Search Contact Site Map Download News Vicharan Home USa & Canada UK & Europe India Far East Africa Past News News

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London

Sunday 11 April 2010

Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker
  • Sarah Brown

    Sarah Brown is the wife of Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP, the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

    She was born in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire in 1963. She spent part of her early life in Tanzania in East Africa, leading to a life-long commitment to international development. When the family came back to England, Sarah attended Acland Burghley School and Camden School for Girls before studying at Bristol University, where she gained an honours degree in Psychology.

    After graduating from university, Sarah worked for many years in communications – helping organisations in Britain’s arts and voluntary sector explain their work and their passions. She met Gordon through her work and they are now the proud parents of two young boys – John and Fraser.

    In 2002, Sarah founded the charity PiggyBankKids which supports charitable projects to create opportunities for children and young people in the UK.

    She supports and is the patron of several other charities, including: Women’s Aid, to fight domestic violence against women; the CBI’s First Women Awards, to support women in business; education charity SHINE Trust; Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres; and health research and awareness charity Wellbeing of Women.

    In 2008, Sarah became the Patron of the White Ribbon Alliance for safe motherhood, an international coalition of some 3500 organisations and individuals, all working to save the lives of mothers across the world.
Guest Panellists
  • Kate Hall

    Kate Hall is an accomplished civil engineer and has recently become a Director within Arup, the internationally acclaimed design and engineering firm.

    Kate is someone who is passionate about engineering, and channels much of her abundant energy into giving back to the industry she so enjoys.

    Kate is a Board member of the Global Infrastructure Practice at Arup. She is a key member of the Infrastructure Team and has developed expertise in the management of major infrastructure projects. Currently, she is Project Manager for Arup’s role in designing infrastructure for the Olympic Park Site as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

    She has moved from pure design and calculations to leading technical projects and now has a wide portfolio of technical project management and site experience across civil engineering and multidisciplinary projects including Hong Kong Central Station, the M6 Toll, Waterford Bypass and the Gateway Upgrade Project, Brisbane.

    She has a wide range of overseas experience having worked in Hong Kong, New York, Ireland and Australia and has been involved in all aspects of design for major highway, bridge, rail and tunnel projects.
  • Mira Kaushik OBE

    Mira was educated at the University of Delhi, and moved to London in 1982. With a diverse background in film, theatre and television, her professional experience includes TV and audience research for the BBC, translation, broadcasting, working with the Asian Women's Voluntary Organisation and coordinating the Festival of India at the Commonwealth Institute.

    Since her appointment in 1987 as director of Akademi (formerly known as the Academy of Indian Dance), the organisation has excelled as a strategic arts development body of global importance through its work with audiences reaching millions.

    Mira had a mandate that went beyond classical dance and soon her repertoire included movements from folk to hip-hop. In August 2000 together with artistic director Keith Khan, she put together Coming of Age outside the South Bank along the River Thames. It was a carnival, with song, dance and circus spectacles. The Coming of Age was so outstanding that it won the BBC Asia Awards in 2001.

    The success of Coming of Age was followed by another event Escapades in 2003. A year later in 2004, Waterscapes, was inspired by the ‘Heaven on Earth: Art from Islamic Lands’ exhibition, and more recently, Sapnay, Awaz/Voice, Dreaming Now and Bells took place at Trafalgar Square.

    In 2007, Mira was awarded Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to dance.
  • Mei Sim Lai Peters OBE

    Mei Sim Lai Peters OBE, became the first female Partner at the leading firm of City Chartered Accountants, Pridie Brewster.

    She is the Founder and Principal Partner of Lai Peters & Co Chartered Accountants based in the City of London. Mei Sim Lai's business and professional experience spans the private, public and voluntary sectors.

    She has lived in the UK since 1970 and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. She has provided expertise and knowledge on numerous boards and panels for various advisory groups and forums.

    Mei Sim Lai has served on the Ministry of Defence's Diversity Panel and the Financial Services Tribunal.

    She has been a Member of the Department of Trade and Industry's Ethnic Minority Business Forum and Chair of its Access to Finance Group. She is a member of the Race Relations and Employment Advisory Group, a member of the Race Employment and Education Forum and a Member of the Government Office of London's Black and Minority Ethnic Faith and Refugee Advisory Group. I

    n 2004 Mei Sim Lai was awarded Order of the British Empire in recognition of her services to Equal Opportunities.

    In 2006 she was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London and in September 2007 she became the Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Brent.
  • Denise Milani

    Denise Milani originally trained as a teacher of English and her passion for education saw her take an advisory post at the London Borough of Ealing. She continued to share her talents by training others and in 1990 joined the Greater London Employers' Association as a junior trainer and adviser, ultimately taking post as a senior consultant. Denise first started working for the Metropolitan Police Service in 1999 as a strategic adviser to the Positive Action Team. A team she later went on to lead.

