By: Pramod Thomas
The all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on British Gujaratis will focus on issues of importance to the community in UK, a statement said.
The public launch of the APPG will take place on 25 April 2023 inside the houses of parliament, coinciding with Gujarat Day, the statement added. The inaugural meeting of the new APPG was held earlier this month at the House of Commons.
Labour MP Gareth Thomas is the chair of the group and Tory MP Bob Blackman is the co-chair. Navendu Mishra, Shailesh Vara and Lord Dholakia are vice-chairs and Virendra Sharma is the secretary of the APPG.
According to the statement, the APPG will highlight the needs of the community and ensure that British Gujaratis’ views are properly understood and presented to the government, local authorities and statutory bodies, political parties and parliamentary representatives.
Thomas MP said that the APPG on British Gujaratis will provide a space for parliamentarians to learn about concerns and aspirations of the Gujarati community and to collaborate with them on initiatives that promote the community’s interests.
“The Gujarati community in the UK has made tremendous contributions to our society and economy. Gujaratis, of all faiths, have established successful businesses, created jobs, and made a positive impact in our local communities. Despite these achievements, they have faced significant challenges that have not received the attention they deserve,” he added.
“The APPG on British Gujaratis will provide the Gujarati community with an opportunity to engage with Politicians on matters such as health and well being, education,social and cultural needs, immigration, bilateral trade with the Gujarat state in India, and economic development in the UK”.
Sanjay Jagatia, secretariat-lead of the APPG said: “The APPG for British Gujaratis is a necessary and a long overdue step towards ensuring that the Gujarati community in the UK has a strong voice in parliament. I look forward to working in consultation with subject experts from the Gujarati community, together with community leaders, temples, and groups to raise issues with the APPG that matter to the community”.
The Gujarati population in the UK is over 800,000 and is mostly concentrated in greater London, east Midlands, west Midlands, Lancashire, and Yorkshire.[TheChamp-Sharing]