LONDON: Amritpal Singh Maan, a philanthropist who has provided over 200,000 meals to those in need since the COVID-19 pandemic began, has been awarded OBE in recognition for his services to charity and community. He is among those honoured by the Queen in the New Year Honours List 2022.
Known to most as Amrit Maan, he is an unassuming philanthropist within the Sikh and many other communities and has been supporting charities and organisations that engage mostly with the homeless, the armed forces, and heritage and the arts for several years.
Those knowing Amrit Maan most likely know him as the MD of Punjab Restaurant in Covent Garden, established in 1946, by his great-grandfather as the UK’s first-ever Punjabi restaurant.
Amrit Maan has sponsored almost 1 million pounds-worth of meals to the British public, several landmark community events, exhibitions and talks, and since the pandemic began in March 2020, has provided over 200,000 meals to those in need.
In addition, as a solicitor, he has provided pro bono assistance to hundreds of victims of crime and traumatic events and given free legal and business advice to small businesses and organisations to date, according to a release.
In late 2018, his personal love of the arts led him to set up a social enterprise to try to showcase British Punjabi artists and is a trustee and trusted advisor for several other organisations including Under One Sky, The Seven Dials Trust, Khalsa Academies Trust and The Sharan Project, the release said.
“I was stunned with disbelief when I received the email notification of the honour. I’d had a difficult day and it was instantly forgotten!” Amrit Maan said.
“I feel truly humbled to have received this honour for services to charity and community. Seva, selfless service, for the community has been the ethos of our family business since it was founded, and I accept this honour not just for me, but on behalf of the generations that came before me who made huge sacrifices, took chances, and shared their spirit with me,” he added.
Amrit Maan said the Officer of the Order of the British Empire recognition will strengthen his resolve to continue the philanthropic work.
“The recognition strengthens my resolve to continue my philanthropic work championing issues, such as women’s rights, fighting social injustice, highlighting British Sikh history and support and increase Sikh representation contribution to our fantastic Armed Forces and other key services such as the Police Force,” he said.
Lieutenant Colonel David Utting LLM RWxY commended Amrit Maan’s work.
“As a recognised leader in the Sikh community, Amrit Mann has worked hard to help many Sikhs define what their identity is within the diverse country where they live, and how to maintain their culture. As part of this, his support to the Armed Forces has been superb and I strongly doubt we would be making the progress we are within the Sikh community without his help. He has combined physical support to several events with sound advice. Having worked with him on a number of occasions, I cannot think of anyone who deserves this honour more,” he said.
Amandeep Madra OBE, Chair, UK Punjab Heritage Association also lauded Amrit Maan’s achievements and congratulated him for the honour.
“Amrit has been a long-standing and important figure for community, humanitarian and cultural activities amongst British Sikhs. He is a role model for other business owners and his voluntary and material support of Sikh charities over decades makes him, in my opinion, absolutely deserving of this national honour,” he said.