On July 10, Wednesday, MPs, businessmen, and other distinguished guests gathered together in the Churchill Room at the House of Commons to honor the achievements of the Bengali diaspora settled in the UK.
Hosted by Sir David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West, the Bengal Pride Awards were sponsored by Jemca Motors, the franchise for Lexus and Toyota Motors along with Hippo Cabs UK. Organised for the second year round these awards are supported by Asian Voice, which are aimed to focus on the contributions that the Bengali community has made to the UK's growth.
Organised for the second year round by Asian Voice, these awards aimed to focus on the contributions that the Bengali community has made to the UK's growth.
“The Bengali community has a rich cultural history and the Bengali diaspora has contributed enormously to the UK's growth. From business to arts, science and civic society, they have truly enriched our society and have been a shining light in a post-Brexit UK,” said Sir David Amess.
According to the 2011 Census 0.7% of the UK's population identified themselves as Bengali speaking. A decade ago, very little was catalogued about the migrant Indian Bengalis and Bangladeshi population in the UK and whatever, little coverage was received, bordered around curry houses. Today though, second generation Bengalis have soared and broken ground in the UK's arts and culture industry whilst professionals have penetrated into sports, healthcare, aviation, media among other such sectors.
“Through the Bengal's Pride Awards, we aim to bring together the Bengali diaspora from Bangladesh and India and recognise their contributions to the UK.
“The Bengali diaspora has only ever been recognised in the curry and restaurant industry but they have been making enormous advancements in other industries in the UK as well and there is no other platform which honours them in these other categories,” said Samit Kumar Biswas, Director and CEO, Advatech Healthcare Europe Ltd.
Prominent members awarded at the event included Isa Guha who was awarded with the Sports Person of the Year award. Mrs Shanti Kar was conferred with the Life Time Achievement of the Year award for her dedication to make Bangla GCSE available to all in the form of foundation of 'Darpan', a not-for-profit organisation. Whereas Dr. Suman Saha, who is the co-founder of Doctify bagged the Small & Medium Size Enterprise of the Year award and Rajeeb Dey achieved the Entrepreneur of the Year award for his recent start-up Learnerbly.
In the field of social work, Dev Aditya was recognised for his Community Service with international students, women and refugees and Dilip Ghosh won the Politician of the Year award.
Bengalis have always been at the forefront of medicine and healthcare and Dr. Suvro Banerjee received the Achievement in Health & Social Care award for his contribution to the field of cardiology both in the UK and in Kolkata, India. While, Apollo White Dental received the award for the Dental Clinic of the Year.
Radio Bangla Net has been making waves in the media and arts industry for quite some time now by broadcasting Bengali music and was awarded with Achievements in Media arts and Culture.
“The national anthems of India and Bangladesh have been penned by nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. Such has been the historical contribution of the Bengali diaspora in bringing the world together.
“While the Punjabi and the Gujarati communities in the UK have been honoured for their diverse achievements, it is imperative that these awards celebrate the contribution of the Bengali community to the country's economic and cultural growth,” said CB Patel, Editor/Publisher of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar.
Bhakti Kubavat was the host of the evening while the charity partner for the program was Enfield Asian Welfare Association (EAWA).