Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar and British Indian chef Asma Khan awarded India-UK Achievers Honors


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Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar and British Indian chef Asma Khan were among the winners of the annual India-UK Achievers Honors in London. The award recognizes the achievements of Indian students and alumni who have pursued an international program of study.

The initiative, by the National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK, in partnership with the British Council in India and the UK government’s Department for Business and Trade, was launched last year to celebrate bilateral educational ties.

At a ceremony earlier this week, the “Class of 2024” made up of high achievers across the arts, sports, entrepreneurship and medicine were honoured following a day-long conference entitled ‘The Future of Education’.

“I am extremely proud of the UK-India partnership and the Achievers Honors highlights the strong outcomes that can arise through partnership,”  said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Akhtar, the acclaimed writer-filmmaker behind box-office hits such as ‘Luck By Chance’ and ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ and most recently ‘The Archies’, was conferred the Living Legend Award in recognition of her work in furthering an understanding of India on the global stage. She spoke of her degree in literature and sociology giving her a strong footing for her filmmaking career.

“I genuinely believe that literature and sociology have helped me immensely in making movies, and writing and telling stories,” Akhtar said. Also recognized in the field of Arts, Culture and Entertainment this year was UK-based chef Asma Khan, behind the women-led Darjeeling Express restaurant in London. The King’s College London alumna started out in the field of law but has since made a mark for herself in the culinary space, including as a cookery writer behind bestselling recipe books on Indian cuisine.

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