Employees from JCB’s factories in India today joined in celebrations in the UK for Diwali – on the day that the United Kingdom appointed a Prime Minister of Indian descent.
The group – all of whom are currently on secondment from JCB India in the UK – joined company Chairman Anthony Bamford in marking their country’s most important festival at the World HQ in Rocester, Staffordshire. The occasion coincided with the historic appointment of Rishi Sunak MP after he met King Charles at Buckingham Palace earlier today.
During today’s celebration, Lord Bamford helped to distribute traditional Diwali sweets to employees who have remained in the UK rather than returning home for the Hindu Festival of Lights. Special candles – known as diyas – were also lit to mark the occasion, symbolising the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
Anthony Bamford said: “Today is a major day. Not only is it Diwali, but Rishi Sunak, whose grandparents came from Punjab, has been appointed as Prime Minister. It really does show the close relationship that India and the UK have, which is something I find symbolic, particularly today.”
Also joining the employees today was Lipi Kapoor, of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, who is currently completing a four-month internship at the World HQ. Her father Naveen Kapoor is the owner of one of JCB’s major dealers in India, Mayank Equipments in Jodhpur.
Lipi said: “Diwali is a festival of light which is celebrated across India and during the festival families get together, distribute sweets, gifts and wear new clothes. Being away from my family today it was very touching to be able to mark the occasion with Lord Bamford and fellow Indian colleagues.”
Laxman Chari, is on secondment at JCB Cab Systems, Uttoxeter, from JCB India in Pune. He said: “We are away from our families on Diwali and we miss them, so to be able to celebrate today with Lord Bamford is a great feeling, particularly on a day that Great Britain gets a Prime Minister who is of Indian descent, which is something that makes me, as an Indian, feel very proud.”
Bhavin Pandya, is on secondment at JCB Cab Systems from JCB India in Delhi. He said: “It’s an amazing feeling to be celebrating Diwali here today with friends on the day that Rushi Sunak becomes Prime Minister of the UK. It’s a day of real pride for me as an Indian.”
Siddharth Dahat is on secondment at JCB’s World HQ from JCB India in Pune. He said: “Diwali is a joyous occasion for us and we do miss our families at this time so it’s wonderful to have this celebration. We are definitely excited that the UK now has a Prime Minister with Indian roots and I think it will enhance the relationship between India and the UK.”
Bajarang Jadhav, who is working at JCB’s World HQ, said: “It’s great to have this celebration of Diwali at JCB and on a day when Britain gets a Prime Minister of Indian descent – it’s a moment of history.”