Rishi Sunak, Priti Patel join Prince Charles to celebrate outstanding work of British Asian Trust during pandemic

Rishi Sunak, Priti Patel join Prince Charles to celebrate outstanding work of British Asian Trust during pandemic

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Priti Patel joined Prince Charles and his wife Camilla at the Annual Reception and Dinner hosted by the British Asian Trust at the British Museum. The event commemorated the organisation's many accomplishments over the past year and helped raise funds to support Covid-19 recovery across South Asia.

Notable guests included Baron Jitesh Gadhia, Member of the House of Lords, Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Adar and Natasha Poonawalla, heads of the Serum Institute of India, film director Gurinder Chadha, and many others.

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During his address, Prince of Wales said: "I cannot quite believe it is almost two years to the day that my wife and myself were able to be with all of you to celebrate the work of the British Asian Trust. Since then, across the globe, there has been a terrible loss of life from Covid-19, and we have especially seen the devastating impact throughout South Asia. In these most challenging times, the British Asian Trust has run four significant fundraising appeals which have so far raised almost £20m. A truly remarkable achievement in such a difficult environment."

The British Asian Trust was founded in 2007 by The Prince of Wales and British Asian business leaders to tackle widespread poverty, inequality and injustice in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

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Manoj Badale, Chair of the British Asian Trust, said: "The funds raised will help us continue to deliver large scale outcome-focused programmes in the fields of education, livelihoods, mental health, anti-trafficking and conservation in South Asia post-Covid-19."

Over the last year, the British Asian Trust raised over £10 million for its post-Covid recovery efforts, including £5 million for its Oxygen for India Appeal to support the country during its devastating second wave. It secured £2 million of matched funding from the UK government for the Trust's Women's Economic Empowerment programme, which will enable nearly 10,000 Pakistani women to find a job or start a business in a post-Covid world.

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The British Asian Trust also launched the $14.4million Skill Impact Bond to bolster employment levels post Covid-19 by upskilling 50,000 Indian youth, with women making up 60% (30,000) of the beneficiaries. Other initiatives include the "Palaces on Wheels" charity cycle ride, which saw HRH The Prince of Wales ride a bicycle to see-off British Asian cyclists on a gruelling 400 km challenge.

The event was hosted by British Asian Trust Ambassadors, Nihal Arthanayake, BBC broadcaster, and Reshmin Chowdhury, Sports Presenter for BT Sport and the BBC. Other celebrity Ambassadors and friends who celebrated the organisation's work included actor Nitin Ganatra and former Liverpool and Wales footballer Ian Rush.

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