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#IAmAnImmigrant: Campaign launched to fight growing tide of Xenophobia in Britain

A group of prominent activist groups have come together to launch a new campaign aimed at fighting xenophobia in Britain.

The Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX) is currently raising funds for a poster campaign which celebrates the contribution of immigrants to British society.

Titled 'I am an immigrant', the posters will feature real migrants from across the social spectrum.  Organizers are aiming to raise £44,000 to place the posters on billboards across London as well as at Underground stations in the capital.

The posters feature everyone from a cleaner through Tube drivers to brain surgeons and are aimed at fighting the growing anti-immigration rhetoric fed by the likes of the UK Independence Party as well as the coalition's immigration policies.  

MAX has launched a crowd-funding initiative to raise the money and has thus far collected £15,000.

"The poster campaign is a response to the increased anti-immigration rhetoric occurring in politics and the need to shed positive light on immigrants and the social, economic and cultural prosperity they bring to the nation," MAX explains.

"It ... aims to rid the dialogue on immigration policy of racism and discrimination.  With the 2015 General Election, the language and the rhetoric will only get worse."

The campaign is backed by more than one hundred British organizations, including the Green Party, the Indian Workers Association, the Black Minority Ethnic Community Organizations Network, the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, the Desmond Tutu Foundation, Exiled Writers Ink, and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.

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#OxfamINDIA: NISHA AGRAWAL – Fighting the Good Fight on Multiple Fronts

Nisha Agrawal has arguably the most thankless job in the charity business.

As CEO of Oxfam India, the career campaigner oversees a mammoth array of projects dealing with everything from disaster relief and humanitarian aid to gender equality and sanitation.

When she’s not fighting to overcome the crippling bureaucracy and rampant corruption that swirls around her work in the sub-continent like that thick smog that often envelopes New Delhi, Agrawal is travelling the length and breadth of India appealing for more help or, worst still, defending her organization’s work.

That problem becomes particularly acute when she travels to Britain where Daily Mail-reading Middle England tends to be skeptical about sending money to a country whose government spends public money buying Italian helicopters for “Very Very Important People” or sending spacecraft to Mars whilst a majority of its population subsists on a daily pittance.

Oxfam India is a fully independent entity one of 17 such organizations that fall under the Oxfam umbrella.

The charity, which is staffed by Indian nationals who also sit on its board, works in partnership with a staggering 180 different NGO’s across seven Indian states.

Its work is divided into four distinct segments: Economic Justice – improving the lives of marginalized communities; Essential Services, which focuses on education and health care; Gender Justice and Disaster Relief.

During a flying visit to London, the UKAsian’s editor Viji Alles caught up with Ms Agrawal to talk about accountability, poverty alleviation and the Anand Milk Union Limited or “AMUL”.

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