British Indian cousins Bunty and Chaitan Shah founded Oshwal Connect UK in 2021 to unite the Oshwal community globally. Since its inception, the group’s annual awards have been celebrating the valuable contributions of its community members across various fields.
This year, the organisation recognised the achievements of 30 members worldwide for their work in the fields of charity, mental health, sports, hospitality, music and much more.
While Oshwals are often Jain and Hindu in origin, the founders explain that it goes beyond any political or religious affiliations. Oshwals' beginnings can be traced back to India as early as 457 BC, now rooted worldwide and with a thriving community in the UK – where the earliest Oshwals recorded in the country date back to the 1950s.
Bunty Shah explains: "These high achievers have encouraged diversity, inclusion and equality in their respective fields and have been highlighted as inspirational peers to other members of the community.
“This year we have honoured three essential groups of Oshwals that have inspired. We have our 'Oshwal Pioneers' our 'OC Next Generation of Leaders' and our 'Game Changing Young Oshwals'."
For many years Bunty Shah has immersed himself in philanthropic and community projects, such as food banks and encouraging other communities to hold food bank collections at their events. In 2019, his local community work did not go unnoticed as Hertsmere Borough Council awarded Shah a Civic Award.
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Chaitan Shah runs a number of businesses, mainly in media providing acting talent working closely with many UK and US based production companies involved with film, television and commercials. He uses his contacts to help promote awareness of many issues and causes in his community.
As part of its recognitions this year, Oshwal Connect UK paid tribute to the Late Ratilal Premchand Chandaria, the first Oshwal Association of the UK Fundraising Chairman. Kishore Shah, another OAUK Committee member, has also been honoured by the young organisation.
Sachin Shammi Shah has been honoured for his work with Britain’s Oshwal community, Jayni Gudka received the Oshwal Connect award for her work with homeless people in London and iGlobal columnist Professor Atul K. Shah has been awarded for his work in education and broadcasting.
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Among the others, Shaileen Shah has been recognised for his work in mental health, Harshi Gudka for her work in raising awareness around Down's Syndrome and Learning Disabilities, and Khilna Shah for the arts.
*Info: Oshwal Connect UK