Manchester India Partnership shines with Diwali event

15th November 2021, 7:27 am

Last night Manchester lit up as the Manchester India Partnership (MIP) Diwali Celebration Dinner took place at Lancashire Cricket Club.

The event, held in conjunction with the professional services firm Deloitte, was heralded a Welcome Back to everyone in the UK/Greater Manchester-India corridor whilst observing Diwali, the festival of lights.

The dinner attended by over 70 senior business, educational and city leaders was opened by Simon Arora, Chair, MIP and CEO of B&M Retail who introduced the guest speaker Navendu Mishra, MP for Stockport.

In his keynote address, Member of Parliament for Stockport, Mr Mishra underscored the need to restart direct airline connectivity between India and Manchester region to boost business, educational and cultural links and stressed the need to have an Indian consular presence in the region.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the In Place of War (IPOW) fellowship award to celebrated musician Nitin Sawhney by Vikas Shah, MBE.  The award was made for the significant impact made by Nitin in the arts and peacebuilding.  In receiving the award, Nitin commented on the importance of music in preserving cultural heritage and bringing communities together and he hoped his legacy would be the celebration of diversity in the arts as a means of breaking down barriers.

Jo Ahmed, Global Employer Services partner at Deloitte said: “As Deputy Chair of the Manchester India Partnership, it is fantastic to be able to hold this year’s Diwali event in person and celebrate the many connections that exist between Greater Manchester and India.   With the recent signing of the MOU between Greater Manchester and the state of Maharashtra, we are making real progress in our ambitions to deepen city to city relationships which will enhance our existing collaborations on key topics that matter to both regions.”

Shehla Hasan, Executive Director of the Manchester India Partnership added: “It was lovely to welcome our guests to this event where we celebrated not only Diwali, but the strong and rich cultural relationship between India and Greater Manchester. Early this month, we were able to successfully facilitate a contract signing between the Government of India and HOST Salford, to support five Indian IT companies in the city region.  This is further testimony that Greater Manchester and India continue to progress on successful partnerships between private businesses, academia and the public sector to build trade, investment, cultural, and educational ties.”

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