A leading Scottish Asian businesswoman has been appointed as Honorary Consul General for Nepal. Glasgow based, Mrs Sunita Poddar, Managing Director of Lambhill Court Ltd and a Trustee of The Patanjali Yog Peeth (UK) Trust, became the first Scottish Asian woman to be made an honorary consul at a ceremony in the Embassy of Nepal in London recently. She said: ‘This is a great honour. God has given me this opportunity and I will do my best. I am looking forward to helping and providing more opportunities for the Nepalese community living and serving in Scotland. As the first Honorary Consul General to be appointed in Scotland, I plan to further promote a stronger relationship between Nepal and Scotland by strengthening cooperation in business, culture, technology and tourism. By focusing on these key areas, we can empower the next generation of Nepalese living in Scotland and provide them with more sustainable opportunities.” She is also hopeful of enabling Nepalese women in Scotland to access language learning facilities.
Currently, there are approximately 4500 Nepalese people in Scotland.
Born in India, Mrs Poddar was raised from an early age by her grandmother in Nepal. On coming to the UK in 1977 as a young bride, she ran several business. Then, in 1986, she and her husband Sam Poddar established a care home. Their company – Lambhill Court Ltd now has five highly rated care homes in the Glasgow area.
World wide travelling to carry out various philanthropic works has allowed her to see clearly the importance of countries uniting through diplomatic partnerships.
Said Mrs Poddar: “I have a strong business background. We have an opportunity to change the way Scotland and Nepal interact. In these times of uncertainty when it has been difficult to plan strategically, we have to ensure that our collective voice is heard as it will shape the future of our Nepalese presence in Scotland.”
“This appointment will certainly help to enhance the bilateral relations, trade, tourism and culture between Scotland and Nepal,” said His Excellency Dr Suresh C Chalise, Ambassador of Nepal to United Kingdom at the formal handing over of a letter of credence in April 2013 at the Embassy in London.
In 2009 Mrs Poddar donated The Little Cumbrae Island to The Patanjali Yog Peeth (UK) Trust in Scotland. This UK registered charity promotes health and well -being through yog(a) exercise. Among other plans, Mrs Poddar aims to improve the health of the people of Scotland by teaching everyone yog(a), free.
Pensioner Bill Rossine doesn’t seem to do relaxing, even at the age of 85. Instead, Bill, from Ruchill, likes challenges and, invariably, when the mood takes him, he is either running or hanging off some tall building as part of a charity stunt.
Bill’s most recent adventure involved abseiling down the Finnieston Crane to raise funds for Sense Scotland, who offer care and support for deafblind and disabled.
Serial fundraiser Bill, who is a friend to many organisations and charities and made £250 after bouncing 200 feet down the crane, said: ‘This is my second abseil. However, this time, there was no wall to walk down, so once you went over the side that was you freefalling.
‘The team working with us were absolutely first class and gave us little tips and reassurance all the way down.’
Beware! The Government is encouraging you to buy – via the internet or back street shops – polluted herbal preparations ‘spiked’ with banned substances such as toxic heavy metals which have caused liver failure and long-term health problems.
As the European Union tightens the rules on the supply of herbal products, their sale, except for a small number of products for ‘mild illnesses’, will be banned from 2011.
Since 2000, the Government have been consulting on how to bring the 2,500 UK qualified herbalists and traditional medical practitioners (Chinese, Tibetan and Ayurveda) under statutory regulation.
The first consultation, which was published in 2005, had an overwhelming response in favour of statutory regulation.
This most recent consultation process, which closes to public comment on November 16, has been slammed for being far too complicated, with herbalists and their patients unable to respond to the obscure consultation questionnaire. This could affect the chances of its success. If the Government fail to proceed with statutory regulation, practitioners here will lose the right to supply their traditional preparations and medicines.
Then the six million Britons who use herbal practitioners may be forced to scan the internet, which abounds with substandard and potentially dangerous products.
‘We fear if the Government refuses statutory regulation, we will see a black market in herbal products, with unlicensed, potentially dangerous remedies’. Said Dr Michael Dixon, of the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health
The UK Department of Health said currently there was currently no timeline for further action on a regulatory scheme.
Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon’s department said they are working towards a solution that ensures public protection, and ‘Any regulatory proposals must meet the specific needs of the people of Scotland’.
A Cancer Research shop on the Southside of Glasgow has broken the £1 million fundraising barrier, thanks to its team of dedicated volunteers.
The shop, at 420/424 Victoria Road, has always been popular with local people wanting to pick up a bargain. But when the Cancer Research UK banner flew over the door seven years ago, things really began to move.
‘We’re more like a mini department store than a shop,’ said Manager Carol Grant, who has been there five years. ‘Everything sells here and we have an excellent team.’
The store’s remarkable performance was arrived at by tallying up every week’s takings over the past seven years.
