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APRIL 2020 ISSUE 254



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Shah Rukh Khan and Pri yanka Chopra Jonas are all set to partic ipate in ‘Global concert for Coronavirus Pandemic relief’ Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra Jonas set to participate in are all ‘Global concert for Coronaviru Pandemic relief’ s Amid the ongoing lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, actors Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Jonas have confirmed Chopra their participation in global

concert, One World: Together At Home. It is all set to take place on April 18, 2020. SRK tweeted “Health care workers on the frontlines of the #COVID19 crisis need our support. That’s why I’m standing in solidarity with @glblctzn and @ WHO for One World: #TogetherAtHome — a one-night

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s Muslims begin to prepare for the month of Ramadan, the NHS has issued a reminder to those who observe the Islamic holy month starting next week to avoid social gatherings because of the risk of coronavirus. Ramadan will be marked all over the world from Thursday 23 April with month-long fasting and observations of spiritual reflection set to end on Saturday 23 May. This is followed by Eid the

festival of fast breaking where traditionally family and friends get together to attend special prayers and celebrate the end of the holy month. Additional guidance and key advice have also been issued to NHS managers and staff working in hospitals and healthcare settings to cover adjustments over working hours and fasting arrangements for Muslim colleagues who are not eating or drinking during daylight hours until evening sunset.

special event on April 18. Even PeeCee took Twitter and shared an update on the same. “Just 4 more days till I join @glblctzn for One World: #TogetherA tHome. The historic special will include leading global health experts and performances

The NHS has a diverse workforce with an estimated 3.3% of the 1.4 million NHS workers being from a Muslim background. Fasting plays an important central feature in many major religions although there are a number of exemptions where adult Muslims do not fast during Ramadan. These include individuals with ill health and long term health conditions such as diabetes and those who are pregnant, elderly or women undergoing menstrual cycles. continued on page 2



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JOURNALISTS Kiran Sahota Saeed Ali Neelam Choudhry

SALES Anita Chumber Simon Keatle

Dr Habib Naqvi, NHS Deputy Director Workforce Race Equality Standard, said: “The whole of the UK is continuing to make huge efforts and sacrifices to delay the spread of the coronavirus. As Ramadan and Eid occur during the projected peak of COVID-19, the NHS has issued additional guidance as part of a package of wellbeing support for all NHS people. “This is another critical period where Muslims, along with other communities, should make use of online platforms and alternative approaches to communicate with family and friends and stick with government guidelines regarding social distancing. The coronavirus restrictions are still very likely to be place by Eid, so the key message remains: stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.” Ramadan lasts for 2930 days and ends with the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr. This year Ramadan is due to start on Thursday 23 or Friday 24 April, depending

on the sighting of the new moon; Eid-ul-Fitr is set to end by Sunday 24 May. The government advice and key facts below should be followed: COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions. The only reasons you can leave your home: • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary If you have: • a high temperature – you

feel hot to touch on your chest or back • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedlyyou should stay at home and follow the isolation guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection. Gatherings of more than two people in public – including religious gatherings (except for funerals) – are banned. It is important that you follow this guidance, you could be fined if you do not. If you are concerned about infection call NHS 111 for advice. Who is at risk? Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill, but there are some people who are at a higher risk. For example, you may be at high risk from coronavirus if you: • have had an organ transplant • are having certain types of cancer treatment • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia • have a severe lung

UK Lockdown Extended For Three Weeks


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CONTRIBUTORS Jas Bassi Mani Hayre Manish Gujjar Sunny Malik Naeem Arif Kam Chopra Manish Patel Jas Sansi Qasim Majid Paul Cadman



The coronavirus lockdown for UK has been extended by at least three weeks, confirmed by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. The foreign secretary, who is standing in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from Covid-19, said the decision was made following advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). At todays (16 April)

press briefing at Downing Street, Mr Raab said: ‘Our action plan aims to slow the spread of coronavirus so fewer people need hospital treatment at any one time and that’s the way we can protect the NHS from becoming overwhelmed. ‘At every step along this way we’ve followed very carefully the scientific and medical advice we’ve received so we take the right steps at the

right moment in time. ‘There are indications that the measures we’ve put in place have been successful in slowing down the spread of this virus. ‘The government has decided that the current measures must remain in place for at least the next three weeks.’ Mr Raab said early relaxation of the restrictions would ‘do more damage to the economy over a longer

condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma • have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections • are taking medicine that weakens your immune system • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition If you think you fall into one of these high risk categories and you did not receive a letter from your healthcare team by Sunday 29 March 2020 or been contacted by your GP (doctor), you should discuss your concerns with your GP (doctor) or hospital clinician. If you don’t have a GP, contact DOTW UK for support: 0808 1647 686 (this is a free number to call) or emailclinic@ doctorsoftheworld.org.uk WHY social distancing is important How to protect yourself if you’re at high risk If you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it.

These include: • not leaving your home – you should not go out to do shopping, pick up medicine or exercise • stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people in your home as much as possible Ask friends, family or neighbours to pick up shopping and medicines for you. They should leave them outside your door. If you need help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food, you can register to get coronavirus support. You are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter. Read the full advice on protecting yourself if you’re at high risk from coronavirus on GOV.UK. For further information please contact the NHS England and NHS Improvement media team on nhsengland.media@nhs.net or 01138 250958/9

period’ as well as risking people’s health. He set out five criteria that need to be met before lockdown is lifted – including signs of a consistent fall in the daily death rates. He said: ‘First we must protect the NHS’ ability to cope, we must be confident we can provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment across the UK. ‘Second, we need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from coronavirus so we are confident we have moved beyond the peak. ‘Third we need to have reliable data showing the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board. ‘Fourth we need to be confident the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand with supply able to meet future demand. ‘Fifth we need to be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that will overwhelm the NHS.’ Mr Raab said the government will look at adjusting the measures only when it is confident on the five points. He said this could mean allowing some

economic and social activity to resume, but suggested this would happen on a regional basis. ‘It could involve relaxing some measures and strengthening them in other areas’ he told the briefing. He said he appreciated the extension would have a considerable impact on people’s lives and businesses, but said now was not the time ‘to give coronavirus a second chance’. ‘I appreciate the impact of these measures is considerable for people and for businesses, across the country’ he said. ‘Whether it’s the cost being shouldered, the sacrifices people are making, being isolated from friends and family, whole households cooped up inside all week long, parents having difficult conversations with young children who just don’t understand why they can’t see their grandparents or go outside and meet up with friends… we get it. ‘We know it’s rough going at this time.’ The UK has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in Europe, but it has still not reached the peak of the crisis. Mr Raab said the government still believed it would take three months to get through the peak. But he said: ‘We will be taking it step by step, guided by the evidence. It will be reviewed at the end of the month.’



APRIL 2020



APRIL 2020


Clean Air Zones Signs Causing Confusion Clean Air Zone road signs proclaiming 'Charges apply Pay online' which have been fitted across Birmingham city centre have not gone live. Drivers, including those new to the city, might think they could be charged immediately for driving in certain areas. Motoring organisations AA and RAC have both called for Birmingham City Council to either add stickers or put up additional signs to make it clear to motorists they were not in danger of being charged for crossing the middle ring road. Due to technological holdups has delayed the process until at least July. Once the zone is active, all cars, vans, buses and lorries entering the designated zone will have to pay a daily fee if their vehicle does not meet strict anti-pollution measures. The zone covers areas inside the A4540 Middleway ring road, including the city

centre, Jewellery Quarter, Hockley, Digbeth, Highgate and Ladywood. The scheme is to reduce air pollution around the city. Owners of older cars will be faced with an £8 a day charge to drive inside the Clean Air Zone. The fee will be £50 for lorries and buses unless

their vehicle meets certain standards, depending on fuel type A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: “As part of our preparations for the introduction of Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone, signage is being installed across the zone boundaries to

notify people of the coming changes. “The Clean Air Zone will officially launch in summer 2020, so the installation of these signs at this stage is simply a preparatory measure and does not mean that the Clean Air Zone is in effect now.”

Dad-of-Four Found Dead in School Car Park A family man was found dead in a school car park after captaining a volleyball team. Nasir Mehmood failed to return home and his brother-in-law went to look for him and found the 36-year-old dead in his car in the car park at John Taylor Free School, in Burton, on Sunday, January 19. His family said he had suffered a heart attack after the game. Mr Mehmood had lived in Branston, near Burton-uponTrent with his wife Nazia, 32, and their three children - Khadeeja, seven, Ismail, five and Zulekha, three. His wife is currently

expecting the couple's fourth child. Angela Parveen, cousin of Mr Mehmood's wife, Nazia, said: "Nasir was very well known as a taxi driver for

Uttoxeter Taxis and through playing volleyball. "He was very fit and healthy, and he set up the volleyball team in Burton around a year ago.

