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Praful Patel remains a British Asian leader for many causes

NEW DELHI -- Known for fighting for the rights of Asians, Praful Patel is actively involved in promoting Indo-British relations, promoting investment in India, advocating human rights, campaigning for Ayurveda medicine, upholding Hindu values in numerous religious bodies and trusts, enjoying cricket, and enthusing in his vast collection of Ganesha idols, writes Swami Anand Kul Bhushan Kulive Kulove Kulaugh.

How does he do all this?

As a pure vegetarian, non-smoker and a teetotaller, above all, a bachelor!

A typical British Asian citizen, he is at ease in his homes in the UK and India.

He became prominent during the Asian Exodus in 1968 and worked as the Honorary Secretary of the All Party British Parliamentary Committee on UK Citizenship (1968-1982).

The Committee played an important role for many years to bear pressure on successive governments for the rights of British Asians.

As Honorary Secretary, he flew missions to Kenya and New Delhi during 1968/ 69 and played a key role in Indo-British bilateral discussions on this issue.

He worked as a Founder Member of the UK Immigrants Advisory Service and a Member of the Executive Committee (1970-1982). Thus he is known as a specialist on human rights, civil liberties, immigration, citizenship and race relation issues.

Most of all, he has had a distinguished record of public service in Britain, East Africa and India.

A life member of British Labour Party, he has worked with the Fabian Society’, the Anti-Aparthied Movement, Movement for Colonial Freedom, ‘War on Want’ and Amnesty International.


British Asian leader Praful Patel | Coastweek

Coastweek -- Asian leader Praful Patel

Born in Uganda, he says: "I came to limelight internationally when I took on the Kenya-Asian crisis during the wretched Labour government who, in indecent haste, introduced a new law barring the entry of British Citizens of Asian origin.

"A racist legislation to the core!

"However, in 1972 I was invited by the Heath government as the only Asian member in high powered Uganda Resettlement Board, I served three and half years on the Board and this is where I learnt the ropes of how the British Establishment works.

"I got to know the corridors of power."

Active on Indian diaspora issues, Praful Patel has played a leading role in various capacities as a Government of India’s Consultative Committee on NRI investments (1986-1991) and as the Co-Chairman of the ‘India Calling’ Overseas Indians Conference, Mumbai in December 1999 and Chairman of The India Overseas Trust, whose main objective is to document the history of Overseas Indians.

As chairman of the India Overseas Trust 40th Anniversary British Uganda Asians Celebration Core Committee 2012, he revived interest in former Uganda Asians and in their success they achieved in Britain.

The list of events organised by this organisation for a whole year is very impressive with the top British leaders and extensive media coverage.

He contested a Parliamentary seat for the Labour Party in Brent North, London in the 1986 general elections.

He fought a vigorous and well organised campaign and increased Labour’s share of vote by three per cent: not a bad showing in London and particularly in Brent North.

In addition to his political activities, he takes a keen interest in culture, religion and Ayurveda medicine.

He founded the Indo-British Cultural Exchange whose aims are self-explanatory and its extensive activities are notable.

As a devoted member of the Swaminarayan Community, he is close to its global leader and a trustee of its board in the UK.


Chairman of Indo-British Cultural Exchange Shri Praful Patel | Coastweek

Coastweek -- Shri Praful Patel, Chairman of Indo-British Cultural Exchange is presenting the memento to the Chief Minister of the historic event at the Middle Temple celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Sardar Patel's call to the Bar on behalf of Indo-British Cultural Exchange, British Sikh Association, Sardar Patel Memorial Society, National Congress of Gujarati Organisations and Society of Asian Lawyers. The Chief Minister was delighted to receive the memento. The other objective was to discuss on behalf of National Congress of Gujarati Organisations the representation in relation to the Air India Direct Flight from Ahmedabad-London-Ahmedabad. The Chief Minister agreed to speak to the Prime Minister about it. Praful Patel extended an invitation to the Chief Minister to come to London for the inauguration flight. The Chief Minister also agreed that she will speak to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. On behalf of NCGO I have sought a meeting with the Prime Minister.
For promoting awareness of the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage, he has set up a trust in Britain after organsing a pilgrimage lead by Morari Bapu, a well- known preacher.

His campaign for promoting Ayerveda in UK and Europe is exemplary and in closed coordination with Indian authorities viz health ministry, export promotion bodies and in international conferences and meetings.

Appointed as a member of different committees to carry out this task, he has worked intensively for Ayurveda which he also practices in his personal life.

As an Indian, he has promoted the memory of Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi with various projects including erecting a Gandhi stature in London.

He is currently involved in two book projects, one on the history of Ugandan Asians and the other on the Kailas-Manasarovar Pilgrimage (Yatra) in 1997.

He is also writing a book of his spiritual experiences with his three Gurus in the Swaminarayan Fellowship.

He passionately promotes of traditional Ayurveda medicine.

He is a cricket-lover too.

One of his greatest passions is his unique collection of Ganesh Murtis/ idols and Hindu artifacts, which totals over 2,500 items, donated to Shree Ganesh Foundation.

During the Ganesh Festival of 2006 and 2012, the Aastha TV had broadcast throughout the world a special programme on his Ganesh collection.

He is a Director/ Trustee of various non-profit philanthropies: International Ayurveda Foundation – UK, India and Switzerland; Biomedical Foundation of India - India; Indo-British Cultural Exchange – UK & India, Kailas Manasarovar Foundation – India; Kailas Manasarovar Trust – UK; Confederation of Overseas Indians – India; India Overseas Trust – UK and The Manava Trust – UK.

Earning as a financial advisor to HNI NRIs, he promotes India as an investment destination.

A director of several corporate and investment companies in India, UK and UAE, Praful Patel is at home with hard-core business and industry barons of the West and in Asia and Africa.

Close to Narendra Modi, as the Gujarat Chief Minister, now he is very optimistic about India’s big take-off.



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