Magic Bus, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) set up in Mumbai to work with street- children, was named Charity of the Year at the first-ever charity awards here in the UK. Magic Bus, which supports over 360,000 children and 8,500 young people across 22 states in India and recently launched a pilot programme in the UK, was honoured for its innovative use of a mentoring model and sport-based curriculum to engage children at the Asian Voice Charity Awards 2016 yesterday evening. "Britons have generous hearts. On average each person donates 100 pounds to support worthwhile charities every year.
According to the Charities Commission, there are over 165,000 registered charities, of which some 25,000 have an Asian connection and of which about 10,000 have an Indian background," said C B Patel, publisher of 'Asian Voice'. "The Indian heritage of sharing, caring and giving is an age old tradition. Celebrating our tradition of self-help encourages better standards and transparency. Let's also hope that it also reminds us all to help our fellow man - if not with money then with our time," he added. The awards were divided across 10 categories to showcase charities which operate in Britain and globally. Each charity and individual winner, chosen by an independent panel of judges, will receive a support package worth up to 20,000 pounds. Among some of the other winners of the inaugural awards included Shanti Life, a UK-based charity that works towards poverty alleviation in India and promotes sustainable living for poor women in Gujarat; Polio Children, an international NGO which has raised over 1.3 million pounds to fund projects in India, Tanzania, South Sudan and Sierra Leone; and London's Air Ambulance, which delivers a 24/7 advanced trauma team to critically injured people in London. "These awards are not only about charities which seek to solve the most pressing social issues of our time both in Britain and globally, but also for those that seek to innovate and strive for excellence and whose success is judged by their end results," said Pratik Dattani of Charity Clarity, a charity rating service and partners of the event. The annual awards ceremony aims to recognise best practice and also give a much-needed boost to organisations which often struggle to get the profile and funding.