A well-known Indian community activist originally from the Punjab has become the UK’s first Asian woman elected mayor.
Labour councillor Harbhajan Kaur Dheer, 62, was sworn in as mayor of Ealing Council at a ceremony at Ealing’s Victoria Hall on Tuesday.
“It is a great privilege and challenge to be the Mayor of Ealing Council in London. I have no illusions about the task ahead”, Mrs Dheer said.
Her husband, Councillor Ranjit Dheer, was previously a Mayor of Ealing.
Mrs Dheer, a mother of two, first came to Britain in 1975 struggling to establish herself in a country that was far less welcoming than today.
In 1995, aged 42, Mrs Dheer obtained a degree in Social Sciences from Kingston University before working as a Mental Health Professional for Surrey County Council.
She has worked variously as a school governor, a volunteer home visitor helping migrant women to learn English and has campaigned extensively for the rights of children and the elderly.