‘We’ve increased takings by £100,000 a year over five years. We’ve improved footfall with good window displays. Even people going past on the bus have called and asked us to put things aside,’ Carol added.
Critically, the shop has seen its volunteer numbers rise from three to 37.
‘This would not have been possible without the support of the local community,’ said Carol. ‘The stars of the show are the team of volunteers who have worked so hard to make the shop a success.’
While Cancer Research UK’s 4500-strong team of scientists, doctors and nurses continue their work, Carol and her team will be allowing themselves a celebration of their milestone at a local restaurant. Then, it’s back to business. The charity’s volunteers recently staged a weekend bucket collection at a Morrison’s store in Cambuslang, bringing in £1,650 in 12 hours.
Two young Glasgow entrepreneurs who have created an innovative portable water sanitation device for Third World markets have been given a chance to win £10,000 for their business in a high-profile competition.
James Brown and Amanda Jones, who started Red Button Design, are hoping to scoop the Graduate HSBC Start-Up Stars Award at a gala dinner in November.
Each year 2.2 million people worldwide die from diseases caused by lack of safe water and basic sanitation. Red Button – a name derived from the idea of an ‘emergency stop button’ – aim to reduce this toll, dramatically.
James and Amanda’s brainchild is a 50-litre canister which can be wheeled to a water source and back again. The rotation of the wheels operates a filtration system which makes the water suitable for drinking.
The company have had 40,000 requests for the device so far, while the International Federation for the Red Cross and the World Health Organisation are committed to field-testing the device.
Should Red Button win the award, there will be some heavyweight business backing as they drive their invention to market.
Internet search engine Google will be offering free advertising plus mentoring at their UK headquarters.
Red Button is one of three companies to secure a place in the Graduate National Finals. They will now go to London to convince the national judging panel that they should be named the Graduate Start-Up Star 2009.
A cheque for £25,000 will be presented at the event to the business named HSBC Start-Up Star 2009 and £10,000 to the best new business trading internationally and the best new green business with the environment at the top of its agenda.
Making smoothies was a fruitful experience at St Mirren’s Primary School in Pollok.
Classes 3 and 4 cheered on the two teams to compete in a ‘Ready, Steady, cook’ styled finale for a smoothies recipe competition.
In front of judges Claire Doyle of the school Milk Project and Lynne Innes of Glasgow City Council’s education quality advisory, the youngsters prepared their drinks. Dinner ladies Helen Watt and Eileen McCann were the helpers in charge of the knives and blenders.
Super Apples from Primary 3 were well prepared with their apple, kiwi and five strawberries. They mixed them with a small glass of semi-skimmed milk, pineappple juice and ice cubes to create their Super Fruity Smoothie. The Smoothie gang from Primary 4 didn’t waste time in peeling one large banana, two large strawberries, one half pineapple, a small glass of semi-skimmed milk, a cup of orange juice, five ice cubes and a peach flavoured low-fat yogurt.
It was a close-run thing, agreed the judges. But one team had to win the special prize to visit the Smoothie Bar in nearby Silverburn and have their recipe made by the professionals there.
Said Judge Lynne: ‘I’d happily have paid for these lovely smoothies.’ Added Judge Claire: ‘I loved them both because they used milk in their recipes and the winner had yogurt.’
So Dylan Paterson, Cormac Smith and Leah McCreadie won with their Banana Xtravagansa. ‘I think it was because we had an extra special recipe,’ declared Dylan who wants to be a celebrity chef with his own tv show.
Runners up who got medals and other prizes were happy because they found it fun ‘working together.’ They were Kayleigh Laing, Drew Garry and Tavio Melucci.
Said Head Teacher Heidi Fawcett: ‘there has been a delightful outpouring of enthusiasm for this competition which is part of our health promotion.’ The school has Health Promotion Status because of the way it has embedded things like healthy eating and healthy activities in the curriculum.
Gemma Grant who is eight has just won another competition for her poster design which will be used as the Health icon for the school for this academic year. A keen swimmer, Gemma explained her poster showed how to get more active by swimming and how to get fitter by eathing healthy foods. ‘It is great to win,’ she said shyly.
Govanhill Community Baths Trust has been granted planning permission to develop the Calder Street baths as a Wellbeing and Health Centre.
In announcing the breakthrough last night, Andrew Johnson, Trust Director said: ‘Another major hurdle was overcome today when Glasgow City Council’s Planning Committee formally granted planning permission for the Centre. The significance of this cannot be overstated. Apart from the symbolic status it gives the project, it means that applications to major funders can now be lodged with gusto and confidence – particularly to potentially major funders such as the Big Lottery.’
He went on: ‘This would not have happened without the ongoing support of many local people, particularly the Friends of Govanhill Baths. Certainly it would not have happened without the constant support and effort of NORD architecture who prepared and submitted the Planning Application.’
The £12.5 million project is anticipated to open in March 2011 – ten years after the building was closed amid great controversy locally.