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News ->Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2002 - Finalists


Muslim Comedienne Shazia Mirza has been shortlisted for the AWA Arts & Culture Award 2002.The Asian Women of Achievement Awards were set up to recognise the immense accomplishments of unsung heroines within the Asian community as well in the commercial, professional, artistic and humanitarian sectors.

Now in their third year, the Awards acknowledge individual effort; provide role models for, and give inspiration to, Asian women from all walks of life; and raise awareness outside the Asian community of the outstanding qualities of Asian women in this country.

There are 37 finalists across seven different Award categories:

Arts & Culture Award
Women who are flourishing in the world of performing arts, management of the arts and creative writing.

  • Gurpreet Bhati: Writer for television, theatre and radio.
  • Patricia Rozario OBE: International soprano singer.
  • Qaisra Shahraz: Prize winning author and journalist.
  • Shahin Badar: Internationally acclaimed dance chart singer.
  • Shazia Mirza: First Muslim woman to become a stand up comedienne.

Business Woman of the Year
Asian women thriving in a corporate Britain who have made, and are making, a significant contribution to the success of their organisation. Open to employees of both public quoted and privately owned companies.

  • Ayesha Shah: Treasurer and Acting Head of Investments at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
  • Punita Garjee: Partner at Accenture
  • Meeta P Bhagwanji: Director - Bhagwanji C Jewellers Ltd.

Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Women who have set up their own businesses and are making a success of running it.

  • Geeta Samtani: Founder Geeta's Foods.
  • Geetie Singh: Joint MD & Co-founder of singhboulton ltd - Organic Gastro Pubs.
  • Imataz Khaliq: Founder of Imtaz Khaliq Couture Tailor.
  • Perween Warsi: Founder and MD of S&A Foods.

Media Personality of The Year
Women who have made a significant contribution to the success of the media company they work for, from front-line journalism to production to technical.

  • Anita Anand: Head of News and Current Affairs for Europe at Zee TV.
  • Arati Halai: Presenter for Carlton Television - Central News West.
  • Navdip Dhariwal: Current Affairs reporter - BBC TV.
  • Ruby Kuraishe & Misbah Alvi: Producers of Entertainment Today on GMTV.
  • Zubeida Malik: Reporter for the Today programme on Radio 4.
  • Usha Parmar: Chief Executive of Sunrise Radio (Yorkshire).

Professional of The Year Award
Women who have trained and qualified in their chosen professional practice and have become a leading practitioner, setting an example to other women and having their contribution acknowledged by their peers.

  • Adeeba Malik: Deputy Chief Executive of national charity Quest for Economic Development.
  • Dr Spinder Dhaliwal: Founder and Director of the Centre for Asian Entrepreneurial Research at Luton Business School, University of Luton.
  • Professor Bhupinder Sandhu: Consultant Paediatrician and Gastroenterologist.
  • Sunita Shrotia: Consultant surgeon and pioneer of scarless breast surgery.
  • Dr Nandita Maria deSouza: Reader in imaging at Hammersmith Hospital.

Social & Humanitarian Award|
Women involved in social and humanitarian work, whether they are individuals working for non-profit making organisations or in the corporate world contributing to the voluntary sector.

  • Adele Tasker: Community liaison and equal rights trade union member.
  • Indu Vaghmaria: Volunteer and co-founder of four community groups.
  • Usha Sood: Barrister and head of human rights chambers.
  • Vijey Rattan: Housing officer turned community leader.
  • Dr Pramilla Senanayake: Assistant Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
  • Hosne Ara Begum: A multi skilled mother-tongue teacher.

Young Achiever of the Year
Women under 30 in March 2002, who have done something incredible, inspirational or quite simply the best at what they do.

  • Aileen Gonsalves: Award winning professional script writer
  • Dr Bela Arora: Warwick University Research Fellow, working with UN on human rights and zones of conflict.
  • Dr Jyoti Kanwar: Research Consultant at executive search organisation Odgers Ray & Bernston.
  • Ruchika Mandhyan: Performer and filmmaker.
  • Shysta Habib: Legal Advisor at The Accident Group.
  • Tazeen Dhunna: Bloomberg TV Money Desk technology and telecom reporter.

The Judges
The judging of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards took place on 25th March 2002. The judging panel, headed up by Chairman Baroness Helena Kennedy QC included Lisa Aziz, news presenter, Sky One News; Dr Ian Bogle, chairman, British Medical Association; Sir Peter Davis, chairman, Sainsbury's; Vernon Ellis, international chairman, Accenture; Ian Harley, chief executive, Abbey National plc; Lord Robin Inchyra, past director general, British Bankers' Association; Clive Jones, chief executive officer, Carlton TV; Sir Nicholas Montagu, chairman, The Inland Revenue; Richard Morrison, writer, The Times; Tom Shebbeare, chief executive, The Prince's Trust; Rumi Verjee, chairman, Thomas Goode & Co; Parminder Vir, producer and adviser for cultural diversity, Carlton TV.

The Asian Women of Achievement Awards
Founder of the AWA Awards, Pinky LilaniFounded in 1999, the Awards were the brainchild of Pinky Lilani, a successful businesswoman and author. "At the heart of these Awards are some extraordinary women, who have set themselves apart with their strong sense of purpose and commitment, often in the face of insurmountable obstacles", says Pinky, Chairman of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards.

The Awards receive continued support from leaders of all the political parties as well as Cherie Booth QC, who is Patron. Commenting on the Awards and past winners, Ms Booth says "these women deserve to be recognised and rewarded for the invaluable contributions they are making to the fabric of British society. Asian women are injecting energy into communities, bringing new qualities to the world of business, introducing fresh thinking to the arts".

The AWA Awards Ceremony
The Awards ceremony has become established as the benchmark of excellence for Asian women in the UK. Over the past years this star-studded evening has attracted guests such as Jemima Khan, Her Highness Begum Inaara Aga Khan, Diana Hayden, Shakira Caine, Clive Anderson, Dr Raj Persaud and Seeta Indrani. This year's presentation ceremony will take place on Thursday 16 May at the London Hilton on Park Lane and will be hosted by comedienne and actress Nina Wadia, best known for her performances in hit comedy show Goodness Gracious Me.

Click here to visit the AWA website and book tickets for the Awards Ceremony.

Click here to read about AWA Winners 2001.


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