Mr Mehmood, who grew up in Pakistan, was a volleyball champion in his younger years. After moving to Burton, he set out to start up a new team. Mrs Parveen added: "He was always looking on the bright side of life. "He was just an amazing guy, who has left a big gap. "Every person who has come to offer their condolences has said the same thing - he never had a bad word to say about anyone and was always himself. An outpouring of grief and sadness has hit the community." Mourners from all over the country attended the service, including members of volleyball teams who had played with him over the years.

Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid Resigns As Chancellor MP Sajid Javid resigns as chancellor after PM Boris Johnson attempted to carry out his first big reshuffle. It would appear the chancellor walked out after row over ‘Dominic Cummngs’demand for him to sack his advisers to end a briefing war Rumours at Westminster suggested Mr Javid had refused demands to sack two advisers, known as SPADs. Mr Javid said that “no selfrespecting minister” could accept the condition being

imposed, PA news agency reports. “He has turned down the job of Chancellor of the Exchequer,” a source close to Mr Javid said. “The Prime Minister said he had to fire all his special advisers and replace them with Number 10 special advisers to make it one team. “The Chancellor said no self-respecting minister would accept those terms.” Mr Javid had been expected to stay in his post, and his decision to walk our

means that Mr Johnson is likely to be forced to change many of his reshuffle plans. Mr Javid has been

replaced by Rishi Sunak, the high-flying but little known chief secretary to the Treasury.


Owner of Shisha Bar Prosecuted

The owner of a shisha bar in Leicester has been fined for smoking in his own establishment. Bhavik Chavda, the director of Embassy Lounge by Bharaja, was caught smoking with other men, in a shelter at the back by Officials from Leicester City Council. When officers examined the shelter they found black polythene sheeting had been put up meaning it was too enclosed to be legally used for smoking. Under the rules buildings and structures used for smoking, such as Shisha bars, must be at least 50 per cent open. Council officers calculated the shelter in which Chavda was smoking was 58 per cent enclosed so they decided to prosecute him. The council had visited the premises in 2017 and found the shelter met the requirements of the law at the time but the addition of the plastic sheeting at a later date made it illegal. Chavda admitted the smoking offence at Leicester Magistrates Court. He was fined £140 and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge. The council also prosecuted two businesses run by Chavda – the Embassy Lounge and the Bharaja Lounge which have been merged into one company - for failing to stop smoking in premises that should be smoke free. He pleaded guilty to both charges and magistrates issued fines totalling £1,600 with a £160 in victim surcharges. The court also ordered Chavda to pay the council’s costs of £1,779.50 in bringing the case leaving him facing a bill of more than £3,700.

Vegan Restaurant Closes After Death Of Head Chef

A plant-based restaurant in Oadby has closed following the death of the head chef Bindu Patel who was 37-yearsold. Leicester-born Bindu worked in the kitchens of Michelin-starred London restaurants Gymkhana and Trishna, before launching the restaurant Sanctua in April 2019. The statement that was announced read: "To all customers and friends. "It is with great sadness that we inform you that Sanctua will no longer be opening. "Please all say a prayer for Chef Bee who sadly passed away on the 24th January 2020." When the restaurant opened last year, Bindu spoke of her passion for her home city and her excitement for the opening of her new restaurant. She said in April last year: "I love Leicester, it's my home. Everything about Leicester is wonderful - the people, the food." Bindu was a lawyer before turning in to a chef where her passion truly laid. Sanctua was due to open in February last year but was delayed due to Bindu becoming ill.


APRIL 2020


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APRIL 2020



Son Loses Both Parents Three Police Release Days Apart, Pays Tribute Image of Woman

A devasted son whose both parents died within three days of each other after being treated for coronavirus pays tribute. Mohammed Riaz and his wife Karamat Begum, from Small Heath were both taken to Heartlands Hospital. Mrs Begum, 72, died on Thursday, April 9 and her husband, 73-year-old died on Easter Sunday, April 12. The couple had been married for around 50 years, will be buried side-by-side on Saturday, April 18, which is also their son Naseer Khan’s 36th birthday. Mr Khan, who lived near his parents in Small Heath, said he could not bring himself to tell his father that his mother was also being treated in the same hospital. And when he took a call from the hospital which began: ‘We are sorry’, he said he had to ask which of his parents had died. “They were lovely, the best mum and dad you could ask for,” Mr Khan said.

“My dad always showed me the good path of life. He taught me to respect your elders and to do things on my own. “My mum was always there. If I was ever down, she would always ask me what was wrong, she was a comfort. “They looked after my older brother, who is registered blind. “They doted on their three young grandchildren and my dad took them everywhere.” He said his father, who worked for nearly 30 years as a press operator at Midland Electric Manufacturers in Tyseley, fell ill in late March. Mr Khan, who works at Asda Small Heath and is also a learning support assistant, said: “He had a fall and I called an ambulance. The paramedics said there was a slight chance he might have Covid-19 and to isolate him at home.” Mr Riaz remained away from his wife but his condition worsened and he

was admitted to Heartlands Hospital. And Mrs Begum was also sent to Heartlands after she was found to have a high temperature when she attended a routine dialysis appointment at a Sparkhill centre. Mr Khan said: “I got a call from the doctor saying she wasn’t looking good. “I went down and she couldn’t talk, she was sleeping. “I Facetimed my family and showed her the phone and my cousin and brother, who was very close to her. “She recognised them and was trying to talk but was tired. “She then went downhill.” On April 9, Mr Khan took a phone call from his father’s doctor telling him that he was also deteriorating and asking if he could go to his bedside. He said: “My dad asked me how my mum was. I couldn’t tell him she was also in hospital but that she was

waiting at home for him to come home. “He kept saying he would get better. “He said: ‘You are my lion and make sure you look after the family until I get back.’ “He said: ‘I will be OK’, “It totally broke me. “When I was crying with him, I got a call from my mother’s ward telling me to get to the hospital – but I was already there. “I went down to her ward and the doctor told me that she could go at any time.” Mr Khan briefly left the hospital but as he pulled back up to the hospital gates, his phone rang. Mr Khan said: “They said ‘we are sorry.’ My mind went blank and I said: ‘My mum or my dad?’ Mrs Begum died at 5.30pm. He then got a call from ‘the same number’ in the early hours of Easter Sunday, telling him his dad had died. Within days, his “whole life had collapsed.” He said: “What’s keeping me going is my religion and my family. My cousin brother Hafiz Ullah Khan has been my backbone. “I have had thousands of messages of support. From people I do not even know saying from people I don’t even know.” As they prepare for their burial on Saturday, Mr Khan added: “I want to thank the NHS for working hard to save lives. “I want to say to people, look after your loved ones. “To the youngsters, spend as much time as you can with your mum and dad. Look after them. “Stay safe and stay at home.” A JustGiving page to raise £7,000 to build a well in their memory has been set up by a family friend. To donate: https://www.justgiving.com/ crowdfunding/naseerk

In Connection to Pickpocketing

Police have released a CCTV image of a woman they want to speak to after an elderly woman had her purse swiped from her trolley in a Solihull supermarket. The 78-year-old victim was shopping in a Stratford Road store in Shirley ahead of the coronavirus lockdown when a thief struck on March 20. The thief stole the purse which had £85 in it. A further £600 was withdrawn from a bank account after the theft. Five days later, a second elderly shopper had their purse stolen from a shop in Coventry Road, Small Heath. The police appeal read: “An elderly woman had a purse containing her bank cards stolen in Shirley, Solihull. “It was swiped from the unsuspecting 78-year-old’s personal shopping trolley while she was in a Stratford Road supermarket on 20 March. “The thief took £85 in cash while a further £600 was withdrawn from an account.” Police said they had had examined CCTV and were linking the incident to the theft of another purse from an elderly shopper in Coventry Road, Small Heath, five days later. Anyone with information is asked to contact police online via Live Chat at http://west-midlands.police.uk or call 101. Quoting crime reference number 20SH/72489G/20.”

Brum’s Big Black Tie Bash

Attack On A Man in A Wheelchair Who Won 10k A vicious assault on a man in a wheelchair who won £10,000 at a casino was attacked by a gambler who lost all his money. The victim won a "substantial" amount of money consisting of £9,000 in cash and a cheque for £1,000 at Grosvenor Casino in Broad Street. Anjum Rahim, 39, of Somerville Road, Small Heath, followed the victim around the casino as he played the tables on March 30, last year. The victim approached by Rahim, who told him he had lost all of his money and asked him for £20 so he could get home, but when he asked for a further £20 he was refused. Rahim then grabbed the man's jacket, pulling him from the wheelchair and they struggled on the ground, said

Peter Grice, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court. But the robbery bid, which was captured on CCTV, was foiled after two members of the public intervened. The victim suffered bruising to his shoulders, back and arm. Rahim, who had previously admitted attempted robbery, was jailed for three years and nine months In passing sentence Judge Richard Bond said: "You saw your victim win thousands of pounds. It was obvious to you this man was vulnerable and you have followed him quite deliberately. "You decided you were going to have it. Out of the kindness of his heart the victim gave you £20. You can see on the CCTV you used substantial violence on your victim desperately trying to get the money out of his jacket.

