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Patel recognised with National Honour

MAYOOR Patel (PR 1973-77) whose passion for education has directly helped more than 2,000 children has been recognised with a national honour by the British Citizen Award (BCA) Committee for his services to international achievement. Mayoor was one of 33 medallists who were honoured at a prestigious ceremony on January 28th, at the Palace of Westminster.

Now entering their second year, the British Citizen Awards were launched in January 2015 to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society and recognise ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

Mayoor has been fundraising for charity since the age of 13 and has been instrumental in raising more than £1.5 million for three charities – the OKAS Fund, which helps academically-gifted but financially disadvantaged students in Uganda; Polio Children, which works on four continents to support those affected by polio; and Little Drops Shravana, which is the only project of its kind providing an integrated free service for hearing impaired children in India. He is also involved in numerous other charities and projects, including the Milapfest Trust – the UK’s leading Indian arts development trust.

Mayoor, who was originally from Uganda, leads from the front, believing that an education is the best gift he can give. He began his charitable work after being inspired by his father, who had served the Ugandan government 30 years before the family was expelled in the 1970s. His father told him, ‘Son, I will give you something nobody can take away from you and one day you must give it to someone who needs it, but not charge for it. That something I will put between your ears.’

Armed with this philosophy, Mayoor has impacted positively on more than 2,000 children. He is a passionate advocate of ‘education at any cost’ and believes that self-sufficiency is the key for communities and projects. With this aim in mind, he relentlessly pursues fundraising and awareness programmes, undertaking presentations across his many networks, as well as at Lions clubs, schools, universities and temples.

Much of his work focusses upon children and adults with disabilities or from poor backgrounds in countries and communities where they would have traditionally not been accepted and would have been marginalised.

Speaking about his receiving the award, Mayoor said: “It was a complete shock when I found out that I would be receiving a British Citizen Award, I was speechless. I don’t do this work to be rewarded, I do this for the children and it is a big part of my life. However, it is nice to have been recognised, and I feel very proud.”