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The Corporation

Posted: 23/11/10

Principal's second visit of the year to Downing Street

West Nottinghamshire College principal and chief executive Asha Khemka OBE was welcomed at No 10 Downing Street by Prime Minister David Cameron last week in celebration of Diwali (16 November).

Mrs Khemka, from Burton, joined Parliamentarians Lord Karan Bilimoria of Chelsea, Baroness Verma of Leicester, Lord Popat of Harrow and several Indian-origin members of the Royal Air Force, sports stars and entrepreneurs.

The reception, which was the second Diwali reception that’s been held in Number 10, was also attended by Indian High Commissioner Nalin Surie, who lit a traditional Diwali Lamp with the Prime Minister. 

Mr Cameron spoke highly of the “enormous contribution” of British Indians to Britain and paid tribute to the social, cultural, economic and educational contribution made by British Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.

Mrs Khemka said: “It was a great privilege to be invited to the reception at Downing Street and to meet Mr Cameron with his family. My husband and I were also fortunate enough to meet with many British Indians who have made great contributions to their communities and this country.

“It was a very poignant moment when Mr Cameron lit the Diwali light with Mr Surie. This special ceremony represented prosperity, health and well-being and it was very humbling to be part of such a colourful and uplifting event.”

In March this year, Asha was one of only ten college principals personally invited to meet the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown at a special reception at Downing Street to celebrate outstanding colleges.