Left to right: Dame Jasvinder Kaur Sanghera, Dr Rabinder Kaur Buttar OBE, Laks Mann MBE, Balwinder Kaur Dhanoa MBE

In a momentous recognition of service, dedication, and excellence, several distinguished individuals of Sikh and Sikh heritage have been honoured in the King’s Birthday Honours List. This prestigious accolade celebrates their exceptional contributions across various fields, including community service, arts, education, and public service.

Amongst the recipients is Jasvinder Kaur Sanghera CBE, a human rights campaigner and founder of the charity Karma Nirvana, which supports victims of forced marriages and honour-base abuse. She has been extensive recognised for her courage and her dedication to justice. Her memoirs, “Shame”, gives a harrowing account of her escape from a forced marriage and the subsequent estrangement from her family, and it has been widely acclaimed, inspiring many around the world in the fight for women’s rights. She receives a Damehood for services to the Victims of Child, Forced Marriage and Honour-Based Abuse.

Upon hearing about her honour, Jasvinder said “As I receive my Damehood, the legacy of Karma Nirvana lives on, and I will persist in speaking out on issues that silence many individuals within our communities. Currently, I am working on various campaigns, and I will utilise this honour for the greater good, as there is still much work to be done… I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have collaborated with me over the years. I thank you for providing platforms and believing in the causes I have campaigned for. I reflect on the fact that many have perceived me as being without honour. I believe that my honour is their shame”

Another recipient is Lakhbir (Laks) Singh Mann. Laks is a Metropolitan Police Officer and the LGBTQ+ lead for South Asian Heritage Month. He is a Mayor of London appointed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor to City Hall, advocating through an intersectional lens of race, ethnicity, faith, LGBTQ+, and working class lived experiences. He is listed in the UK’s Top 30 BAME Leaders of 2020 by University of Oxford, House of Commons, and OBV, and he is a PrideLife Global Inclusion Advocate.

Laks receives an MBE. When asked about his honour, he said “I’ve been at the forefront of national EDI initiatives in UK policing as the first South Asian and Sikh Police Officer to speak openly and publicly about being gay. As a South Asian queer, I’m incredibly proud to be recognised with this accolade – especially given it’s Pride month and just ahead of South Asian Heritage Month, of which I’m a Trustee. I’m the Founder of Gaysians UK, and my vision was to celebrate the joyous intersection of Britain’s South Asian LGBTQ+ communities. This honour is dedicated to all those who strive for their intersectional identity to be lived to the fullest.”

Other recipients of Sikh heritage in the civilian list include:


  • Dr Rabinder Kaur Buttar, Senior Enterprise Fellow, Strathclyde University. For services to Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership in Business, and to Life Sciences


  • Balwinder Kaur Dhanoa. Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Progress Care Group, West Midlands. For services to Children with SEND and their Families, for Political and Voluntary Service


  • Dr Amrik Singh Mahal, Global Head of IT for Research, AstraZeneca. For services to Science and the Covid-19 Response

Jasvir Singh CBE, Co-Chair of City Sikhs, said “I am immensely proud of the Sikhs recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours List. Their dedication and contributions to society embody the true spirit of Sikhi, especially when it comes to fighting for the rights of the most vulnerable in society. The honours, which are in my view for British Excellence, not only celebrates their many achievements but also inspires future generations to strive for great accomplishment in all aspects of life.”

Notable allies of City Sikhs who have received honours from the King include:

  • Furqan Naeem, who receives an MBE for services to Interfaith Relations and to the community in Greater Manchester
  • Jaysukhlal Shantilal Mehta from the Institute of Jainology who receives a BEM for services to Faith, Integration and Humanitarianism

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NOTES FOR EDITORSFor further information or quotes, please email media@citysikhs.org.uk or info@citysikhs.org.uk