THE Montgomeryshire Lib Dem candidate in the General Election, Kishan Devani, said he was "gobsmacked and truly humbled" to be named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2020 For Services to Community Cohesion. 

Kishan, 34, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (formerly the British Empire Medal for Meritorious Service) which is a British medal awarded for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown. 

Kishan said: "I am overjoyed and truly humbled receiving this honour from Her Majesty the Queen. When I read the letter, I was gobsmacked and had to re-read a few times before it sunk in."

He added: "I fundamentally believe in building bridges and not walls. Communities are stronger working together and uniting on their similarities. Unity in Diversity is a motto I believe in. My spiritual Gurus and Inspirers – Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj – have a tenet which I try and imbibe within my life as much as I can, it is 'In the Joy of Others Lies Our Own'."

"I would also like to thank Her Majesty the Queen and the Cabinet Office for bestowing this honour upon me.

"I dedicate this honour to my family, in particularly my wife and mother whose sacrifices have allowed to me achieve all of these accolades at such a young age. I would also like to dedicate this to all the unsung dedicated activists across our country who are striving to make the world we live in a better place. Thank you all for all you do".

The British Empire Medal is granted in recognition of meritorious civil or military service. Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "BEM".

 Kishan has previously received the Honour of the Freedom of the City of London and has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Making him one of the first in the BaME communities across the UK to receive all three Accolades at such a young age.

As the son of refugees, whose parents and grandparents arrived from Uganda in the 1970s fleeing the dictator Idi Amin, Kishan's accomplishments are second to none.

A former religious studies teacher, Kishan has been travelling the length and breadth of the UK and speaking to BaME youth at universities to get involved in British Civic life, charitable work and public life.

His extensive work as advisor to the Unity of Faiths Foundation – a charity that looks to bring together communities and the youth in the various BaME communities has been instrumental in spreading a message of peace, love and harmony across the UK and internationally.

In addition to this, his role as the only Ambassador of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales has allowed him to reach out to innumerable communities across the UK to build understanding amongst them and facilitate their community leaders to engage with one another to build relationships between communities. 

He has been an inspirational role model to BaME youth all over the UK.

When asked what next, Kishan said: "This is just the beginning, if you want to change the world we live in for the better, we must never stop."

He ended with the words of Mahatma Gandhi "Be the Change you want to see in the World".