Wolverhampton Councillor Arun Photay Nominated for The SHARAN Project

Councillor Arun Photay

Councillor Arun Photay

London, UK – March 5, 2015 – Prospective MP for Yardley Councillor Arun Photay has been shortlisted from over 100 candidates this year for the 3rd Annual Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises outstanding politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall. A passionate and dedicated campaigner, Cllr Photay has been nominated for his active work in growing and promoting local charity the SHARAN Project in Wolverhampton.

Established in 2008, the SHARAN Project seeks to provide support for vulnerable women of South Asian origin from the threat of domestic or honour-based violence. The West Midlands has a heavily populated Asian population where many second and even third generation British Asians carry traditional values of forcing marriage upon young women aged 17-21. Respect for following through with family wishes is a tradition deeply embedded within South Asian culture yet these sensitive and highly cultural nuances are often misunderstood by public professionals who may advice young women to simply leave the household. Such actions could lead young women to further danger, resulting in disownment, threat of domestic violence, or other forms of cultural conflict. Currently run by a volunteer group of experts, the SHARAN Project understands the challenges and barriers faced by those who have been disowned or forced to leave home.  

Since learning about the role the SHARAN Project plays, Cllr Photay has been instrumental in the development and growth of the organisation, particularly in raising awareness for the project as its Global Ambassador within his constituency and community. The Councillor regularly raises not only the profile of the work but also connects the organisation to relevant partners to ensure campaigns to end forced marriage and honour-based abuse is respectfully addressed within all areas of the community. Through his connections, Cllr Photay has linked the project with key stakeholders and is supporting their Right2Choose programme - tackling forced marriages within universities across the West Midlands to protect vulnerable women from becoming victims of abuse.  

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Executive Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “All too often, we hear stories of our governments not representing our needs but Grassroot Diplomat looks upon selfless individuals who work tirelessly for their communities. The award seeks to create a culture of positive role models within our governments which encourages others in power to follow suit.” 

Join Councillor Arun Photay and other government nominees for the gala dinner at The May Fair Hotel, London on Thursday 5th March 2015. For ticket information please visit: http://www.grassrootdiplomat.org/ticket-office/awards or call 07511 816689.

Further details about the awards can be found on: www.grassrootdiplomat.org/annual-awards


About Grassroot Diplomat

Grassroot Diplomat is a non-profit diplomatic consultancy with the mission to facilitate trust and better communication between governments and civil society. As an independent agency, Grassroot Diplomat shows no allegiance to a solitary government but will act in the interest of the people, no matter where they are or what state their country is in. We do this by developing, strengthening, and facilitating relationships between governments and civil society stakeholders on a project-by-project basis. 


Nina Maxwell
Grassroot Diplomat
Suite 16662, 145-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PW
Voice Message: +44 (0) 207 608 5532
Mobile: +44 (0) 7402 252 789

Polly Harrar
The Sharan Project
Victoria Charity Centre, 11 Belgrave Road, London SW1V 1RB
Voice Message: +44 (0) 844 504 3231