Make your voice count: Lord Gadhia leads Census 2021 community awareness drive

Make your voice count: Lord Gadhia leads Census 2021 community awareness drive

The 2021 Census will be held across England and Wales on Sunday, March 21, and to mark the one-month mark to that date, Lord Jitesh Gadhia is leading a special community awareness campaign to highlight the importance of completing this survey.

The British Indian peer in the House of Lords has released a video which explains all the positive reasons for participation, such as improved access to government facilities to cover the needs and requirements of Britain’s many diverse communities.

“A census is held every 10 years. It provides crucial information enabling central government, local authorities and health trusts to plan and fund public services – ranging from hospitals to schools to housing and transport,” said Lord Gadhia.

“For those of us from ethnic minority communities, it is even more important to have accurate data to ensure that any specialist requirements are addressed properly,” he explains.

Besides, it is also a legal requirement to complete the census, with a fine of up to £1,000 for non-participation or false disclosure.

Lord Gadhia draws special attention to the following three questions:

  • Question 14 on *NATIONAL IDENTITY*. “As well as British you can tick ‘Other’ and write in any additional identity”.

  • Question 15 on *ETHNIC GROUP*. “In my case I will be ticking “Indian” under sub-group C titled Asian or British Asian”.

  • Question 16 on *RELIGION*. “This is voluntary disclosure but it is very helpful to have this information recorded accurately – so please complete this question. In my case I will be ticking Hindu”.

His intervention follows several community groups organising similar awareness drives, including the Hindu Forum of Britain as well as the Network of Sikh Organisations(NSO).

“The census allows the government amongst other matters to assess social, health and economic needs. For members of the Hindu Forum of Britain, this means help in planning permissions for temples, community centres etc, obtaining grants which our community lacks, facilities in education of Hinduism, Hindu chaplain in government institutions, diet requirements etc,” the HFB notes.

The NSO highlighted Question 16 on religion as an important category for British Sikhs: “All Sikhs as responsible citizens of the UK should complete this compulsory 10-year Census. The data is collected and used to target financial support to where it is most needed.

“Please tick ‘Sikh’ with pride. We have a religion we can be proud of, and a record of our true numbers will help reduce discrimination against our community.”

The group also flags Question 18 on language, where a reference to the Punjabi language can be filled out.

Further details on this year’s census for England and Wales are set to be laid out in the coming weeks by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

More info: Census 2021

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