LONDON, AUGUST 1: An Indian-origin dancer from Manchester has bagged a Points of Light honour from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Rajeev Gupta is a Bhangra dance instructor, who is live-streaming free online classes to help people stay fit during the pandemic for people isolating at home.
“I feel blessed to have been in a position to have helped people during the lockdown with my Bhangracise sessions. I’m truly grateful to get this award. I would have never thought it would have made such a powerful impact,” said Rajeev.
Rajeev has run ‘Bhangracise’ for over 15 years, holding regular dance fitness classes in Manchester, Birmingham and Reading, and has performed at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, and taught professionals on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing about bhangra, which originates from Punjab in North India, said the Points of Light.
With lockdown closing physical classes, Rajeev decided to post an online video, which received over 100,000 views, and he is now running, for free, dance workouts three times a week for thousands of people across the world.
“Over the last few months, your online bhangra classes have brought a surge of energy to participants across the country and beyond, lifting the bodies and souls of thousands who have been staying at home during our battle against Coronavirus,” PM Boris Johnson said in a personal letter to Rajeev.
“You have been a Point of Light for so many during this difficult time, and so I am delighted to be able to recognise you in this way,” wrote Boris in the letter.
The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community.