Charles praises efforts of British Asians in coronavirus fight

The Prince of Wales has praised the contribution of British Asians to the national coronavirus pandemic effort as he helped launch a Covid-19 fundraising appeal for families struggling in South Asia.

Charles said whether working in the NHS or running local projects the UK’s Asian communities were “playing a vital role”.

The prince’s comments were made in support of the British Asian Trust’s (BAT) Covid-19 Emergency Appeal, which aims to raise money to help people in South Asia who have seen their livelihoods disappear due to the pandemic and face what Charles described as a “fight of survival”.

In a video message posted on his official Twitter account, the heir to the throne, who has recovered from Covid-19, said: “The current public health crisis is a challenge which confronts us all, in every community and in every part of the world.

“In the United Kingdom I know that the British Asian community is playing a vital role in the response to this crisis.

“Whether in the NHS or as key workers in other roles, or through the wonderful work being done by volunteers and local initiatives through temples, mosques and gurdwaras to support all members of all communities.”

The BAT said South Asia is home to 27% of the world’s poorest people with 750 million surviving on less than £2 per day.

The lockdown in India has seen mass migration from the cities to villages while the organisation said Pakistan’s healthcare was under pressure and Bangladesh’s densely populated urban areas and refugee camps were a “hotbed” for the virus.

The Prince of Wales receives a birthday cake from school children during a British Asian Trust reception in Mumbai. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales receives a birthday cake from school children during a British Asian Trust reception in Mumbai (Victoria Jones/PA)

In the video message, the prince, who is royal founding patron of the BAT, added: “Over 400 million daily workers have seen their livelihoods disappear with no form of income and no savings. They and their families now face a fight of survival.

“The British Asian Trust’s Covid emergency appeal will support those in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who need it most.

“With your generosity the British Asian Trust will help those who have nowhere else to turn and offer hope to those who face the most desperate circumstances. With your help we can make a difference.”

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