UK’s Coventry gets first turbaned Lord Mayor


A local Sikh councillor based in Coventry has made history for the central England city by becoming its first turban-wearing Lord Mayor.
Jaswant Singh Birdi, who was born in Punjab and spent some time in Calcutta in West Bengal as a child, moved to Coventry 60 years ago and has served as a councillor in the city for 16 years. He recently took formal charge of his new post of Lord Mayor with the official Chains of Office with his wife Krishna by his side as the Lord Mayoress.
“I am so proud to become Lord Mayor of my adopted home city,” said Birdi. “It has given so much to myself and my family over the years and I will be honoured to show why I love it so much and to promote the city and the wonderful people who live here,” he said.
“As a Sikh, it also means so much that I will be wearing the Chains of Office and the turban. It will help show what a happy multicultural city we have and maybe inspire others as well,” he added. Apart from being a councillor, Birdi has been actively involved in setting up religious, social, and community projects in Coventry.
Now in his role as Lord Mayor as an ambassador of the city, his chosen charities for support for the year include Muscular Dystrophy Charity, the Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind, and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Charity. He served as Deputy Lord Mayor for the past year.