BY Itrat Bashir & Natalie Cooper

 Whilst the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday this year, 1,149 also had reason to celebrate as they were recognised with gongs for services to the country.

This year also saw the greatest number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) recipients in an honours list, since the Order of the British Empire was founded in 1917. A total of 8.2 per cent of the successful candidates (90 people) come from a BAME background.

With recognition of the achievements from people in politics, sports, entertainment, culture, science, and the private sector celebrities and public and private figures it was a humbling acknowledgment for the many that are on the 2016 list.

Hanif Malik
Hanif Malik

In recognition of his service to the community, Hanif Malik, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hamara Healthy Living Centre in Leeds, was awarded the OBE in the Queens Honours birthday list for 2016.

He has been an active participant in public life for over 30 years undertaking a range of voluntary roles during this period.

Through his inspirational leadership he has transformed the Hamara organisation from employing two part-time staff with an income of £25,000 to one which now employs over 30 staff. During his tenure he has secured over £5 million of investment and grants, including a successful campaign to raise £1.2 million to develop the centre that is now a thriving community hub offering a programme of varied activities.

Talking to the Asian Sunday, Hanif said he is very humbled and honoured to have been awarded an OBE in the Queens Honours birthday list for 2016. “Although it is always a privilege to be recognised for your work, the real motivation for our efforts comes from supporting those who are less fortunate than us and in attempting to make a difference to our communities,” he added.

He hoped that in some small way it will encourage others to continue striving to make society a better and more cohesive place and highlight that the Muslim community can make a positive contribution to wider causes.

 Sewa Singh Mandla, is also on the list of honours for an OBE. He was appointed an OBE, in recognition of his 50 years’ legal, human rights and selfless community voluntary service in West Midlands.

Sewa Singh Mandla
Sewa Singh Mandla

He is a high profile lawyer and a community and inter-faith leader in Birmingham. As a long serving volunteer at the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) and a trustee at the Nishkam Civic Association Handsworth, Birmingham, Mandla has been recognised for his significant contribution to community and inter-faith development work in the city and the region.

On being awarded the OBE in the Queen’s 90th birthday Honours list, Mandla said that he is greatly humbled and feel privileged to be receiving this honour from Her Majesty the Queen. “I thank Almighty God for this blessing and my spiritual master, Bhai Sahib Ji whose guidance has never failed me,” he added.

“I pray that I live up to the expectations of all those who placed their faith, trust and confidence in me. I have accepted this appointment on behalf of the Sikh and wider communities that I am privileged to serve here in Birmingham and West Midlands.  This award is recognition of the importance that community work and faith is playing in the secular world,” he said.

Mandla has successfully fused his professional work in law with spirituality to make a difference to Sikh and wider communities in the UK.  His perseverance to take the issue of turbans worn by Sikh pupils in schools is a testament of his dedication to fight for a just cause.

Women and arts weren’t behind in the list of honours this year. Artistic Director of Kala Sangam, a Yorkshire based arts charity, Dr. Geetha Upadhyaya, who was appointed Officer of the British Empire (OBE) award in Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for her dedication to South Asian Arts in the UK said “I’m humbled.  It’s great recognition for

Dr Geeta Upadhyaya
Dr Geeta Upadhyaya

South Asian Arts and for Bradford”

Dr. Geetha co-founded Kala Sangam along with her husband, Dr. Shri Upadhyaya back in 1993 and it became a registered charity in 1996. She has dedicated her life to deliver outstanding South Asian and intercultural Arts in contemporary Britain and beyond.

Teacher, Iffat Hameed was appointed an MBE for services to education and the community in Sheffield. She has been honoured for being an exemplary role model to young Asian girls in Sheffield, who often hail from deprived backgrounds.

Through her guidance and support as a teacher, many of these young women have gone into higher education, achieving rewarding careers such as teaching, medicine, law and dentistry.

Iffat, of Millhouses, became Sheffield’s first female Muslim magistrate in 1998 and has also worked voluntarily for BBC Radio Sheffield Asian Network service and is often heard talking about education, self-respect and the need to progress in the community.

Iffat, who is known for her charitable work and has two grandchildren, told Sheffield’s The Star newspaper: “I am truly humbled that my life’s work has been recognised. It was a big shock when I found out, but I am so happy.”


