London, May 22 (PTI) A local British Sikh councilor based in Coventry has made history by becoming the first turbaned Lord Mayor of a central English city.
Jaswant Singh Birdi, who was born in Punjab and spent some time as a child in Calcutta, West Bengal, moved to Coventry 60 years ago and served as a local councilor in the city for 16 years.
He recently formally assumed the title of Lord Mayor with his wife Krishna as Lord Mayor along with the official chains of office.
“I am very proud to be Lord Mayor of my adopted home city,” Birdi said.
“It has given so much to me and my family over the years and I will be proud to show why I love it so much and promote the city and the wonderful people who live here,” he said.
“As a Sikh, I wear chain of office and turban. It will help show the happy multicultural city we have and inspire others too,” he added.
Apart from being a councillor, Birdie has been actively involved in setting up religious, social and community projects in Coventry.
Now in his role as Lord Mayor as an ambassador for the city, his chosen charities for support this year include the Muscular Dystrophy Charity, Coventry Resource Center for the Blind and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Charity.
Having served as Deputy Lord Mayor for the past 12 months, he was presented with the chains of office at the Annual General Meeting in Coventry Cathedral last week, in a ceremony attended by members of his family. He succeeds Councilor Kevin Matton as Lord Mayor and Councilor Mal Matton as Deputy Mayor for the coming year. PTI AK NSA NSA