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
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
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
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
here to read the complete AWA shortlist