HIV :: Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty receives Silver Star Award

Indian Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty was presented with the Silver Star Award for her outstanding contribution to international humanitarian causes, particularly for increasing HIV/AIDS awareness.

Leader of Britain’s House of Commons Jack Straw presented the award to the 31-year old actress at a gala dinner held at the Durbar Court of Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) here last night, as part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of election of Keith Vaz, NRI leader, Labour MP and former minister for FCO.

In her brief acceptance speech, Shetty, the winner of last Celebrity Big Brother show, said Vaz played an important role when she was racially abused by some of the contestants. “He screamed the loudest,” she acknowledged.

Lauding the work of Vaz both for the Asian community and the society as a whole, Straw, who was the Guest of Honour, said “Keith has worked assiduously as an ambassador for New Britain. Keith represents everything that is good in our party.” Straw, Campaign Manager for Gordon Brown before he was unanimously elected leader of the Labour party to succeed Prime Minister Tony Blair, said Vaz, as a member of the campaign cell, played a key role in ensuring Brown’s unanimous choice.

Observing that Britain had undergone a change for the better during the last 20 years, Straw said “now we celebrate diversity in this country and we judge the people by what they can offer and not by the colour of their eye, hair or skin.”

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