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Dr I P Patel: Member of the British Empire

 

 

“I feel honoured and thrilled,” Dr I.P.Patel told South Asian Outlook. “This is not just an award for me but for all people working in the voluntary sector,” he said. “This award is a way of recognising their work.”

 

By Subroto Mukherjee


I. P. Patel

 

For Dr I.P.Patel given the honour of MBE (Member of the British Empire) for the New Year, the award is a recognition also of the efforts of the Gujarati community in Britain.

Dr Patel heads the National Council of Gujarati Organisations (NCGO), an umbrella body of several Gujarati organisations in Britain. The group has been working towards bringing Gujarati groups together in Britain and also in networking between Gujaratis in Britain and the Gujarat government.

“I feel honoured and thrilled,” Dr I.P.Patel told South Asian Outlook. “This is not just an award for me but for all people working in the voluntary sector,” he said. “This award is a way of recognising their work.”

Dr I.P.Patel was given the award in recognition of his work for the Indian community in north-west London. That is where a large section of the Indian community lives, and where it is most active.

Dr Patel apart from heading the NCGO is Governor of Copland Community School in Wembley, a trustee of the Swaminarayan Hindu Temple in Neasden and also Director of Harlesden City College.

Dr Patel sees his role as more than working only for the Gujaratis. “We have been working not just to help Gujaratis but Indians at large,” he says.


“Through the efforts of the NCGO we collected a lot of money to help those hit by the Bhuj earthquake,” he said. “But we also made a similar effort and collected money for people hit by the Orissa cyclone.”

Dr Patel, a doctor by profession who specialises in ear, nose and throat problems is a specialist outside the profession in raising resources towards helping the community. “This is recognition for the work and the culture of Hindus and Gujaratis in this country,” he said.

Dr Patel said that “this is the first time that a president of the NCGO has been given this kind of recognition.”

Dr Patel has a record of raising resources to help people with zero cost administration. The money raised for Bhuj victims was passed on to the Swaminarayan Hindu Mission who carried out voluntary work in Gujarat also at zero cost administration. “We have total involvement in the voluntary sector,” Dr Patel said. “Now we know that people recognise also that our
work is not in vain.”