Britain's future king Prince Charles has endorsed his commitment to charity projects in countries like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with a plan to launch a charity for South Asia. Prince Charles made the announcement at the annual fundraiser of the British Asian Trust at Victoria and Albert Museum in central London yesterday. "I am someone who can't help believing that people of common purpose and good spirit can achieve so much more when they work together," CHarles said. "I should therefore like all of us - the British Asian community, British-based companies, philanthropists in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and my charities, such as the Prince's Trust, my Foundation for Building Community and International Sustainability Unit, to come together to establish The Prince's Charities South Asia," he said at the event attended by the who's who of the South Asian community in the UK. The British Asian Trust was founded in 2007 by a group of British Asian business leaders at the suggestion of the Prince of Wales. It serves as a "social fund" to support high impact charities within the areas of education, health and livelihoods in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. "I am among the fortunate few to have been picked by the Prince of Wales for this idea to bring together the best of British Asian ability and skills.
It offers a hand up rather than a hand out approach and has impacted over a million lives since inception," said well-known comic and actor Sanjeev Bhaskar, among the many celebrity supporters of the trust. The gala evening included performances by popular British singer Emeli Sande alongside Pakistani-origin musician Shahid Khan, the latest celebrity to become a British Asian Trust ambassador. Prince Charles mingled with the high-profile guests and supporters of the trust, including former tennis champion Boris Becker, Indian high commissioner to the UK Ranjan Mathai and businessmen such as Tom Singh of the New Look Fashion group. "With the next phase of our work, the basic principle remains unchanged - helping the most disadvantaged gain a hand up rather than a hand out by identifying, developing and funding some wonderful solutions such as the Katha Lab School in Delhi and the Mumbai Mobile Creches, which my wife and I visited on our recent trip to the region," Prince Charles said in reference to his visit to India and Sri Lanka in November last year.