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Parmjit Dhanda MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government) visited the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London, on the morning of Thursday 6 March to present UK’s ‘Pride of Place’ Award.

The award came after a month-long national online poll which was a part of the Government’s initiative to encourage citizens to access their local authority services online. After weeks of voting, the Mandir registered the largest number of votes across the country as well as in London, with an overwhelming 81% of votes from the London Borough of Brent. This confirmed that the Mandir was voted as the place that generates the greatest pride amongst residents in the UK.

Mr Dhanda was greeted at the Haveli entrance by Dr I P Patel, Trustee of BAPS, and welcomed in a traditional Indian manner by Yogvivek Swami (Head Sadhu) in the Haveli Foyer.

After a brief tour of the Mandir and the ‘Understanding Hinduism’ exhibition, the Minister proceeded to the presentation ceremony.

After presenting the award, Mr Dhanda commented, “This Mandir rightly deserves the Pride of Place Award as it is a symbol of the community coming together. And I could see why on this visit so many people have so much pride in this place. It is such a beautiful building."

For a more detailed report of the poll and award, please click here.

For an official report of the award on the BBC news site, please click here.

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