British Asian recipients of the British Empire Medals among guests at King Charles III’s Coronation
Dr Hareen De Silva (Image by royal.uk)
British Empire Medals are awarded for achievement or contribution of very ‘hands-on’ service to the community in a local geographic area.
This might take the form of sustained commitment in support of very local charitable or voluntary activity, or innovative work that has delivered real impact over a shorter period of time.
This year, British Asians are among some of the inspiring guests who have been invited to the King’s Coronation, which is set to be held on 6 May at Westminster Abbey, London and be a part of the 2000-strong congregation.
Dr Hareen De Silva
Dr Hareen De Silva received a British Empire Medal for services to general practice during COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, he worked in various settings including NHS Nightingale, the Test and Trace service, and GP clinics in London.
“I am looking forward to being present in a historic event for this country”, he says. “To be witness to the ceremony itself and being able to tell my family and future generations what I have witnessed.”
“I am feeling privileged to be a part of this momentous occasion, especially being a Sri Lankan immigrant, being raised in one of the poorest areas of London and then receiving a British Empire Medal from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”
Humayun Islam (Image by royal.uk)
Humayun Islam received a British Empire Medal for exceptional service to his community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He led on a food provision project which supported vulnerable families and adults in Bradford.
He also promotes inclusion and participation in football in Bradford.
Looking ahead to the Coronation, Humayun says, “It’s a truly historic international event and I am looking forward to be part of the historic event on the day.”
Bansari Ruparelia (Image by royal.uk)
Bansari Ruparelia’s British Empire Medal was awarded in recognition of the services she has carried out for the community.
Working on a volunteer basis, she provides support and care to people experiencing social isolation, an issue which she believes has become more widely acknowledged and recognised in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bansari says, “It is an honour to be invited to attend such a historical and prestigious event and to be able to witness The King’s Coronation in person.”