London: Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez has been awarded the International Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic work in India and worldwide at a ceremony.
The 31-year-old actress-model dedicated her award to Habitat for Humanity, an international charity fighting poverty, at the second annual Asian Voice Charity Awards.
“I would like to thank Habitat for Humanity and receive this award on behalf of them. Working with them for the last five years has really opened my eyes and has given me the opportunity to help so many people live with dignity, by giving them homes to live in,” Fernandez said in her acceptance speech.
“I work in an industry where my co-stars are called heroes, but to me you guys are the real heroes,” she said.
The Charity Awards, created by UK-based weekly newspaper ‘Asian Voice’ and ratings agency Charity Clarity, also awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award to bestselling author Jeffrey Archer for his charitable work.
“I will treasure this award because of my love of the Asian community,” he said.
The event, which recognises charities making a difference across the world, presented awards across different categories, including charity of the year to mental health charity Anxiety UK and most enterprising charity to South Asian dance charity Akademi.
“The contribution of the Asian community to the charity sector is absolutely huge. The concept of ‘sewa’ in the Hindu community literally means selfless service and one of the main pillars of Islam is charity,” said Rob Wilson, UK minister for civil society, who was the chief guest at the awards.
Patel, publisher and Editor of ‘Asian Voice’ newspaper and chairman of the Asian Voice Charity Awards, said, “Innumerable people are engaged in charitable work and charitable organisations.
“The awards are our small effort to recognise some of these many charitable works.