On receiving the award, Bhai Sahib said “It is a great personal honour to receive this prestigious award from The Prince of Wales. All accolades are attributed to God Almighty who facilitates human puppets to perform. I have accepted this award on behalf of the founders and members of Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) and the wider communities that I am privileged to serve here in the UK and internationally.”
Bhai Sahib is a selfless religious visionary leader propagating peace, serving society through spiritual inspiration, infrastructure creation, heritage conservation, interfaith engagement and promoting values-led education. As chairperson of GNNSJ, one of the UK’s largest Sikh faith registered charities, he is engaged in an astounding range of civic and spiritual initiatives. He is respected as a bridge-builder within communities in the local and global, secular and spiritual, intra and interfaith contexts. In 2013, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI bestowed a Papal Knighthood of ‘Saint Gregory the Great’ upon Bhai Sahib for his interfaith work in the UK and around the world. In 2014, he was awarded the highly coveted Guru Nanak Interfaith Peace prize by Hofstra University, New York.
He has received Honorary Doctorates from Birmingham City University in 2002, the University of Birmingham in 2006 and the University of Aston in 2014 for services to religious faith propagation, community service, education and research.
Bhai Sahib is Patron of the Nishkam School Trust that has successfully established Nishkam nurseries, primary and secondary schools with a multi-faith ethos in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and London. Nishkam High School and Sixth Form in Newtown was judged as ‘Outstanding” by OFSTED in its very first inspection in 2014.
His greatest legacies will be the transformation of many lives across faiths; the restoration and conservation of sacred historical Sikh shrines, including Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) in India; construction and management of outstanding quality Sikh places of worship – Gurudwaras – in England, India, Kenya and Zambia; and the ingenious conservation of listed buildings on Soho Road, in Birmingham, that now house the Nishkam Nursery, Nishkam Primary School and the Nishkam Healthcare Trust.
Under his leadership over the span of some twenty-five years, the Nishkam Group has become a major player in the social and economic development of Handsworth in the city of Birmingham, UK and a number of other cities internationally, investing over £60m. He believes in the policy of “service delayed is a service denied” which demands great speed to complete whatever he undertakes to do.
As a highly respected spiritual and community leader, he propagates the deeper Sikh sacred teachings that demand the practice of values in everyday life such as humility, compassion, selflessness and courage. As a role model, he generates in others a tremendous capacity for undertaking selfless voluntary service to improve the wellbeing of all communities.