A host of celebrities and performers came together to put on Birmingham’s biggest virtual show. Brum’s Big Black Tie Bash was an evening of showstopping performances with appearances from some of the city’s leading chefs and familiar faces to raise money for the NHS and talented local musicians and performers. On Sunday, April 12, celebrities including Christopher Biggins, Jaki Graham, Shazia Mirza and Doreen Tipton will be streamed live into people’s living rooms as part of a three-hour show. Hosted by Phil Oldershaw, the digital black tie bash bought a little light relief to lockdown, encouraging friends and families to enjoy the streamed spectacular ‘together’ while in their own homes. Michelin star chefs Glynn Purnell and Aktar Islam, as well as Great British Menu star Alex Claridge, served up the perfect remedy for a fortnight indoors.



Asian Celebrities In Powerful Coronavirus Message

APRIL 2020

Doctor Arrested For Being Too Drunk At Airport A C O - E D U C AT I O N A L I N D E P E N D E N T S C H O O L F O R C H I L D R E N A G E D 6 M O N T H S - 1 8 Y E A R S


A doctor from Redditch was arrested at Birmingham Airport for being too drunk after he could not stand up in the body scanner. Vijaykrishna Maddikera, 52, was supposed to travel to India on December 29 to visit his ill father but had ‘one too many’ drinks because he was a ‘nervous flier’. Airport staff considered arranging a later flight, but he became abusive towards and was subsequently arrested. Maddikera, pleaded guilty to a charge of being drunk in a restricted area at an airport. At Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 19 February he given a conditional discharge for 12 months Preena Mistry, prosecuting, said: “Guards were on patrol and were directed to attend the central security area. They were informed a male had been refused entry due to being unable to stand up in the body scanner. “Staff suspected he was drunk and when they spoke to him, he smelled strongly of alcohol. “He was struggling to speak, and his speech was

slurred, he was struggling to maintain eye contact. Outside of the security area he was struggling whilst walking through the airport. He was unsteady on his feet.” Maddikera was initially set to be handed a caution from police but because it would not have shown up on airport records he was formally charged, the court heard. His defending solicitor Mr Saeed said: “The defendant went to the airport to visit his father who is seriously ill. He has a broken back and is bedbound. “He’s a nervous flier, he was on his own, his father was very seriously ill, he had a few drinks. He didn’t know he had one too many unfortunately. “He didn’t end up going to India. He went back home and learned a lesson from it. He has stopped drinking and is now teetoal. He’s a medical practitioner and a man of good character prior to this.” Maddikera was also told to pay a £21 victim surcharge and £135 for court costs.


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A powerful new video has been filmed to urge minority groups to stick to lockdown and social distancing measures – to help save more lives. British-Asian celebrities from across the UK have created a health advice video targeting the Asian community. The health advice given in the video was developed in conjunction with Public Health England advice and Dr Sam Everinton, Chair of Tower Hamlets CCG. A report by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre on the first 3,883 critically ill coronavirus patients found that more than a third were non-white (33.6 per cent). Adil Ray, Actor and Broadcaster and one of the organisers of the video said “We all felt that we had to do something during these unprecedented times. It is evident that some of the advice and messages are not getting to some communities when they need it most. We hope that we can make even just a small difference.” The video features: Nitin Ganatra, Actor; Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE, Actor; Meera Syal CBE, Actres; Ameet Chana, Actor & Director; Adil Ray OBE, Actor, Writer, Broadcaster; Saira Khan, Actress & Businesswoman; Shivani Ghai, Actress; Naughty Boy, Music Producer; Abdullah Afzal, Actor; Ranvir Singh, Broadcaster; Gurinder Chadha OBE, Director; Jassa Alhuwalia, Actor, Writer & Filmmaker; Shahid Afridi, Cricketer; Nina Wadia, Actress; Anoushka Shankar, Musician; Bhavna Limbachia, Actress; Shin, Singer and Anita Rani,






APRIL 2020

‘CHECK BEFORE YOU TICK’ Campaign Highlights Online Eligibility Checker For Dental Treatment

If you’re claiming free dental treatment – don’t assume you can claim it for free. Not all benefits entitle you to free dental treatment, and if you claim when you’re not entitled, you could face a penalty charge of £100 plus the cost of your treatment. Thankfully, there’s a simple way to find out if you should be paying. Search “check before you tick” online and use the quick and simple NHS eligibility checker to understand if you’re entitled to free or reduced cost NHS dental treatment. It also helps explain other means of NHS support to reduce costs, such as the NHS Low Income Scheme. The activity is an extension of the ongoing ‘check before you tick’ prescriptions campaign which launched for the first time in September 2018, helping people to understand if they are entitled to free prescriptions and how to claim correctly to avoid unnecessary penalty charges. What if you’re not sure whether you are entitled to free or reduced cost dental treatment and need to check? Nobody wants to get a penalty charge for claiming incorrectly. To help you understand if you’re entitled to free or reduced cost dental treatment so that you can claim correctly, the NHS has a handy online tool. The online eligibility checker takes you through a few simple questions. It’s been specially designed so that it:



Get Balsall Heath Reading #GetBalsallHeathReading

A literacy campaign in one of the deprived areas of Birmingham is reaching out to isolated families to improve parents’ skills in order to help them in turn support their children’s development. #GetBalsallHeathReading introduces families to books and reading at weekly classes during the school holidays. Since February 2017, more than 200 families have joined Balsall Heath Library, where many of the sessions take place, as a result of the programme. Director of Smartlyte, Haf¬sha Shaikh, says, '#GetBalsallHeathReading aims to get parents engaged with their child rather than just involved. When parents are learning, there is a massive positive impact on the child's learning, family and their community. 'The absence of family learning is a huge barrier to achievement. We know there is a persistent gap in the attain¬ment of children from poorer back¬grounds

compared to their wealthier peers. This begins to emerge early in children's lives, continues through school and results in a considerable gap at the age of16 and beyond. Ms Shaikh says the pro¬gramme demographic is '99 per cent BAME. We have many Yemeni, Paki¬stani, Syrian and Somalian families. They can be very isolated,

and often are not working and they have to go to their husbands to ask for money to go to college or get other types of training. Some have been here for 30 years but never accessed tuition: To help combat this, Smartlyte delivers English My Way, a pre-entry ESOL programme supported by the Good Things Foundation. The programme started in

Novem¬ber 2016 with a class of 14 learners, predominantly women, aged between 19-65. Ms Shaikh says that while the focus of the programme is reading, she quickly became aware the problem was larger than just illiteracy. 'I knew they needed to be reading, but I realised it's also about commu¬nication. I knew this wouldn't develop without increasing their awareness of the world around them.

made another application in 2015 for ‘no time limit’ leave in the name of Mr Rahman while using his own photo and Swansea address details with the application. On day one of the trial the jury was told that Mr Rahman is a real person, from Birmingham, who had previously successfully and legitimately applied for an indefinite stay in the UK in 2002.. Giving evidence on the second day of the trial, Islam claimed he paid £2,000 in instalments for help completing an application,

with the help of a friend he met at the restaurant, Sujan Ali Chowdhury, who took him to a solicitor named Sheikh Usman. Islam had said while giving evidence during the trial that he did not suspect the activity was wrong because he was taken to a British solicitor and “didn’t think a legal person would do anything fraudulent”. He told the court, with the help of a translator, that due to his inability to understand English he was unable to read the documents that he signed and just signed in the areas he was instructed to. Judge Keith Thomas, sentencing him, said: “You had entered the country on a six-month visa but that visa had long expired. “I’m satisfied on the evidence that you parted with money to obtain documents you wanted. Other more sophisticated criminals took on the job of obtaining false documents for you. “Nevertheless there is a good deal of public concern about false immigration documents and the danger they present to the country. “For that reason only a custodial sentence can be justified for such offending. You have no legitimate right at the moment to be in this country. It would be wrong for me to consider a noncustodial sentence.”