    Denise Milani is now Director of Diversity & Citizen Focus at the Metropolitan Police Service. Her work revealed that ethnic minorities having once joined the service, were leaving it, thus suggesting problems within. Something needed to be done. This resulted in the creation of DOIT – the Development and Organisation Improvement Team – which has now become part of the Diversity Directorate. The evolution of her position since 1999 reveals the ever-widening remit of her work.

    Recent projects include the Hindu Consultation Forum of which Denise is joint chair. The Metropolitan Police interacted with over 100 leaders from the community to discuss the crime and safety concerns of Hindus in the UK; and assured them of their cooperation.
  • Prof. Neena Modi

    Neena Modi is Professor of Neonatal Medicine at Imperial College London. She is a graduate of Edinburgh University Medical School and trained in neonatal medicine at the University of Edinburgh, University College Hospital London and the University of Liverpool.

    She is a senior member of the consultant team at the tertiary neonatal referral service at Imperial College London, and leads a multidisciplinary academic unit of more than 20 research students and staff.

    Neena has helped launch a new charity called Birthlink. The charity supports teaching and training in the care of sick newborn babies in poor regions of the world.

    She has recently been appointed the new head of the British Medical Journal’s ethics committee.
Seminar Leads
  • Nina Amin

    Nina Amin was recently appointed KPMG’s head of tax for London and eastern counties. She’s a member of KPMG’s UK Advisory Council, and acts as an ambassador for the firm in developing relationships with London’s Asian business community.

    Nina has over 15 years of corporate tax experience in providing commercial tax advice across a broad range of areas with particular expertise in dealing with any contentious issues with the tax authorities. She has also specialised in the employment tax field and advises an extensive portfolio of clients from privately owned organisations to listed companies.

    In 2009, Nina was named Professional of the Year at Asian Voice’s Political and Public Life Awards, and in 2007 was shortlisted for an Asian Women of Achievement Award for her work with the Asian business community.

    Nina was also awarded the Leadership in Diversity Award in the prestigious Asian Who’s Who awards.

    Yet, having achieved all of this, Nina remains a very down-to-earth person who has a strong sense of the importance of a thriving Asian business community and an even stronger sense of the importance of family.
  • Nishma Gosrani

    Nishma Gosrani is a Management Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, London. She won the 'Professional of the Year Award' at the Asian Achievers Awards 2008 and was described as 'focused and strikingly ambitious' by the judging panel. She received a 'Special Commendation' at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2008 where judge Sarah Deaves, CEO Coutts, earmarked the Young Achiever as a 'high-flyer to watch in coming times'.

    In 2008, Nishma was selected as an Ambassador on the Merrill Lynch Women of Achievement Ambassadors Programme which enables 'emerging leaders' to inspire today's youth. In 2007, Nishma was appointed the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2007, Nishma was invited by the British High Commission and the UK-India Business Council to attend a trade delegation to India. In 2006, Nishma fronted the Government's Voter Apathy Campaign.

    Nishma is on the steering committee of PwC's Ethnic Forum and India Interest and Emerging Markets Group. She is a member of TiE UK and Lloyds TSB Inspirational women's network. Nishma is the author of “Creme de la Crème” in the publication Asian Voice.

    Nishma has been featured in the Movers and Shakers' Survey as one of Britain's most influential young women and quoted by Management Today as a rising star under 35.
  • Jaymini Patel

    Jaymini Patel is Director of Publications for the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, an international organisation working at all levels of society for positive change. It carries out a wide range of educational programmes for the development of human and spiritual values, assisted by the wide variety of publications developed by Jaymini.
Cooking Demonstrator
  • Azmina Govindji

    Azmina Govindji is a qualified nutrition professional, having graduated with an honours degree in Nutrition and obtained her postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics, both from King’s College, University of London.

    She is fully registered with the British Dietetic Association and the Health Professions Council.

    Her current national projects include writing for the Food Standards Agency eatwell website, coordinating a salt and saturated fat project with the British Heart Foundation and helping to implement the Change for Life Campaign for the Department of Health. Recent TV appearances include BBC 1’s The One Show, Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff, and BBC 1’s Watchdog.

    She previously worked as a therapeutic dietitian in a number of London-based hospitals where she obtained wide-ranging experience in many aspects of nutrition and health.

    Azmina took on the significant role as Chief Dietitian to Diabetes UK for 8 years, between 1987 and 1995, where she acted as National Consultant on diet and diabetes for health professionals, food manufacturers, the media and the general public.

    Azmina is author of over a dozen books and various articles.
Disclaimer: BAPS is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.