A Birmingham broadcaster has been awarded an OBE for her services to broadcasting.
Anita Bhalla’s royal accolade is the latest in a long line of awards for her commitment to community work.
Former Harborne Hill School pupil Anita, from Handsworth Wood, works as editor for the BBC’s public space broadcasting.
The project runs programme screens and events in UK towns and cities, and Anita said she was “overwhelmed”.
“I’m a Brummie and I have been working in the community for a long time and am very proud of Birmingham,” she said. “I never thought when I was studying at school I would have a string of qualifications and be here talking about receiving an honour in the New Year’s Honours. It just shows you can do it.”
Anita trained as a teacher before becoming a community worker with the Asian Resource Centre in Handsworth, where she set up one of the first dedicated hostels for Asian women.
Her broadcasting career has included presenting Channel 4’s Eastern Eye, and being community affairs correspondent for BBC television news
Anita added her success could not have been possible without the support of her mother Kanla, who died this year.
“If she had been here, she would have been so proud,” she added. “She was one of the first Asian women to work at Cadburys and was behind me all the way.”
Anita is also a trustee of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.