New Delhi: An India-born educationalist who moved to the UK with no English language skills after her marriage, has been named the ‘Asian Businesswoman of the Year’ in an award ceremony in Birmingham.
Asha Khemka, a 65-year-old principal and CEO of West Nottinghamshire College, was recognised and honoured for her efforts in the field of education and skills at the Asian Business Awards ceremony on Friday.
Born in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, Dame Khemka left school after passing her exams at the age of 13 and had close to no English language skills when she moved to the UK with her husband and kids at the age of 25.
She taught herself English by watching children’s TV shows and talking to other young mothers. She went on to acquire a business degree from Cardiff University before becoming a lecturer and eventually taking over as principal and CEO of West Nottinghamshire College, one of the largest in the UK.
In 2013, she was awarded a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, one of Britain’s highest civilian awards.
The mother-of-three was the first Indian-origin Dame since Maharani Lakshmi Devi Bai Sahiba of Dhar State in 1931.