  • Hanif Malik. Chief executive, Hamara. For services to Sport and the community particularly in Yorkshire.
  • Ms Bhanu Ramaswamy. Independent Physiotherapy consultant. For services to Physiotherapy. (Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
  • Dr Nima Poovaya Smith. Founder and director, Alchemy Anew. For services to Arts and Museums in Yorkshire. (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
  • Dr Geetha Upadhyaya. Co-Founder and lately chief executive and Artistic director, Kala Sangam. For services to South Asian Arts in the UK. (Guiseley, West Yorkshire)
  • Mrs Shahista Gohir, Trustee and Chair of Muslim Women’s Network for the UK. For services to Gender Equality and Women’s Rights. (Birmingham)
  • Ms Julia Lalla-Maharajh, Founder of the Orchid Project. For services to Supporting an End to Female Genital Cutting. (London)
  • Sewa Singh Mandla. For services to the Inter-faith and Community Cohesion particularly in the Sikh community. (West Bromwich, West Midlands)
  • Adil Ray. Actor, Radio and Television Presenter. For services to Broadcasting. (London)
  • Dhanonday Shrivastav. Musician, Instrumentalist and Founder, Inner Vision Orchestra. For services to Music. (London)


  • Honorary Alderman Allah Yar Mushtaq Lasharie. For political service and charitable services in Pakistan through the Jhok Aid Project. (London)
  • Bharat Maganlal MEHTA. For services to Finance in the Charitable and Voluntary Sectors. (London)
  • Professor Sabera Nazneen Rahman. Head of Genetics and Epidemiology, Institute of Cancer Research and Head of Cancer Genetics, The Royal Marsden. For services to Medical Science. (London)
  • Professor Usha Chakravarthy. For services to Ophthalmology in Northern Ireland and voluntary service to Managing Eye Conditions (Belfast, NI)


  • Taiyabur Rahman Chowdhury. Formerly Adoption Social Worker, Bradford City Council. For services to Children and Families. (West Yorkshire)

  • Mrs Iffat Hameed, JP. Teacher, King Edward VII School, Sheffield. For services to Education and the community in Sheffield. (Sheffield, South Yorkshire)

  • Canon Yaqub Masih. For services to Community Cohesion and Inter-faith Relations in West Yorkshire. (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire)

  • Mohammed Akhlak Rauf. Manager, Meri Yaadain (My Memories) Dementia Team, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. For services to People with Dementia and their Carers. (Bradford, West Yorkshire)

  • Mohammed Ali. Street artist. For services to Art and Aerosol Arabic Community Cohesion. (Birmingham)

  • Mohammed Amin. Founder Member and Co-Chair, Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester. For services to Community Cohesion and Inter-faith Relations in Greater Manchester. (Whalley Range, Greater Manchester)

  • Hitesh Chandarana. Assistant Officer, Personal Tax Operations, HM Revenue and Customs. For services to Tax Compliance. (Thurmaston, Leicester)

  • Rajeeb Dey. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Internships. For services to Entrepreneurship. (London)

  • Romy Gill. Founder, Romy’s Kitchen. For services to the Hospitality Industry. (Thornbury, Bristol)

  • Issam Abbas Horshi. Managing Director, The White Horse Hotel. For services to the Tourism Industry in Northern Ireland. (Waterside, Londonderry)

  • Mrs Jess Jaspreet Jeetly. Founder and Managing Director, Jeetly. For services to Entrepreneurship.

  • Mrs Santosh Kaur Jhangiani. Executive Officer, Home Office. For services to Staff Welfare in the Home Office. (Surrey)

  • Ms Ren Kapur. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mrs Renu Raksha Wing Ltd, X-Forces . For services to Entrepreneurship. (Reading, Berkshire)

  • Anwar Kassim. Director, Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture. For services to Inter-faith Relations and the community in Milton Keynes. (Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire)

  • Mrs Gurmit Kaur. Community Cohesion Inspector, Nottinghamshire Police. For services to Policing. (Mickleover, Derbyshire)

  • Bhupendra Harji Magudia. Senior Executive Officer, Ministry of Defence. For services in Support of Military Training. (Nailsea, Somerset)

  • Canon Yaqub Masih. For services to Community Cohesion and Interfaith Relations in West Yorkshire. (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire)

  • Jewel Miah. For voluntary services to British-Bengali Football. (Oldham, Lancashire)

  • Usman Munshi. JP for services to Community Cohesion and Engagement in Lancashire. (Lancashire)

  • Rashiklal Parmar. Lead Cloud Adviser – Europe and Distinguished Engineer, IBM and Board Member, Leeds City Region LEP. For services to Innovation and Business. (Leeds, West Yorkshire)

  • Mohammed Akhlak Rauf. Manager Meri Yaadain (My Memories) Dementia Team, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. For services to People with Dementia and their Carers. (Bradford, West Yorkshire)