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News ->AWA Awards 2001

Meera Syal triumphs again with an AWA award.
(17th May 2001)

Meera SyalAuthor and comedienne Meera Syal, whose credits include Goodness Gracious Me, Bhaji on the Beach and two best selling books 'Anita and Me' and 'Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee', triumphed again by winning the highly prestigious AWA 'Chairman's Award' presented to her by founder of the Awards, Pinky Lilani and the Chairman of the judging panel, Helena Kennedy QC. The award is the second that Meera has won in recent months.

The Asian Women of Achievement Awards, which were launched in 1999, aim to dispel many of the myths that surround Asian women and recognise the immense contribution they have made to the fabric of British society.

Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Booth presented the award for the 'Professions' category, to Dr Shahina Pardhan, the first Asian female professor of Optometry in the UK. Apart from her research and scholarship activities, Dr Pardhan plays an active role in the community and in 2000 headed a team of opticians to run a charity eye clinic in Northern Pakistan.

Her Highness Begum Inaara Aga Khan, presented the award for the 'Social and Humanitarian' category, to Poppy Tanna, who was disabled in a tragic car accident in her teens and has gone on to devote her life to working with other disabled Asians across the UK. The award pays tribute to Poppy's tireless work to improve the treatment of, and opportunities for disabled Asians within her area.

The 'Business - Corporate' award was presented by top news broadcaster, Martin Bashir to Yasmin Jetha, who is currently Group IT and Infrastructure Director at the Abbey National Building Society. Yasmin is responsible for a £300 million budget and 3300 staff across the UK and is also the only Asian woman on the board of a FTSE-100 company.

29 year-old Preethi Nair, author of the highly acclaimed 'Gypsy Masala' received the award for Young Achiever from Jemima Khan, whilst Tessa Jowell MP presented the award for the 'Business - Entrepreneurial' category, to Madi Sharma, MD of Original Eastern Foods, which is now one of the UK's largest manufacturers of Indian snack foods.

Diana Hayden, presented the award for 'Arts and Culture' to Venu Dhupa, the first Asian woman to take on the formidable role of Executive Director at the Nottingham Playhouse.

Parminder Vir, who has played a major role in the development of Carlton TV's ethnic diversity programme, received the Media Award from Sky News presenter, Lisa Aziz.

Click here to read the complete AWA shortlist


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