Restaurant Worker Using False Identity

Is easy to use - Takes less than 5 minutes to complete Check if you’re entitled now at: nhs.uk/checkbeforeyoutick What happens if I claim incorrectly? Claiming incorrectly can mean a penalty charge of £100 plus the cost of your dental treatment. Nobody wants to receive an unnecessary charge, so please make sure you always check before you tick. You can check your entitlement using the eligibility checker online, or ask your dentist for more information. What other help can I get if I’m not eligible for free or reduced cost dental treatment? If you’re not eligible for free or reduced cost dental treatment, you might be able to receive financial support in another way, such as the NHS Low Income Scheme. Please go to nhs.uk/healthcosts to find out more about the help available. Dentist Chirag Shah said: “The eligibility checker is a great tool to check if you’re entitled to free or reduced cost dental treatment, by answering some simple questions, it only takes a few minutes. And if you do need to pay, it can tell you about other means of help with your costs. So always ‘check before you tick’ at nhs.uk/checkbeforeyoutick” As well as telling you if you’re entitled to free dental treatment or free prescriptions, the online eligibility checker can also tell you about other NHS support available to help you with costs for prescriptions, dental treatment and eye care. Find it here: nhs.uk/ checkbeforeyoutick

A judge gave a restaurant worker a custodial sentence after he deceived authorities with a false identity to allow him stay in the UK. Nurul Islam was found guilty of taking on a Birmingham man’s ID Islam spent years living illegally in Wales and spending £2,000 on a false application to deceive authorities. A jury at Swansea Crown Court found Islam guilty of obtaining leave to remain in the United Kingdom by deception. The identity he used was

of a man from Birmingham called Alaur Rahman who he never met in his application to the Home Office between May 26 and June 16, 2015. A three-day trial heard how Islam, who is Bangladeshi, had come to the UK in 2010 to live with his aunt and uncle in Swansea. The 39-year-old had been granted a visa on May 20, 2010, to stay in the UK for six months but overstayed between 2010 and 2015, working at the West Cross Tandoori restaurant. Islam, who is unable to speak, read or write English,


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1 The Retail Park, Capehill, Smethwick, Birmingham, B66 4PH Tel: 0121 558 6786












APRIL 2020



A Role Model and Community Figure Nazir Awan Loses Battle To Coronavirus N

azir Awan was known as “a role model and leading community figure”, a father, grandfather and businessman who lost his battle with COVID-19 tragically died on Wednesday 9 April. Nazir Awan was the chief executive of Awan International and well known for his extensive charity work, fell ill nearly two weeks ago

with fever and was taken to Good Hope Hospital. His grieving son and business partner Amer Awan, 44, said: “He touched so many hearts- he was a great advisor. “His grandchildren loved him. He always told me you treat everybody equally, be humble and compassionate. “Our surname is Awan which means to help others.

“He would say, your grandfather helped others and you must do that. “I feel very proud to have known him. I was blessed to have a father like him. ” The 67-year-old was one of the first Pakistani families to set up businesses in the city with Awan International on Great Hampton Street, Hockley, which sold branded products and Awan real estate Ltd- a successful property portfolio. Amer said: “He was known as the ‘tape king’ back in the day because he was a major distributor of consumer electroincs.” Amer said: “He was a very proud man. He always said son look after your parents. He was also a fit man, he watched what he ate, was into his fitness and would cycle seven or eight miles before work. “He left a fantastic legacy and it’s up to us to continue

that. I must’ve received about 700 or 800 calls from all over the world yesterday. “He died on a very religious day in the Islamic calender and that gives us some solace I suppose.” Tributes are being paid in their hundreds on social media. MP Khalid Mahmood said: “Very saddened to hear about the passing of my friend Nazir Awan to

the coronavirus. They were one of two earliest families to set businesses within the Pakistani community. “My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time. “This virus does not discriminate.” Councillor Majid Mahmood was deeply saddened by the news of his death and described him as “a fighter to

the end who leaves a legacy in our city. “A very kind hearted individual who used to help in all charities, and community events.” Sheraz Awan posted: “God bless uncle Awan. “You’re at peace and may you be granted the highest place in heaven. “You were a beautiful person.”

Sikh Temple, Birmingham, for their amazing support at this difficult time. The donation of £21,000 to our hospitals will help us to support our NHS Superheroes and the patients that they are treating at this challenging time. “We are helping to support our staff by providing food, drink and toiletries in welfare hubs across the hospital to keep them refreshed during and after their shifts. “University Hospitals Birmingham Charity will also help to support patients with this donation. We are buying radios and tablets for our wards that will keep our patients entertained, but will also help them to stay in touch with their friends and family at a time when they cannot have visitors to the hospital.” Amanda Winwood, fundraising and membership academy manager at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, also expressed her gratitude. She said: “Our friends at Sri Dasmesh Sikh Temple in Lozells have made a very generous donation to us to

ensure the wellbeing of our NHS staff as they tackle the coronavirus pandemic. We are very grateful to them for their kindness and help at this difficult time. We are all in this together and we can all help the NHS by staying two meters apart and only going out if absolutely necessary. Thank you.” Sukhwinder Singh Sungu, the president of the temple committee, added: “We are delighted to be able to support our NHS across Birmingham and the West Midlands at this difficult time. This donation is thanks to the generosity of the Gurdwara community, who have been very generous in making donations to help us to support those in need around the world. I know that the funds will help to make a difference to NHS staff and patients. “We are hoping to donate even more money to support University Hospitals Birmingham and Sandwell and West Birmingham in the future, and we are asking for our community to continue their generosity with further donations that we will split between the two Trusts.”

Sikh Temple Makes An Incredible Donation To NHS Heroes A Sikh temple in Birmingham have made an incredible donation of £42,000 to NHS heroes battling coronavirus. The Sri Dasmesh Sikh Temple in Lozells, Birmingham, pledged the generous sum to University Hospitals Birmingham Charity, which supports some of city’s biggest sites including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the new Nightingale Hospital at the NEC, and also the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals Trust, which runs a number of sites including City Hospital. The temple president promised more money would be donated in the future. The money will be used to pay for food for staff as well as radios and tables to keep patients entertained and keep in contact with loved ones who are not allowed to visit. Charlotte Schofield, director of fundraising at University Hospitals Birmingham Charity, said: “We are incredibly grateful to everyone at Sri Dashmesh

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Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra Jonas are all set to participate in ‘Global concert for Coronavirus Pandemic relief’ Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra Jonas are all set to participate in ‘Global concert for Coronavirus Pandemic relief’ Amid the ongoing lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, actors Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra Jonas have confirmed their participation in global

concert, One World: Together At Home. It is all set to take place on April 18, 2020. SRK tweeted “Health care workers on the frontlines of the #COVID19 crisis need our support. That’s why I’m standing in solidarity with @glblctzn and @ WHO for One World: #TogetherAtHome — a one-night

special event on April 18. Even PeeCee took Twitter and shared an update on the same. “Just 4 more days till I join @glblctzn for One World: #TogetherAtHome. The historic special will include leading global health experts and performances

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Zayn Malik Helps to Save Little Caitlin F

What A Man Gotta Do

ormer One Direction band member Zayn Malik donates £10,000 to a little girl who is battling with cancer. Five-year-old Caitlin Robinson is battling neuroblastoma, which can prove deadly in children. The little youngster’s mum needs to raise money to take her abroad for a life saving treatment which is not available in the UK. The treatment could cost up to £150,000 and mum, Helen,launched a GoFundMe page, having no connection to singer Zayn, mum was overwhelmed when he donated a massive £10,000 to the appeal.

T Juhi Chawla’s Son Donates To Australia Relief Fund


ctress Juhi Chawla's son Arjun is doing his bit to help those affected by Australia bushfires. The actress says her son has sent 300 pounds from his pocket money to the Australian fire relief fund. The bushfires in Australia have killed over 25 people, decimated Australia's wildlife, and are expected to rack up historically high damage costs of multiple billions of dollars.

he Jonas Brothers new track What A Man Gotta Do along with their wives. Nick and Priyanka a decided to recreate the movie poster for Tom Cruise teen flick Risky Business. The famous couple couldn’t keep their hands off each other as they channelled their inner Joel and Lana.

Pamela Anderson Entered Indian Reality Show


aywatch star Pamela Anderson was one of the highest paid contestants to enter the Bigg Boss house. The actress was a guest and stayed in the house for just three days. Reports suggest the actress was paid a whopping sum of Rs 2 Crores!


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Veteran Actor Shabana Azmi Stable BOLLYWOOD BOLLYWOOD And Recovering 01. THE ASIAN TODAY

Shah Rukh Khan's epic reply


01. 02. 02. 03. 03. 04. 04. 05. 05. Kourtney Kardashian, 06. 06. 07. 40, Says She‘Wishes’ 07. She Was Pregnant After 08. 08. 09. 09. Reuniting With Younes 10. 10.

eteran Actor Shabana Azmi Stable And Recovering Veteran actor Shabana Azmi, was injured in an accident and is "stable and recovering" in a Mumbai hospital, sources close to her family have said. Azmi suffered head injuries when


hah Rukh Khan gave an epic reply to a fan who asked about renting a room in the superstars bungalow, Mannat, during an open chat with fans on Twitter. During the chat, a fan asked how much would he need to shell out to get a room for rent in SRK's lavish bungalow Mannat in Mumbai's Bandra area. The superstar replied saying that can be achieved only by 30 years of hard work. A fan asked: "If you weren't famous, what would you be up to right now?" He replied that being famous is not a job: "I would do the very same things I do around the house. Being famous is not a job it's a byproduct of the work you do sometimes."

New Spy Series For Priyanka And Richard

her car met with an accident on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on January 18. Moments after the accident, pictures of her went viral. Many friends and colleagues from the industry had dropped by to visit the actress and pray for her speedy recovery.

