A privilege to amplify diaspora voices, says Hitan Mehta OBE
Hitan Mehta, Executive Director of the British Asian Trust, has been awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by His Majesty King Charles III in the New Year Honours List 2023 in recognition of his 15 years’ service to Britain’s South Asian community.
Hitan Mehta OBE said: “I am honoured and humbled by this recognition of my work. The British Asian diaspora is a significant part of the United Kingdom, and it has been a privilege to amplify their voices and provide, through the British Asian Trust and through community work, a platform through which I have been able to serve the diaspora."
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Mehta has a long history of working for and with the community. He has served as a leading volunteer with Neasden Temple (BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London) for 28 years, leading on projects such as encouraging vaccine uptake, interfaith relations and more recently channelling the community’s support for Ukrainian refugees.
Mehta worked extremely closely with the former Prince of Wales, Manoj Badale OBE and other distinguished British Asian business leaders to establish the British Asian Trust in 2007 to help tackle development challenges and opportunities across South Asia.
Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Chair of the British Asian Trust, commented: “We are delighted to see this richly deserved recognition for Hitan’s significant contribution in both South Asia and the UK.
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“His work in the community and for the British Asian Trust has changed lives worldwide and made an enormous impact. He is a wonderful example of how British Asians have excelled in many fields, integrating successfully and contributing to British society in multiple ways.”
For the past 15 years, he has worked on impactful programmes in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the areas of education, livelihoods child protection, mental health and conservation. Under his guidance and leadership, the British Asian Trust has galvanised support from the British Asian diaspora and helped to improve the lives of almost 7 million people.
*Info: British Asian Trust