Five persons of Indian-origin have been honoured by Indian Overseas Congress, UK, for outstanding work in their respective fields, in a ceremony organised to mark 60 years of Indian independence in London.
The IOC lauded the work of Madanjit Singh, managing director of Punjab National Bank (International) Limited, and entrepreneurs T S Garewal and Sukhdev, and hailed growing ties between the India and UK on Saturday night.
The other two receiving the recognition were writer and journalist Chamanlal Chaman, and J S Sandhu, a builder who is also known for his philanthropy.
Acting High Commissioner of India to UK, Asoke Mukerji, presented a shawl to them as a mark of respect.
Speaking on the occasion, Mukerji lauded IOC, headed by freedom fighter Balwant Kapoor, in bringing divergent groups of NRIs in the UK and Europe together.
Mukerji also complimented NRIs for their success in various walks of life and the way they had contributed to the improvement of India-UK relations.
The same was reflected when the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone helped in organising a three-month long 'India Now' Festival in London, which concluded recently, he said.
IOC President Balwant Kapoor said India has emerged as one of Britain's foremost partners in a relationship spanning 60 years.
Lauding India's economic progress, Kapoor said in the next 10 years India would reach great heights in the global scene.
Rajat Bagchi, minister, coordination, said while everyone spoke about India's growing economic power, the country has carved itself a niche by adhering to the principles of secularism and democracy.
In their respective messages, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid down their visions on the diamond jubilee celebration of Indian independence.
"The values of our freedom movement are the foundations on which modern India is being constructed. Let us use this occasion to rededicate ourselves to these eternal and sacred values," said Dr Singh.
Sonia said: "We are making India into a strong country, strong in its independence, strong in the defence of its territory and integrity, strong in its economy, strong in its commitment to the values of secularism."
"We look to an India free of the curse of poverty and unemployment. We look to an India in which every citizen is educated. We look to an India where the health of all it assured.
We look to an India which once again, as in the past, is the leader of human thought, the font of progress in science and technology, an exemplar of the arts and literature and philosophy. We look to an India committed to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. We look to an India, which is looked up to by the world," she added.