Kala Chashma Duniya (Luki Chuppi) KalaBaar Baar Dekho Akhil &Chashma Dhvani Bhanushali Baar Baar Dekho

The Hook Tere Sang Up Yaare Song Tere Sang Yaare Rustom Vishal & Shekhar & Neha Kakkar Rustom

First Class Gani Gani ManiSingh Arjit Sandhu & Neeti & Akhil Mohan Mani Sandhu & Akhil

Morni Jag Ghoomeya Banke Jag Ghoomeya Sultan Guru Randhawa & Neha Kakkar Sultan

Hauli Hauli Tu Rendhe Garry Sandhu & Neha Kakkar Tu Rendhe Tindy & Rixx and Sudesh Kumari Tindy & Rixx and Sudesh Kumari

Tere Bin Woman Woman Rahat FatehftAli Khan Shide Boss Zack Knight Shide Boss ft Zack Knight

The Jawaani Peat Pe BootySong Peat Pe Booty A Vishal Flying Dadlani Jatt & Payal Dev A Flying Jatt

First Class Suit SuitSingh Guru Arjit Randhawa & Neeti Mohan Guru Randhawa

Ghar Tu HaiMore Pardesiya Tu Hai Goshal Mohenjo Shreya Daro Mohenjo Daro

Chashni Dishoom Dishoom Vishal & Shekhar Sau Tarah Ke Sau Tarah Ke


01. 01. 02. 02. 03. 03. 04. 04. 05. 05. 06. 06. 07. 07. 08. 08. 09. 09. 10. 10.

Kai Saal Gabbroo Gabbroo Jassie Jaz Dhami Gill ft. Preet Hundal Jassie Gill ft. Preet Hundal

Mattha Mattha Akhil Akhil Teri Kami Jenny Johal Teri Kami

Taur Di Tru-Skool AshokJatt Prince, Kaur Ashok Time B4 YaPrince, Mind Tru-Skool Time 4 Ya Mind

Wang PBN &Da RajNaap Bains Ammy PBNAkh &Virk Raj Bains Billi Billi Akh

Mukar Sandhu Manni Gyi Manni Sandhu Welcome Gurj Sidhu To The Future Welcome To The Future

SajnaBina Tere De Naal TereSaggu Bina Monty Bups & Waris, Ginni Kapoor Monty & Waris, Ginni Kapoor

Take Off Skoda Skoda Ranjit Gary Sandhu Bawa ft. Bhinda Aujla Ranjit Bawa ft. Bhinda Aujla

TeriVaari Ikk MarziHor Ae Soch Lae Ikk Vaari Hor Soch Lae Harish Prabh Gill Verma Harish Verma

Viah Kulwinder Billa Kulwinder Billa Kulwinder Jass ManakBilla Kulwinder Billa

Ditch Boliyan Selfie SelfieBawa Boliyan Malkit Ranjit Singh ft. Dj Vix Malkit Singh ft. Dj Vix



riyanka Chopra is teaming up with Richard Madden (Bodyguard and Games of Thrones) for a new Amazon Prime spy series. The Citadel franchise, created by Joe and Anthony Russo, will see both stars lead the global thriller multi-series. Chopra and Madden – who have never worked on a project together – will feature in interconnected local-language productions from Mexico, Italy and India.

Love Island's Iain Stirling says stars have hair and make-up artists on site to help after contestants from former series ended up looking 'scruffy'

01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10.

I Don;t One Dance Care One Dance Drake Ed Sheeran feat&Wizkid Juston and Bieber Kyla Drake feat Wizkid and Kyla

Old ColdTown WaterRoad Lil NasWater X Cold Major Lazer and Justin Beiber Major Lazer and Justin Beiber

Someone Too Good You Loved Too Good Drake Lewis Capaldi feat Rihanna Drake feat Rihanna

VossiisBop This what you came for This isHarris what you came for Calvin Stormzy feat Rihanna Calvin Harris feat Rihanna

Hold Me Heathens Lewis Capaldi Heathens Twenty One Pilots Twenty One Pilots

Closer Bad Guy Closer Chainsmokers feat Halsey Billie Eilish Chainsmokers feat Halsey

Piece ofStrangers Your Heart Perfect Meduza Perfect Jonas BlueStrangers feat JP Cooper Jonas Blue feat JP Cooper

Tears(ft. Aloe Bacc) SOS Tears Clean Bandit feat Louisa Johnson Avicii Clean Bandit feat Louisa Johnson

This GraceGirl This Kungs Vs Cooking on 3 Burners Lewis Girl Capaldi Kungs Vs Cooking on 3 Burners

WeI Can't Don'tHave Talk Anymore If You We Don't Anymore Charlie PuthTalk feat Selena Gomez Shawn Mendez Charlie Puth feat Selena Gomez

Subaig Singh 14

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We speak with Subaig regarding his music career.

1. You have had amazing few years since your first song release, how has that made you feel? It feels great. I am blessed to be doing what I am doing and in a privileged position to follow and pursue my dreams. 2. Would you say you have had an easy ride since you have been in the industry? Definitely not an easy ride. I entered the industry during a tough time, particularly in the UK, where popularity and support for Bhangra music has waned greatly and music sales have plummeted due to digitisation and downloading. Also, I don't come from a musical family or have the support network of a big label or musicians and producers around me so I had to learn everything the hard way, on the job as it were. 3. What have been the lowlights and highlights? Highlights have been performing at Zee Sandwell Mela, Jazzy B's Folk and Funky Album launch Party, BACABA Dinner and Dance and UK Bhangra Awards. Winning UK

Best Male Singer two years running at UK Bhangra Awards has also been magnificent. I don't dwell on the low points, I glance over them and stay positive. I'm too busy with various strands of my life with still training hard, working as an Emergency doctor, making music, enjoying spending time with my family and travelling.

4. As any individual with any artistic talent want to better themselves, how have you done that? I have invested in learning how to sing and dance and invested in exercising and maintaining a strict diet to keep fit and slim whilst performing. This journey requires constant self reflection and to be honest about your weak areas and try to improve over time. Nothing happens overnight! 5. How do you feel you have changed from your 1st track to now? My first tracks were more soulful folk songs which were deeply imbibed with Punjabi culture. Over time I have experimented a lot more with different genres and tried to make my stuff more commercial so that it appeals to wider audiences. I certainly

know all about how the music industry works as I have been on a steep learning curve!

6. This nicely leads us onto you latest release WARRIOR, this is totally different from any of you other releases, tell us how this track came to flourish? We wanted to ride the current trend of hardcore old school hip hop that is all the rage in Punjabi music at the moment but we wanted to give our own take on it and express it in our own way. As a proud Sardar, I had often considered doing a powerful track that would exalt the fighting spirit of Sikh Warriors as that seemed like a perfect topic to match this genre of music. We were very happy with the track and impressed by how powerful and emotive it was. We wanted a big budget video to do justice to a song and topic of this calibre. 7. The video looks outstanding, How did the thought factor and story board come together for the video? It was entirely the creative genius of Rimpy Prince. We wanted it to be a big action packed video but at the same time, despite being about Sardars, we didn't want the

track to be a religious or patriotic song. We wanted to represent the martial prowess of Sardars through fantasy and fictional story telling so that it would appeal to a wider audience. 8. What was it like working with Rimpy Prince again? Always a pleasure. You learn so much when you work with

the best. You can always rely on them to pull the goods out of the bag. 9. Not forgetting Popsy, he has produced majority of your major hits, what was it like working on Warrior with him? It was great fun as always. Our previous material was Desi Bhangra. It was a refreshing change to switch genres

completely and to do a heavy hip hop style track. Popsy and I are a great partnership and we love working together and giving life to new ideas and concepts. Popsy never fails to deliver!

Read the full interview online: www.theasiantoday.com

Online screening of acclaimed play Mushy: Lyrically Speaking based on the story of Musharaf Asghar @RifcoTheatre | #MushyPlay | Insta: @rifcotheatre | www.rifcotheatre.com

Rifco Theatre Company’s acclaimed rap infused play Mushy: Lyrically Speaking will stream online on its Facebook platform on Friday 07 February at 19:30. Based on the true story of Educating Yorkshire’s Musharaf Asghar, the teenager who captured the hearts of the nation, who rose to fame overnight when he overcame

his severe stammer with the help of his inspirational teacher Mr Burton. Infused with rap and lyrical narration by rapper Raxstar, and music by Niraj Chag, Pravesh Kumar’s play, directed by Ameet Chana toured in the Autumn of 2019 receiving rave audience and critical reviews for its inspiring performances, engaging storytelling and heart

warming comedy. Starring: Varun Raj as Mushy. Varun is a graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and the University of Winchester. He previously performed in the critically acclaimed, sell-out Dubailand at the Finborough Theatre, The Mouse, The Wolf and the Duck at the Unicorn, and has also appeared in the

films Baar Baar Dekho and Gold. Performing the part of his intuitive and passionate teacher, Matthew Burton, who embodied the life-changing impact of good teachers, is Oliver Longstaff. He has starred several times at Watford Palace Theatre, in Absurd Person Singular and Sleeping Beauty. Mushy’s Ammi (mum) is played by Medhavi Patel, who was nominated for the Eastern Eye Arts, Culture & Theatre Award for her performance in the UK tour of We Are The Lions Mr Manager with Townsend Productions. Other stage credits include Three Sat Under the Banyan Tree, Tara Arts and Polka Theatre’s first collaboration, which was also nominated for Best Theatre Production of 2019 by the Eastern Eye's Arts Culture & Theatre Awards. On screen she has starred in Doctors (BBC), Holby City (BBC), Dogma 3: Only Girls (Channel 4) and Dogma 3: Snowman (Channel 4). She also appeared in the 2006 film Kidulthood. Musharaf Asghar, also known as ‘Mushy’, was the star of Channel 4’s reality TV series, Educating Yorkshire.

