Sunday, December 12, 2004

Asian of the Year - not Keith Vaz

Alas, not a second win for our esteemed MP but Ramola Bachchan for her successes - a copy of the artcile is below. The award is covered by five online Indian papers, but - even when searching directly for the award or Ms Bachchan's name - no British papers have. Which is nice. Keith Vaz has previously been a winner, but I couldn't find for what year.

In case you were wondering, this is the 'evergreen' Dev Anand. The 'evergreen' prefix is remarkably popular, but, I think, deserved.

LONDON:Ramola Bachchan, socialite and sister-in-law of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has won the Asian of the Year Award for 2004.

At a gala ceremony attended by evergreen Bollywood star Dev Anand, leader of the House of Commons Peter Hains, NRI businessmen S P Hinduja and his brother G P Hinduja and the elite, Kartar Lalvani, winner of the Award last year presented a gold-plated plaque to 57-year-old Ramola for her outstanding achievements and her work towards charitable causes.

A former air stewardess, a TV presenter and now a solicitor, Kolkata-born Ramola has successfully raised funds for several organisations, including the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, CARE International, SAARC Foundation, Cancer Relief, Macmillan Fund and Pratham UK.

Accepting the award, Ramola said, "I am deeply honoured to be given this award this year, catapulting me to a very luminous category of award winners."

Noting that she was the only third woman to get the award out of 17 recipients so far, Ramola hoped the imbalance in favour of men would be redressed in future.

Prominent award winners include Lord Swraj Paul, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Baroness Shreela Flather and Keith Vaz.

Raj Loomba launched the 17th Edition of the Asian Who's Who International, edited by J S Sachar, on the occasion.

Ramola came to live in the UK with husband Ajitabh and their children in 1987. In 1995, she set up her own public relations firm to promote business and culture between India and the UK.

From the Central Chronicle, but same as everywhere. Why is this Keith Vaz news? Well, because it came up in a search on his name I had a look, but then my interest was piqued by it not being picked up in the British press. I guess I'm not not only a fan of Keith Vaz but of Ms Bachchan too.

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