Her Majesty The Queen has approved the award of an MBE to Annabel Mehta, a British national, in recognition of her work and service to underprivileged communities in Mumbai and the NGO Apnalaya. The announcement was made on 16 June by Buckingham Palace.
Annabel has been recognised and honoured for over 40 years of service to under-privileged communities in India. Much of this has been through her leading role within the Apnalaya, of which she has been President since 2013. In the last 25 years, Apnalaya has particularly focused on the Shivaji Nagar slum community, adjoining the Deonar dumping ground, with a population of around 6,00,000, many of whom live in challenging conditions. Apnalaya works to promote issues of health care, gender, education and livelihoods using an integrated community development approach.
Annabel’s passion for social work and improving the lives of people in the slum communities is evident as she has been working on an entirely voluntary basis at this grassroots organisation. She represents a shining example of the Living Bridge between India and the UK.
Annabel is on the board of ‘GiveIndia’- an online donation platform. She is Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar’s mother-in-law.
Annabel will be presented with her MBE at Buckingham Palace in London later this year.
British Deputy High Commissioner Mumbai, Kumar Iyer said:
Through her philanthropic work, Annabel represents a remarkable example of the amazing voluntary work that British Nationals do overseas. Her commitment to helping the vulnerable sections of Mumbai’s Shivaji Nagar slum community have been duly acknowledged. Annabel is a beacon of selfless service and a campaigner who strives to improve the lives of the less fortunate. I am delighted that Her Majesty has graciously approved this award. Annabel deserves it.
Founder-Promoter/Director of Zee TV, Ashok Kurien said:
Annabel is an angel, and has given most of her adult life to build this institution through the tremendous work she has done, making a positive difference to the lives of people in Mumbai’s underprivileged areas. She is a champion for equal access to welfare for these communities and has helped provide basic amenities such as clean drinking water, pre and post natal health care for women and children, as well as school education. These have been issues close to her heart and she generates boundless energy that keeps her going, and inspires all those around her.
Annabel Mehta was born in Birmingham in 1940 and trained in Social Administration at the London School of Economics where she met her Indian husband, Anand Mehta. Annabel moved to India in 1966.
You can read more about the work of Apnalaya on their website.
The Order of the British Empire (which has several ranks) was created in 1917 by King George V to recognize individuals who have contributed valued service to their communities. MBE is a rank of the order and stands for Member of the Order of the British Empire.
For media queries, please contact:
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British Deputy High Commission Mumbai
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