'A funny, life-affirming, rap-musical story of one teenager’s personal journey’ ★★★★ British Theatre ‘A brilliant gem of a production. The acting & interaction from the cast are superb.’ Numb Bum ‘Here is a show bound to make us laugh while inspiring compassion that would provoke a tear in the toughest of hearts... nothing short of inspirational.’ ★★★★★The Upcoming In amongst the chaotic comprehensive he was a 16-year-old impeded by an acute stammer which threatened to mute him. But thanks to his enthusiastic teacher, Matthew Burton, Mushy was at last given a voice. Mushy: Lyrically Speaking recounts the story known and loved by the public of a young man overcoming the odds, then asks what happened next as the teen was hit by the highs and lows of overnight fame. With music playing a crucial role in helping Mushy to find

his voice, the show will use rap and lyrical narration written by rapper Raxstar, and the book has been written by Rifco Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Pravesh Kumar. Musharaf Asghar said, “I’m really excited that Rifco Theatre Company is telling my story, everybody remembers the headphones moment but nobody really knows what happened afterwards. That one moment has changed my life and I hope that I can be an inspiration to other people like me.”



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Living is Giving with Morrisons this Ramadan 16

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orrisons will once again be initiating their popular Living is Giving campaign in stores across the UK this Ramadan, to help promote the spirit of charity during the season of giving. The campaign is now in its 4th year running and the charity Morrisons will be supporting this year is CLIC Sargent. Every year Morrisons joins hands with British Muslim families to cater for their Iftari and Sehri needs, however with the Living is Giving Campaign they go the extra mile to support the community in fulfilling an important virtue of this holy month – charity. The Living is Giving Campaign is Morrisons’ unique way of encouraging all their customers to unite, give back to the wider community and support local charities. The campaign promotes inclusivity, allowing everyone to partake in the spirit of Ramadan regardless of faith. In joining the Living is Giving campaign, customers can help raise money that will contribute to CLIC Sargent’s mission, which is to provide the best possible care for young lives against cancer. Morrisons has partnered with leading products such as Cofresh Snacks, KTC Flour, Rubicon Juices,


Madina Dates, Badshah Basmati Rice, Laila Basmati Rice, Humza Samosas, Indus Chupatty Flour, Pakeeza Mango Lassi, Fudco Almonds, and Shazans Foods this year to donate a portion of price per pack to CLIC Sargent to help win the fight against cancer. Morrisons has found the perfect way to integrate giving back into the spirit of Ramadan so that by purchasing their favourite meal packs customers will simultaneously be helping other families in the process. Please visit your local Morrisons to participate and log on to livingisgiving.co.uk/ to find out more! This year due to the current situation, the campaign encourages the community to observe Ramadan @ Home with their families and avoid public gatherings. Living is Giving items can be purchased online at groceries.morrisons. com/. To add to the spirit of Ramadan @ Home, Morrisons has launched a unique ground-breaking initiative with the new ‘Ramadan Essentials Box’, packed with traditional and popular Ramadan staples! This box can be ordered online and will be delivered directly to customers’

Fast Food Chain Mcdonalds to Re-Open

Fast food chain McDonald’s is reportedly set to reopen its UK and Ireland branches. The popular chain was forced to first shut its restaurants – then drivethrus – across the city during the Covid-19 lockdown. A re-opening date has been reported in the Farmer’s Journal. It is reported branches in the UK and Ireland will open in mid-May. A reporter for the publication tweeted:

“Breaking: the @ farmersjournal understands McDonalds will reopen its restaurants in the UK and Ireland in mid-May.” The food chain previously decided to close amid the UK shutdown to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. In a statement last month, it said: “This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but one made with the well-being and safety of our employees in mind as well as in the best interests of our customers.

doorsteps, so you can get all your essentials without leaving your house. Noor Ali, Morrisons World Foods Senior Buying Manager,

said: “This box contains many of the products that will see our customers through Ramadan. Our food boxes are a lifeline for


many customers at this very difficult time and are providing essential food to people that either cannot leave their home or struggle

to reach the supermarket.” Do your part to help your community this Ramadan. Stay safe, stay home and give back with Morrisons.

Teenager Bakes Cakes and Raises Funds to Help NHS Workers A teenager from Small Heath baked 165 cakes for NHS staff and raised £600 to buy food for medical workers. Aatif Ahmad said he was saddened by the death of nurse and mother-of-three Areema Nasreen, who worked at Walsall Manor Hospital, from coronavirus and wanted to do something to lift the spirits of frontline staff. With the help of his sisters, he got baking and with the help of a paramedic, distributed the delicious goods to Heartlands Hospital and the West Midlands Ambulance Service hub in Erdington on Wednesday, April 8 Aatif, who bought the ingredients himself, said: “They are key workers. They are risking their lives for the public’s health and safety. “I wanted to do something because there was the nurse in Walsall who died. “That motivated me to do something to help the staff.” Aatif baked batches of

cake slices, cup cakes and cakesicles while his sisters Alesha Bano, 14 and tenyear-old Sano Bano, make concrete cake. He packaged the goodies

up and arranged for student paramedic Bushra Hussain to pick them up from his Small Heath home. Aatif, who is studying law at Waverley College,

launched a JustGiving appeal to raise £600 to buy food for the NHS as the crisis continues https:// www.justgiving.com/ crowdfunding/aatifscakery



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Influential British women come together as a voice for vulnerable girls across India and lead a new Covid-19 response campaign


ward-winning international education charity Magic Bus have launched a new campaign – backed by inspirational women here in the UK – in response to Covid-19 and the impact it will have on women and girls across India. The group of internationally renowned figures include actresses Seeta Indrani, Mamta Kaash, and Goldy Notay, television and radio presenter Seema Jaswal, comedian Shazia Mirza, Hindi singer Avina Shah, celebrity make-up artist Dimps Sanghani, chef Nitisha Patel, academic Opinderjit Kaur Takhar and footballer Sandeep Tak. The advocates will use their profile and influence to raise awareness of the cause, bring their unique talents and skills to fundraising campaigns and be an advisory group for Magic Bus UK’s board. Magic Bus runs one of the largest poverty alleviation programmes in South East Asia, working with approximately 385,000 children and 9000 trained volunteer mentors in 22 States across India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. Our vision is a world where children break out of poverty and lead fulfilling, rewarding lives, contributing positively to their community and to the world around them. Children on the Magic Bus programme complete school and go on to enrol in vocational institutes or colleges. They successfully fend off destabilizers such as child marriage and child labour and become firstgeneration salary earners. Our participants complete their education and go on to have secure careers. In December 2019, Magic Bus was nominated as one of the top 5 non-profits in education across South-East Asia. Announcing the advocates support comes at a crucial time for Magic Bus, as young people and communities in India have been hit hard by the pandemic and ongoing lockdown. The women will be supporting Magic Bus’ COV:AID fundraising campaign to help raise funds and strengthen COVID-19

relief efforts to prevent, protect, and persevere for India. The Magic Bus team on-the-ground in India are witness to all of this, doing everything within their power to prevent loss of life, protect our young people and persevere in the face of this pandemic. Magic Bus is working with government and local community leaders to ensure those who need food, medical supplies and hygiene products most can access them. Our teams are delivering life-saving essentials to thousands of households across India, and we are prepared to scale this over the coming weeks. To enable this, inspirational frontline staff are receiving training and protective equipment to enable them to reach these vulnerable people as safely as possible. Over the next few months, Magic Bus will need to reach hundreds of thousands of households. For the duration of this terrifying humanitarian crisis they are changing their approach to ensure children, young people, and their families living in poverty get the support they need. Magic Bus UK’s Director, Rahul Bissoonauth commented: “The support of these inspirational individuals comes at a time when it is needed most. Their stories, and their willingness to come forward and support our vital work in India at this time, give us hope and show us the best of humanity; people helping people – through hard-work, creativity, neighbourliness, and charitable giving. We’re delighted to have each of them on board for this new campaign and look forward to working closely with them over the coming months.” Of becoming a Magic Bus advocate, Shazia Mirza, comedian and writer, added: “I love what Magic Bus does and stands for in South Asia. Having been a teacher and worked with young people for most of my life, I know education is the answer for the future of these children, especially girls who may be forced to marry

young. Education is the key to their freedom.” The latest information and updates about the advocates support will be available through the Magic Bus UK website and social media pages. To support the COV:AID campaign individuals can donate via https:// magicbusuk.org/covaid/

Due to the generosity of the Dhanam Foundation, donations to Magic Bus’s COVID-19 Relief efforts will be matched 1:1, up to $500,000. Organisations wishing to explore how a greater contribution to help Magic Bus scale efforts, can contact the UK Director, Rahul Bissoonauth at rahul@ magicbusuk.org.


