Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, visits Mani Bhavan, the former headquarters of Mahatma Gandhi, which now stands as a museum to Father of thr Nation Mahatma Gandhi. The London Mayor laid flowers at the memorial to pay homage to Gandhi and took a tour of the museum….reports Asian Lite News

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan at Mani Bhavan

The first day in India was quite busy for the Mayor. He attends a dinner hosted by Indian business magnate Mukesh Ambani. He met with a multitude of Bollywood stars, sports stars and high-profile businessmen and women, including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt, Juhi Chawla, Katrina Kaif.

Sadiq later Tweeted: “Thank you to the Ambani family @karanjaran & @milinddeora for hosting a fantastic evening with business and creative industry leaders to mark my trip to Mumbai. #LondonIsOpen”

Sadiq Khan is on the first day of a trade mission to India as part of his continued drive to create jobs, skills and growth in London.  The Mayor of London will remind everyone he meets that London is still the world’s number-one location for investment, talent and ideas, and he will say that people from all over the world remain welcome to work, study or visit his city.  Sadiq is being accompanied by his Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, and his jam-packed itinerary, covering three Indian cities, includes discussions on business and investment, regeneration opportunities, visas and opportunities to work together.

Sadiq attended the ninth annual finals day of the Mumbai Soccer Challenge and watched a challenge match to win the inaugural Mayor of London Cup. He confirmed that, for the first time in the scheme’s nine-year history, two girls as well as two boys will be heading to London.

The Mayor was joined at the finals day by Bollywood screen legend and the co-owner of Mumbai City football club, Ranbir Kapoor, as well as the Chairman of Queens Park Rangers, Tony Fernandes.

“This initiative is another example of the close links between India and London. It has been fantastic to see the passion and skill of these young footballers, and to be able to announce that two girls as well as two boys will be travelling to London to train with Queens Park Rangers. I wish them every success and it is heartening to see how grassroots sport can inspire, thrill and change the lives of young people all over the world,” said Mayor. “The power of sport in bringing people together and encouraging healthy competition is a wonderful thing. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, once you’re on the pitch, on the court, in the ring or on the track how well you do is down to the drive and talent of the individual and their team – and those valuable lessons are transferable to so many other situations in life.”

The event is the initiative of local politician and former Minister, Milind Deora, and the children selected to train in London were chosen from the thousands of competitors who took part in the soccer challenge based on their footballing ability. Next year they will spend 10 days training with QPR at their academy in Cranford.

Around 6,000 girls and boys from a range of different backgrounds have taken part in the South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenge this year. The event begins in October and culminates in a grand finals weekend. Queens Park Rangers have been a a key and longstanding partner of the event. After their time in London and on return to Mumbai, the students are supported when competing for places in professional teams at city, regional and national levels.

Football is India’s second most popular sport and IS rapidly growing in popularity, particularly with the younger population of the country and in the major cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkota. The Indian Super League (ISL), which kicked off in 2014, has been at the centre of football’s boom. A huge marketing and TV reach combined with former international players and celebrity-ownership of teams means ISL football touches millions of Indians around the country, in cities and rural areas. Star Sports broadcasts the ISL through eight channels in five different languages to reach 85 per cent of the Indian television audience, the first of its kind in Indian sporting history.





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