Award for Ash

LEADING Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai will be honoured by the British Government with an outstanding honour, The Next Step World Diversity Champion Award. The award, instituted to honour individuals who have encouraged pride in being a member of the ethnic minority community as well as a stronger sense of personal fulfilment, will be presented to the former Miss World at a function here by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on November 24.

She is expected to address issues relating to ethnicity at the conference where the other speakers are likely to be former US Secretary of State Colin Powell and actor Jackie Chan. Keith Vaz, MP, former Minister for FCO, said the award, in collaboration with The Next Steps Foundation, is considered a prestigious move ahead for Ash in the international arena.

Welcoming the award, Aishwarya said, "I think it’s a great honour. Today beauty has come to be defined by many other far more profound qualities than looks and posture. I hope people would stop holding my looks against me and labelling me giggly and frivolous.

"Look at Angelina Jolie. I think she’s so gorgeous and so real. She’s a student of yoga and she works for the United Nations. She’s a complete personality, illustrating what feminine beauty means in the new millennium."