Turbaned Outfitter Honored With International Award in D.C.

Plymouth city's favorite turban wearing councilor is to be honored with an international award at a religious confe...


THE city’s favourite turban wearing councillor is to be honoured with an international award at a religious conference in America.

Chaz Singh is set to fly to Washington DC tomorrow to be part of an honorary banquet put together by the organisation United Sikhs.

He is set to be commended for being a “strong Sikh leader” and for his work in “breaking down barriers” for the religion’s worldwide community at the celebratory dinner on Saturday July 26.

The Labour councillor for the Drake ward said he hopes to use the occasion to promote Plymouth and its plans for the Mayflower 2020 celebrations.

Mr Singh is one of only 90 Sikhs living in the city and will be the only person from the UK honoured at the event.

There aren’t a lot of Sikhs in Plymouth and I did stick-out a bit when I first arrived,” he said.

The organisers have seen what I have been doing here in the community and my role as an ambassador of the Sikh faith.

They haven’t picked me because I’m a councillor or a former deputy Lord Mayor. It has been about breaking down barriers.”

The Plymstock resident came to global attention when his picture of him adding a “T” to the front of the Urban Outfitters shop in Exeter went viral after he posted it on Twitter.

He said United Sikhs felt he had “humanised the turban”, especially in America where the religious headwear “can still be an issue.”

The independent businessman also pointed to the way he interacts with classically English events, such as organising St George’s Day celebrations in the city.

This is a massive opportunity,” said the Labour parliamentary candidate for the South West Devon seat.

I have said to people that 400 years ago, the Pilgrim Fathers fled religious persecution but someone like me today can be here representing my Sikh faith and say that this is a city of tolerance. We have come a long way.”

Other international figures due to be commended include JJ Singh, an economic policy advisor in Washington, Suneet Singh Tuli, inventor of the world’s cheapest tablet computer, and Vipp Jaswal, head of international development and business at FOX News.

After the award dinner on Saturday, Sikh leaders from across the world will join a four day conference in the US Capital to discuss issues and discrimination suffered by faith members in day-to-day life, including bullying and the right to wear turbans at airports.

Chaz Singh will wear turbans made by College of Art students during two of the days at the conference.


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