Wednesday January 23, 2019
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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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Thousand Of Rohingya Refugees Get Clean Drinking Water, Thanks To Green Technology

The UNHCR along with its partner agencies are hoping to install nine more solar-powered water networks across the refugee camp in the coming year.

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Rohingya, Drinking water, amnesty
Formin Akter applies makeup before heading to Chittagong to attend school at the Asian University for Women in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, Aug. 24, 2018. VOA

Thousands of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, now have safe drinking water thanks to a combination of green technology and sunlight.

Cox’s Bazar has plenty of refugees. More than 900,000. Most have arrived in Bangladesh since August 2017, when violence and persecution by the Myanmar military triggered a mass exodus of Rohingya refugees.

The refugees are living in squalid conditions across 36 different locations in Cox’s Bazar. Water is scarce in most locations. But sunshine is plentiful. Over the past six months, the U.N. refugee agency and partners have been putting into operation solar-powered safe water systems.

Rohingya, Violence. drinking water
Rohingya refugees carry a hume pipe in Balukhali refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh. VOA

The UNHCR reports the first five systems are now running at full capacity. It says the new safe water systems run entirely on electricity generated through solar panels. UNHCR spokesman, Andrej Mahecic, says this new network is providing safe water to more than 40,000 refugees.

Rohingya, Violence. drinking water
A new toilet recently installed in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. VOA

“Using the solar energy has allowed the humanitarian community to reduce the energy costs and emissions,” said Mahecic. “So, there is a clear environmental impact of this. Chlorination is also a life-saver in refugee sites of this scale. The recent tests revealed that most contamination of drinking water occurs during collection, transport and storage at the household level.”

Mahecic notes chlorinated water is safe for drinking and also eliminates the risk of the spread of disease.

Also Read: Lack of Proper Sanitation Affects 620 Million Children Around The World: Report

The UNHCR along with its partner agencies are hoping to install nine more solar-powered water networks across the refugee camp in the coming year. The project, which is funded by the agency, will cost $10 million. It will benefit an additional 55,000 Rohingya refugees.

The UNHCR says its ultimate aim is to provide 20 liters of safe water to every single refugee on a daily basis. It says this will be done by piping in the solar powered water to collective taps strategically installed throughout the Kutupalog-Balukhali refugee site. (VOA)