Head of Bedford charity receives surprise invite to meet with the President of India

Cllr Sekhon (sky blue turban) and the other delegates with the President of India

As part of the worldwide celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, a local councillor from Sharnbrook has recently returned from a trip to India where he met with the country’s President.

Charan Sekhon was among 40 delegates from 12 countries invited by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) to be part of an international seminar in New Delhi on the ‘Life and Teachings of Guru Nanak’, the founder of Sikh faith, and to meet with President Ram Nath Kovind.

Cllr Sekhon heads the Bedford-based international charity, SEVA Trust UK that works in Bedford and India to improve education, health and the environment.

SEVA Trust UK organised a three-day community event last month in Bedford on Guru Nanak that included an exhibition, multi-faith talks plus Sikh turban and hate crime awareness sessions. The event attracted over 500 people from all communities.

On return from the trip, Charan said, “It was a great experience to be part of the global group.

“I learnt so much from the seminar and meeting with the Indian President and visiting the President Palace was really special.

“The program also included a visit to three of the five holiest Gurdwaras (Sikh Temples) regarded as temporal seats, known as ‘Takhts’ in states of Punjab, Maharashtra and Bihar.

“All 40 of us from around the globe have become one big family as all reps are doing exceptional voluntary and community work in own countries.

“We are going to learn a lot from each other and I have already invited the group to visit our beautiful and diverse town Bedford for our next meet.”