Vinod Pankhania BEM – for voluntary services to the community of Milton Keynes
The Trustees of Milton Keynes Hindu Association (MKHA), Regd, Charity No 802344 congratulate Vinod Pankhania BEM on the recognition he has today received for the achievements of MKHA during his tenure as President.
Born in Kenya, the family relocated to Milton Keynes in the 1990s. Soon after the move, he joined MKHA, initially as a volunteer. Very quickly his dedication and commitment to help the community became apparent and he was elected onto the executive committee.
During his time as President, MKHA held a number of successful events and regular activities including a 9 day Shiv Katha recital, the first ever Milton Keynes Mela at Campbell Park attended by thousands of people from Milton Keynes and beyond. Both events contributed to the fund raising efforts of the organisation in progressing the 1st Phase of the build of the first Hindu Temple and Community centre in Milton Keynes. This facilitated the Phase 1 completion and inauguration of the centre on the auspicious Hindu Festival of Makar Sankranti – 14/01/2019. In addition MKHA continued its successful language, music and Bollywood classes.
The availability of a centre as a base enabled MKHA to continue the varied Cultural, religious, social and educational offerings to not only the diverse Hindu communities residing in Milton Keynes, but also to the community of Broughton where the centre is located and to the wider Milton Keynes community. Since its opening the centre has been used by Thames Valley Police to host IAG meetings, the NHS have held medical camps for Broughton residents, local ramblers groups use it as a rest break, local mother and toddler groups have held regular meetings at the centre. The centre hopes to continue to provide a services it currently hosts and expand its cultural and educational delivery post pandemic.
Vinod, during his tenure as President has encouraged and supported greater provision for elders and the youth in particular to ensure their needs are properly recognised and met. He has thus fostered a unique bond between the generations by leading during the covid-19 pandemic, online prayer and bhajan recitals. The youth have benefitted from learning and joining in the prayer and bhajans, with the elders perfecting their IT skills from the younger generation!
A covid-19 support programme was activated to provide support to the residents of Milton Keynes including the provision of, in excess of 4,500 hot nutritious vegetarian meals and food packs to keyworkers at MK University Hospital amongst others, the homeless and the vulnerable and those shielding or in isolation. This service was provided during the midst of the worst period of the pandemic.
Throughout his Presidency Vinod has ensured that MKHA links up, works with and supports other similar local cultural and charitable organisations and Statutory bodies. His view is that no organisation or person can succeed solely but acting in unison will ensure the success of all.
Our thanks to Vinod for his contributions to MKHA and to the community of Milton Keynes.