'The community makes it real': OBE and MBE recipients react to news

Chunilal Kakad and Navin Shah have both been put forward

Chunilal Kakad and Navin Shah have both been put forward - Credit: Canva

Navin Shah has said the Platinum Jubilee celebrations have made his CBE honour sink in, while 94-year-old community hero Chunilal Kakad is also celebrating an MBE. 

Mr Shah was until last year Member of the London Assembly for Brent and Harrow - the latter he served as council leader. 

The Labour stalwart, who is 75, said: “It is an amazing feeling. I went to a street party in Harrow for Jubilee celebrations and the superb events brought home the meaning of the award. It is all about community service. 

“It is a great honour to have the CBE but without community it is nothing.”

Mr Shah, who was awarded for political and public service, also ran for the bellwether parliamentary Harrow East seat in 2017.

Born in Sarkhej near Ahmedabad in India to a prominent freedom fighter, he qualified as an architect in Mumbai and moved to the UK in 1973 to work as an architect and development planner. He still lives in Harrow with Rekha, his wife - with whom he had son Neil and daughter Aneka. 

He added: “I accept this honour as a mark of success in reaching out to communities and stakeholders, working in the spirit of partnership to promote social justice, combat racism and discrimination in all forms, support the deprived and to protect and enhance the environment.”

Most Read

Chunilal Kakad has been volunteering over four decades and is continuing in his endeavours despite his advanced age. He came to the UK from Uganda after the expulsion of all Asians in 1972 and worked as an office manager in central London before opening a grocery shop.

Although he was working full time until his retirement in 2005, he always aspired to assist those less fortunate and joined different voluntary organisations working at different levels and positions. He joined Barnet Asians Old People's Association, BAOPA, when he retired and sold his business and has been the chairman since 2012.

Mr Kakad was also the main carer for a number of years for his sick wife who passed away in 2020.

Saryu Tanna, his daughter, said: “My father feels very humbled and privileged to receive such an honour, saddened that his wife who passed away two years ago is not here to see this.

“This is not going to deter him from continuing with his work to helping others in any field of the society.”