Gants Hill charity founder given honorary degree

A CHARITY founder who has spent the last 25 years of her life helping to support elderly people and those from minority communities has spoken of her pride after picking up an honorary degree.

Ramesh Verma, of Gants Hill, was awarded an Honorary MBA by the University of East London, at the Barbican Centre, London, for her work as chief executive of the EKTA Project.

It was during her time caring full-time for her blind mother and her elderly father that she realised more needed to be done in Redbridge and Newham to help people in her situation.

The 68-year-old said: “It was a real struggle and I became very ill myself, so decided to find out what services were available to help people like me across the borough.

“Once my mother passed away, I made a promise to myself that I would continue to campaign for elderly people’s rights.”

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It was then that she established the EKTA project.

It gives support and organises social events for elderly people, victims of domestic abuse, single parents and the disabled in Redbridge, Newham and other neighbouring London boroughs

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Weekly workshops are held at temples, mosques and other venues to bring members of the community together, as well as educating them about benefits available to them.

Mrs Vema said: “Many people were also suffering from isolation and depression and it was a new concept to them to receive anything for free.”

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