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Making home working and Body Coach is the Most home learning work for you

Watched Fitness Guru

You’ve just completed your first few weeks as the headteacher, classroom teacher, caretaker and lunchtime supervisor of your very own home school, all while juggling your own work responsibilities. Sarah Mullin, Deputy Head and author of What They Didn’t Teach Me on My PGCE, explains that the key to surviving these unprecedented times is to be realistic about what can be achieved. Your colour-coded Covid-19 timetable didn’t go to plan Daily chores, morning walks and academic time: you’ve created the ideal timetable for your dream routine. It was all going well until day two, when you realised that it’s just not possible to take an important call while also supervising your youngest making a tower out of toilet rolls. None of us has ever encountered a pandemic before. We are learning to be flexible in the face of adversity. So, if baking cakes puts a smile on your child’s face, it’s OK if the timetable doesn’t quite go to plan this afternoon. You set up an Insta-worthy home classroom that has hardly been used You cleared a workspace and organised your child’s books neatly in the corner. Highlighters, pencils, pens and rulers were carefully positioned against some brightly coloured Post-It notes. You took a quick photo and shared it on social media, feeling proud of your parent-teacher study area. After five minutes, there’s a bowl of cornflakes resting on the maths homework and marker pen ink on the walls. School classrooms are designed to meet the needs of multiple learners. But some of the best learning experiences happen when children feel comfortable and content. So why not try dissecting the parts of a flower in the garden, or having fun with fractions using some fruit in the kitchen? And if you need to resort to CBBC so that you can manage an hour of work duties, that’s

It’s 9am and you’re lunging and stretching in front of a YouTube screen. What a way to get fit, while spending time with your nearest and dearest. And fitness means productivity. Pity it also means that you now can’t walk up the stairs without whimpering in pain. Who knew PE lessons could be that painful? You’ll never get this time again It may be chaos at times, but it is important to appreciate spending time with our loved ones in the comfort and safety of our own homes. We’re no longer sitting in queues of traffic on the daily commute, and exercise feels like a treat rather than a chore. We’re preparing home-cooked meals for the family, and taking pleasure in spending time with one another. Board games are coming out of storage, and books that sat on shelves for years are brightening up our evenings. Watching the news has taken priority over watching Netflix, and acts of kindness are abundant in communities across the country. This period has taught us that our health truly is our wealth, and that the most important things in the world are family, friends, community and love.

OK, too.

TikTok Craze During Lockdown

Across the country even the world, in teenage bedrooms and houses the coronavirus lockdown people are firing up on TikTok, Founded in 2012 by Chinese entrepreneur Zhang Yiming, TikTok is one of the most popular video-sharing apps in the world, downloaded more than 2bn times globally. Users create 15-second clips set to music or soundbites, which they can overlay with digital

You thought celebrity exercise work-outs would be a great family bonding experience

special effects. Before the coronavirus pandemic, TikTok was predominantly favoured by British teenagers, who posted prank videos or the latest trending dance routine on it. But since the lockdown, TikTok has become one of the most using social media platforms with content of dance moves, dialogues from movies, to pranks and even showing off cooking skills.

Viral Coffee Drink – Dalgona Coffee The viral drink that has got everyone crazed about, a new type of coffee, called a Dalgona, which requires minimal ingredients, is sweeping the internet. The simple recipe involves three key elements - two tablespoons of instant coffee, hot water and sugar, which are combined and whisked together. The frothy mixture is then scooped on top of a glass of warm or cold milk with ice, turning it into a delicious latte-style drink. Now a viral trend after videos of people making the creamy drink were widely shared and watched on TikTok. The hashtag 'coffeewhip' has more than 1.4million views on the platform. The hashtag #dalgonacoffee has been used nearly 73,000 times on Instagram, with thousands sharing photos of their perfected drinks.

The Body coach Joe Wicks has reached a Guinness World Record after one of his online fitness classes was watched by nearly one million people. The Body Coach’s class on March 24 was broadcasted to a global audience of 955,158, which was enough for Guinness to award him with the record for most viewers for a workout live stream on YouTube. Joe Said, ‘I had no idea that when I went live on my YouTube workout on March 24, that we were actually setting a world record. ‘So thank you to everyone that tuned in – I’m so proud that this is our record, and we can remember that day as the moment we got the most viewers for a live work out.’ Joe celebrated reaching 2.2 million subscribers on his YouTube channel after seeing his fitness videos grow in popularity during the coronavirus lockdown. The TV personality had an increase in subscribers after almost tripling his figure of 800,000 from three weeks ago. The fitness guru hosts online workouts for children at 9am each day and has been donating the money raised via adverts to the NHS.




APRIL 2020


The Most Searched Recipes Duirng Lockdown

During this lockdown, the nation has been taken to baking and cooking recipes they would not have time for. Google trends have been recipes and the search platform also revealed its most in-demand recipe inquiries, is banana bread landing the top spot. It's no surprise that 60 percent of the most searched recipes are sweets, including pancakes, brownies, French toast and cheesecake. On the savoury front, chicken, pizza dough, meatloaf and lasagne top the charts. Let us look at the 10 most searched recipes according to Google Trends that are dominating social media

5. Brownie recipe

8. French toast recipe

6. Crepe recipe

9. Lasagne recipe

7. Meatloaf recipe

10. Cheesecake recipe

1. Banana bread recipe

2. Pancake Recipe

3.Chicken Recipes

4. Pizza dough recipe


APRIL 2020




BUSINESS stories sourced from Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

Chancellor's 'bounce back' loan scheme welcomed Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new ‘bounce back’ loan scheme is a welcome step in ensuring small businesses can access vital cash, business leaders said today. Small firms are able to apply for 100 per cent taxpayer-backed loans from Monday after they raised concerns about slow access to existing coronavirus support schemes. Mr Sunak said the scheme will offer firms loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 and requires filling in a twopage self-certification form online. Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s Mind The Gap report, launched last week, called for the government to offer 100 per cent guaranteed loans to small businesses. According to UK Finance, as of 22 April around 36,186 businesses applied to the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme but only 16,624 have had their loans approved. Henrietta Brealey (pictured), director of policy and strategic relationships at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “Many micro and small businesses have report-

ed delays and difficulties in accessing CBILs. The Minister’s announcement is a welcome step forward in ensuring small businesses are able to access the finance they need to keep their business moving through this incredibly challenging period. “We look forward to seeing the detail of the scheme when it launches on Monday. We will be keeping in close contact with our members to determine whether this positive development does indeed go far enough to address the gaps in the current CBIL scheme.” The Mind The Gap report sets out the gaps in existing Government support measures for businesses. It highlights the need to: Help businesses plan by providing clarity on how the Government will approach easing lockdown restrictions once key milestones are met Prevent severe long-term economic damage by bringing forward transitional measures as lockdown and key Coronavirus schemes end and the new economic reality becomes apparent Meanwhile, reports today suggest the Government are preparing to announce plans for a limited easing of lock-

we await the detail, the hints at further announcements to come on the plan for exiting lockdown and a gradual approach to winding down support indicate that the Government is listening to some of the business community’s concerns. “No one wants to see a premature end to lockdown but businesses urgently need some clarity on what the future will hold, even if the exact timeframe remains dependant on continuing to reduce the rate of infections. “In particular, they need to know what order meas-

down measures that were first introduced on 23 March. The Chancellor is also reported to be preparing a gradual approach to ending the Coronavirus Job

Retention scheme, which pays 80 per cent of furloughed workers’ salaries (up to £2,500 a month) until 30 June. Ms Brealey added: “While

ures will be eased in, which industries will be able to get back to a new ‘business as usual’ first (and last) and what employers’ obligations regarding social distancing in the workplace will look like in the short to medium term “While the Government is taking positive steps to address some business community concerns, on others there is still work to do. In particular, addressing the gaps in support for directors paid through dividends and small businesses that are not responsible for paying business rates.”

