Sharma hosts launch of Oxfam Asian Women's Circle

Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, on Thursday 7th November 2013, hosted the launch of ‘Asian Circle’ at an event in Parliament.

Asian Circle is a network of UK based influential Asian Women with a united passion to support women in India and South Asia. The Asian Circle includes leading business women, lawyers, scientists and financiers, all working with Oxfam to fight poverty. The group aims to support projects that will help South Asian women to strengthen their voice, gain equality and realise their earning potential.

The Asian Circle is newest in a collaboration of network groups called ‘The Circle’. The Circle was founded by Annie Lennox and has raised over £1million towards Oxfam projects. Since its inception in 2008, The Circle has grown into a network of more than 400 women in the UK, Italy and America who have been inspired to come together and use their specialist skills, experience and resources to make a difference to the lives of women living in poverty worldwide.

Alok gave a welcome speech to those attending the event, which also heard from a number of other guest speakers including Santosh Bhanot, the Founder and Chair of Asian Circle, Farah Khushi Scottish Circle Chair, Rahila Gupta, writer, journalist and activist, Lady Kishwar Desai, an award winning author and columnist, Ayshea Buksh, a BBC reporter and Seema Anand, an inspiring storyteller.

Alok Sharma said: “I was delighted to host and speak at this important launch event bringing together the Asian Circle and Oxfam. Ultimately the Asian Circle is about empowered and successful women in the UK helping to empower those in need of help in other countries. I’m sure with the momentum behind it the Asian Circle will turn into an enormously successful organisation.”

Santosh Bhanot, Founder and Chair of Asian Circle said: “It is really exciting for the Asian Circle to be able to play a vital role in helping vulnerable women in South Asia. The turnout at the launch was tremendous. Our focus is now towards leveraging the amazing skills and talents of our network to actively resource the Oxfam programs in South Asia.”

Photo: Alok Sharma MP with Santosh Bhanot, Founder and Chair of Asian Circle, Ben Phillips, Campaigns Director, Oxfam and Asian Circle Committee Members