• Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Jaswant Singh Birdi becomes 1st turban-wearing Lord Mayor of Coventry

Birdi, who was born in the northern Indian state of Punjab and spent some time as a child in Calcutta (today’s Kolkata) in the eastern state of West Bengal, moved to Coventry 60 years ago.

Lord mayor of Coventry Jaswant Singh Birdi (Picture: Jaswant Singh Birdi Twitter account)

By: Shubham Ghosh

A British Sikh councillor based in Coventry has made history for the central England city by becoming its first turban-wearing Lord Mayor.

Jaswant Singh Birdi, who was born in the northern Indian state of Punjab and spent some time as a child in Calcutta (today’s Kolkata) in the eastern state of West Bengal, moved to Coventry 60 years ago and has served as a local councillor in the city for 16 years.

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He recently took formal charge of his new post of Lord Mayor with the official Chains of Office with his wife Krishna by his side as the Lord Mayoress.

“I am so proud to become Lord Mayor of my adopted home city,” said Birdi.

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“It has given so much to myself and my family over the years and I will be honoured to show why I love it so much and to promote the city and the wonderful people who live here,” he said.

“As a Sikh, it also means so much that I will be wearing the Chains of Office and the turban. It will help show what a happy multicultural city we have and maybe inspire others as well,” he added.

Apart from being a councillor, Birdi has been actively involved in setting up religious, social, and community projects in Coventry. Now in his role as Lord Mayor as an ambassador of the city, his chosen charities for support for the year include Muscular Dystrophy charity, the Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind, and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Charity.

He served as Deputy Lord Mayor for the past 12 months and was presented with the Chains of Office at the Annual General Meeting at Coventry Cathedral last week, a ceremony attended by members of his family.

He succeeds councillor Kevin Maton in the role of Lord Mayor and councillor Mal Mutton has been named as the Deputy Lord Mayor for the coming year.

(PTI)

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