Henrietta Brealey - Director of policy & strategic relationships GBCC

Oxbridge increases student bursary funding Only a month after distance learning provider Oxbridge launched their £35,000 bursary, high demand has seen the Birmingham based provider dig deep and increase the funding to £60,000. Only a month after distance learning provider Oxbridge launched their £35,000 bursary, high demand has seen the Birmingham based provider dig deep and increase the funding to £60,000. Students across the country have already benefited from Oxbridge’s response to the Covid19 pandemic, with many opting to increase their functional skills to assist with re-employment, gain qualifications to help others with their mental health and build the skills to start their own business. Oxbridge founder Matt Jones (pictured), said: “It’s our responsibility and attitude as a college to help people change their lives for the better. “We hope this funding

continues to help those in need attain the qualifications for re-employment, taking the opportunity for a career change or personal development. “When you commit to learning, education will always propel you forwards in the world. “We’re overwhelmed with the uptake from our bursary and are proud to support those committed to learning in any way we can. “Our team haven’t stopped delivering exceptional support for our students, even in these unprecedented times, truly showing that learning is without limits” concluded Matt. To find out more information, please click here https://oxbridgehomelearning. uk/fund20/


APRIL 2020




THE ASIAN TODAY Digbeth an ideal Property Hotspot D

igbeth in the inner city or Birmingham, has been literally and figuratively the place for industrious people since many centuries. Digbeth is a district in Birmingham which holds the distinction of being named the coolest neighbourhood in Britain by the Sunday Times. This is just one of the honours for this once hub of the industrial revolution that is associated with the famous Custard Factory. Tanneries and blacksmiths have given way to production, gaming and creative agencies but this has been the place for industrious folk for centuries. The earliest settlements in Digbeth go back to the 7thcentury where its geographic closeness to the Rea river meant that there was easy access to drinking water and irrigation for crops. The closeness to the river also meant that Digbeth was a fertile place. In 1156 Digbeth became an important trading hub and its prominence rose when Birmingham became the first

manufacturing town in the world in 1791. In 1837, Alfred Bird, a chemist and druggist, discovered eggless custard powder and the site of his discovery is till date called Custard Factory. Today it is home to 15 acres of restored Victorian factories which are arguably the creative heart of Digbeth. With great links from all parts of Britain, The Birmingham Coach Station formerly known as Digbeth coach station, is a major coach interchange which offers services to all destinations in Great Britain and also to Belfast and Dublin. The original station was built in 1929 and the building which exists today was opened to public on 2009. The rich industrial and historical facets of the city are about to be contrasted with the Birmingham Smithfield project where a 42-acre former wholesale market place will get a makeover into 2000 new homes, a public square, have leisure attractions and also a new transformation for Bull Ring markets. This is another move towards building on

the history of this city which historically has always had a encounter with markets. Digbeth is the creative quarter of Birmingham and is also home to a variety of places to eat and drink. Digbeth is the spot for foodies who want a unique and fun experience. Street food is the

main feature in Digbeth. The most famous and symbolic of the Digbeth dining experience is the Digbeth Dining Club which is a held at the atmospheric spotlight club under the arches of the Lower Trinity street. There is a choice of Mexican, Thai, Filipino and even Rastafarian

street food while barely making a crease on your pocket. At the same time there are great pubs such as the Old Crown one of the oldest pubs in Birmingham dating back to 1368, ready to welcome you with their sumptuous traditional home cooked food

with alternating daily specials. This is accompanied by their ales and ciders. They also have bed and breakfast next door. Birmingham is a major European centre that is also the youngest city in Europe making it a great place to live and work.




APRIL 2020





The new 'La Voiture Noire' super car from Bugatti won’t be available for another two years The 19 million US dollar car is intended as a homage to the original car of that name from the 1930s. It is rumoured that it already has a buyer and the luxury car firm has not divulged the identity of this interested customer and the car ha yet to be made. A prototype shell has been displayed at high-end automotive shows in order to demonstrate how the finished Voiture will look. However, a Bugatti representative has conceded that the actual finished product may not be in its owner’s hands for about two years from now. La Voiture Noire is a 2019 revisit of the design of the Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic. The new La Voiture Noire

has been developed as a modern-day homage to the original car of the name. This car has a 16-cylinder, 1479-brake horse-power engine, and a monocoque secured to the rest of the body with titanium screws. Bugatti has its own bespoke factory in Alsace, France to put these kinds of cars together. However, it does not make its own parts, custom-ordering them from various manufacturers around Europe instead. Firm’s workers make sure that these models are precision-crafted within the tolerances required, and to support the power and speed that can be produced by the ultra-powerful engines, using various digital tools and techniques. This is one reason why Bugatti charges astronomical prices for even its relatively entry-level cars.


'La Voiture Noire'

Green number plates for Electric car owners Owning an electric car may be a benefit in several ways including Green number plates for zero tailpipe emission cars will be a help for drivers to benefit from local enticements such as free or cheaper parking and using bus lanes. Through the introduction of green number plates, the local authorities would have a visual identifier should they wish to introduce incentives to promote the use of zero emission vehicles, such as allowing these drivers to use bus lanes and to pay less for parking. This should help to encourage car owners to move to electric. Although the Department for Transport has similar schemes in Scandinavia and Canada report some success, whether local authorities will choose to implement these incentives remains to be seen. Transport Secretary Grant

Shapps said: “The UK is in the driving seat of global efforts to tackle vehicle emissions and climate change and improve air quality, but we want to accelerate our progress. “Green number plates are a really positive and exciting way to help everyone recognise the increasing number of electric vehicles on our roads. “By increasing awareness of these vehicles and the benefits they bring to their drivers and our environment, we will turbo-charge the zero-emission revolution.” The announcement of this consultation on green plates hopes to bolster the Government’s Road to Zero Strategy, a £1.5bn package of support which aims to make the UK the best place in the world to own an electric vehicle. Since the strategy’s publication, the UK has seen record numbers of zero emission vehicles registered and the Government has marked its intention to be the first

G7 country to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050. The consultation seeks views from industry and the public on a number of aspects surrounding the scheme, including vehicle eligibility; number plate design; and, the rollout of the plates. It follows the Transport Secretary’s recent announcement that he has

doubled funding for chargepoints on residential streets, to help make charging an electric car easier for those without access to off-street parking. The Government is also currently reviewing responses to the conference on requiring chargepoints to be built into all new homes with a parking space.

APRIL 2020




Sport DO YOU HAVE A SPORTS STORY? Call us on 0121 667 8719

National Lottery Funding For 5UP CIC 5UP CIC has just recently won a National Lottery funding of £10k for a 1-month pilot project to get the “over 40’s” in to a fitness and healthy life style programme. This is for men and woman ONLY classes for those aged 40 years plus. This pilot project could potentially lead to a £100k National Lottery award to continue this on for a whole year. 5UP CIC formed in Jan 2020 and was setup by Nathan Bendon and Major Heran. They won funding in February from The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner – Violence Reduction Unit. This was for positive sport-based activities and mentoring and personal development for 8 – 18 years old during the Feb Half Term school holidays. Nathan never came from a privileged background, his life started out on a council estate in Birmingham with a single mother and three other younger siblings. Is early life was doomed to end in disaster, he had a few run ins with the police. Then things all changed when he went to the local secondary high school and joined a local Thai Boxing gym. He took to Thai Boxing with gusto with the help of the Head Sports Coach who had a degree in sports science and guided Nathan’s path to glory. Nathan ended up becoming 3 times British Junior Champion and one of the best young fighters in Europe at the time. Leaving school with GCSE’s from A to C grades, this was because the Head Coach encouraged Nathan to study at school and it was not all about fighting it was about education too. Leaving school Nathan worked in a Thai Boxing gym teaching and mentoring others. He was also an active professional fighter becoming 2 times UK and British Champion, European Champion at his weight division. Currently Nathan owns and runs NJB Thai Boxing and

Fitness Club in Handsworth, Birmingham. The reasoning behind him opening his own gym was to pass on his own journey and knowledge to others and give others the benefits he had when he was mentored by a coach. Nathan commented “I want others to come to a safe place at my gym and express themselves and become responsible for their own lives and not become embroiled in a life of crime and trouble”. So, with the help of one of his gym members Major Heran, 5UP CIC was formed in Jan 2020. The activities of 5UP are available for all members of the public to access but with a focus on children and young people from all ethnicities from disadvantaged backgrounds that may be at risk from gang involvement and knife crime, and children and young people with additional needs. 5UP will benefit and work with schools, colleges, further education, and social services through our work with children and young people who are not in mainstream education. The company will benefit those living in inner-city Birmingham as well as the wider West Midlands. 5UP will provide a Thai Boxing and physical fitness gym for all members of the community. Through these services, we will also engage children and young people and offer additional support including mentoring and coaching and relationship building, providing support and advice through appropriate role models and mentors. Physical exercise through self-defence training and classes, gym service. Giving the members of the of our community an opportunity to improve their wellbeing through physical exercise and learn a form of self-defence with highly experienced Thai boxing coaches. In addition, employment support, job search

support, writing CV’s and supporting young people into employment locally. 5UP will invest in the community to be able to facilitate the positive development of more disadvantaged members of

our community.The pilot project has been championed by the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce President Qasim Majid, whose son Zak attends Nathan’s Gym, who said: “In these very challenging

times, it’s wonderful to see that ABCC members, Nathan and Major are forging ahead with their plans and vision to provide a fitness programme free of charge to the people of Birmingham. I know how passionate they

are in ensuring they provide a holistic and enjoyable environment to keep people fit. More so than ever now, we need initiatives like this, which not only helps with keeping fit physically, but tackles mental well-being too”.


APRIL 2020



Profile for The Asian Today

The Asian Today Issue 254  

The Asian Today Issue 254

The Asian Today Issue 254  

The Asian Today Issue 254