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Queen’s honour bestowed upon former refugee in UK

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London: Rami Ranger, a philanthropist businessman of Indian-origin who began his life as a refugee in Delhi during partition is now one of the richest men in Britain and was awarded with the third highest title in the British honours namely, the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year’s honours list.

Born in July 1947 in Gujranwala (now in Pakistan), two months after the death of his father Shaheed Nanak Singh of Multan, he along with his seven brothers and a sister was taken by their mother to India on a train’s coal tender.

Ranger studied at Modern School and later Mohindra College, Patiala, and obtained a degree in arts from the Government College, Chandigarh but discontinued studies after reaching the United Kingdom, where he had gone to study Bar at Law in May 1971.

Ranger even worked in a London branch of KFC for 35 pence an hour. After seven years, he was made redundant.  After a brief stint working in retail, he set up his own freight forwarding company in 1987 with just two pounds, a typewriter, a car and a self-storage unit.

Ranger’s first business was to ship cargo by sea, air and land but now is the owner and head of two huge companies – Sun Mark Ltd. and Sea Air and Land Forwarding Ltd. – doing enormous business.

Both his companies received the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement 1999 and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Ranger is also chairman of the British Sikh Association and a patron of the Princess Trust. He is also a patron of the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust, London and had helped install a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Parliament Square, London.

The philanthropist donated 250,000 pounds to the London Southbank University to help support and inspire students and graduates to engage in business.(IANS)

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Government ends Haj subsidy as part of a new policy

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government's agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

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A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. Wikimedia Commons
A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. Wikimedia Commons
  • The government had drafted the policy after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022
  • The government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls
  • This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage

The central government on Tuesday said it has decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage.

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government’s agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

“This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Naqvi told reporters here.

He said the government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls.

Also Read: Muslim women can now travel to Haj without Mahram

The government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022.

This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased India’s quota by 5,000.

A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. IANS

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