British Asian Trust beneficiaries join star-studded annual dinner raises epic funds for South Asian projects


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ALL SMILES: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Naughty Boy meet The HRH Prince of Wales (Picture credit: Justin Goff)

ALL SMILES: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Naughty Boy meet The HRH Prince of Wales (Picture credit: Justin Goff)

 

Astonishing £850,000 raised in one night

The British Asian Trust hosted its 4th Annual Dinner at Guildhall in London. The night proved to be extremely successful with distinguished guests turning out to support the charity and raising an astonishing £850,000 to support the Trust and its projects in South Asia.

The British Asian Trust Founder and President HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall attended the event, on Thursday 2nd February, alongside several of the charity’s key trustees and ambassadors.

Guests included International Development Secretary Priti Patel MP, chart-topping music star Naughty Boy, Pakistani music icon Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, both ambassadors of The Trust, tennis star Boris Becker, award-winning film director Gurinder Chadha and TV stars Nitin Ganatra and Preeya Kalidas.

HONOURABLE GUESTS: HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall (picture credit: Justin Goff)

HONOURABLE GUESTS: HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall (picture credit: Justin Goff)

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said: “The British Asian community has long played a vital role in the fight against global poverty by dedicating their time, money and expertise to this global struggle.

“I am delighted that the Department for International Development, has such an enduring partnership with the British Asian Trust which helps to defeat poverty and suffering in the world.

“The recent match funding of public donations to the British Asian Trust’s ‘Give a Girl a Future’ appeal has already helped 50,000 women and girls in Pakistan get the essential skills they need to secure steady jobs.

“There is no task more urgent than defeating poverty.

“Britain plays a leading international role in tackling the root causes of poverty and supporting the education and livelihoods of the world’s poorest."

"People in Britain can be proud of the way UK aid is saving and changing lives on an incredible scale.”

SPEAKER: Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel MP

SPEAKER: Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel MP

 

The night was hosted by BBC broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake, a British Asian Trust trustee, and welcomed over 450 supporters and ambassadors.

Pakistani music icon Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who was announced as a new British Asian Trust ambassador on the night, performed and also collaborated with British chart-topping producer Naughty Boy.

GUESTS: British Asian Trust Gala Dinner 2017 (picture credit Alastair Fyfe)

GUESTS: British Asian Trust Gala Dinner 2017 (picture credit Alastair Fyfe)

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan said: "I have followed the work of the British Asian Trust for some time and it was an honour to perform tonight for HRH's The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

“I am delighted that The Prince of Wales also announced that I will be working more closely with the British Asian Trust as an ambassador, to further support their incredible work in transforming lives across South Asia."

Kalsoom Tahira, Navanitha Kooteri Veeregowda, Sonali Shah meet The Duchess of Cornwall and HRH (picture credit: Justin Goff)

Kalsoom Tahira, Navanitha Kooteri Veeregowda, Sonali Shah meet The Duchess of Cornwall and HRH (picture credit: Justin Goff)

 

Guests were introduced to two of the Trust’s beneficiaries, Navanitha and Kalsoom who have travelled to the UK from India and Pakistan respectively and were welcomed by HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

For Navanitha, her life changed when she signed up to a football programme with the Trust’s local partner. She proved a natural in the sport when girls playing football was not accepted as a social norm in India. She challenged this and has changed the perceptions of girls’ abilities in her local community and is an inspiration to a new generation of Indian girls.

THANKING SUPOORTERS: Richard Hawkes CEO British Asian Trust (picture credit: Justin Goff)

THANKING SUPOORTERS: Richard Hawkes CEO British Asian Trust (picture credit: Justin Goff)

Navanitha said: “I am very happy to be here and to meet the Prince, it is a proud moment. It is amazing to see the support for the British Asian Trust, whose work has helped changed my life and so many others in South Asia.”

Kalsoom was born into poverty to uneducated parents, but she was determined to complete her schooling. She briefly became a teacher, but this was cut short when her marriage ended after her husband tormented her for giving birth to a disabled son.

Despite the social stigma of divorce, Kalsoom raised her son alone.  Her life changed when she enrolled on a training programme with the Trust’s local partner. Spotting an opportunity in her community, Kalsoom launched her own training centre and now teaches sewing techniques to 20 girls.

DELIGHTED: Hardeep Singh Kohli, Neev Spencer, Preeya Kalidas, Hugh Bonneville, Gurinder Chadha, Shahid Khan, The Duchess of Cornwall, HRH, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Priti Patel, Nihal Arthanayake, Sonali Shah, Manish Bhasin, Zafar Iqbal, Reshmin Chowdhury, Ikram But

DELIGHTED: Hardeep Singh Kohli, Neev Spencer, Preeya Kalidas, Hugh Bonneville, Gurinder Chadha, Shahid Khan, The Duchess of Cornwall, HRH, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Priti Patel, Nihal Arthanayake, Sonali Shah, Manish Bhasin, Zafar Iqbal, Reshmin Chowdhury, Ikram But

Kalsoom added: “When I left Pakistan to come here my expectation was very different. Since I’ve come here and met everybody, my thoughts have definitely changed. I’m so impressed with the work of the British Asian Trust, how they have supported us and shared our pain.”

To date, the British Asian Trust has touched the lives of over three million people in South Asia, and the gala dinner marked the beginning of a special year that will focus on four key areas to transform the future of South Asia – Education, Anti-trafficking, Livelihoods and Mental Health/Disability.

Richard Hawkes, CEO, British Asian Trust said: “This has been another fantastic evening for the Trust, on our 4th annual dinner. We have felt tremendous support, warmth and encouragement for our work from all of our supporters. We look forward to a special year in 2017 as a trusted partner for South Asia.”

PERFORMANCE: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan showcased his voice to The Royals

PERFORMANCE: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan showcased his voice to The Royals

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