them to victory in the World T20. Bravo has said of the song: "It's an inspirational song. At the end of the day, everyone wants to be a champion.”



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CHAMPIONS Double Delight for the West Indies


n one of the most remarkable finals to grace a T20 stage, West Indies snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against opposing England, emerging triumphant at cricket’s ultimate stage. The Windies men’s team was crowned champion following historic and dramatic victories in the World T20 2016, coming out

unbeaten in their campaign in India. Successfully chasing down a target of 156 runs with two balls to spare at the final held at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the West Indies team became the first to win the title of T20 champions twice. The final saw England standing on the cusp of a crowning glory with their opponents looking the picture of a beaten

side, with six balls required and 19 runs still to get. Beginning on tentative terms, England’s total of 155 looked feeble against the West Indians, who held their nerve throughout the match which saw England lose Jason Roy for a duck and Alex Hales for 1, with even captain Eoin Morgan not being left unscathed, out for an abysmal 5.

In a resounding finish for the ages, the West Indies last-over assault on England left the latter’s dreams shattered, with the Windies (16/6) beating England (155/9) by four wickets. When Carlos Brathwaite’s fourth six sealed his team’s victory, a disbelieving and jubilant West Indies rushed to flood Continued on page 46

“Boom Boom” Bows Out Shahid Afridi has announced his decision to resign as Twenty20 captain of Pakistan after coming under fire for his poor captaincy in the World Cup. The move by the 36-year-old follows the team’s early exit from the games in which he failed to lead his team through the group stages in the tournament hosted by India, with the 2009 champions facing substantial criticism for their lackluster performance in the game’s shortest format. Affectionately nicknamed “Boom Boom” for his fierce hitting ability, Afridi’s failure as captain

was made all the more apparent by his team’s big losses at the hands of arch-rivals India as well as New Zealand and Australia. His performance saw him branded “absolutely clueless” by his team manager, with Pakistan’s only one victory in this year’s games being against lowly ranked Bagladesh, Announcing his resignation via a statement, fan favourite Afridi said: "Today I wish to inform my fans in Pakistan & all over the world that I am relinquishing the captaincy of the T20 Pakistani

team of my own volition.” Head coach Waqar Younis also voiced his criticism of the player, saying: "We lost to New Zealand, Asia Cup and the World T20 due to poor captaincy. Over several occasions, I had made it clear that Shahid Afridi was not performing with the bat, ball or as a captain but I was not listened to.” Facing strong scrutiny himself, the Coach Waqar Younis has also resigned from his post, saying he is doing so “with a heavy heart.”


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