Dr. Ranjit Arora has followed a mission and a commitment to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion; to fight injustice and unfair practices, challenge discrimination at all levels, and against all protected characteristics throughout her life and career.
Additionally, she seeks to promote and support the education, training, and employment of women from minority ethnic groups.
Ranjit has always worked to inspire women of all ages within BAME (black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) communities, but especially those of Asian origin. As a single woman of Asian origin, she knows what it is like to stand up against racism within British society, whilst also challenging sexism within her community.
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Who have you helped/who will you help?
Her mission started with her work in Croydon when she encountered Asian women who were struggling to speak English. She started Saturday classes and encouraged them to learn English through cooking, which progressed to day-visits so they could learn to manage transport by themselves.
Later, she moved to organise a Home Tuition Scheme for Asian women in Walthamstow. This led to her post with the BBC to promote ‘Parosi’ Project across the Country.
Her travels across the country brought her in contact with hundreds of women who were interesting and were inspired by this project to find their feet and learn English. The project also gave her exposure to publishing and working with a range of tutors nationally.
Ranjit’s move to Bradford put her in touch with Asian Women and Girls Centre, which she chaired and helped with setting up a refuge for women. She also continued training home tutors and teachers of English as a Second Language, developed RSA qualifications, and served on the RSA Advisory Committee.
During this time, she became aware of how there were so few, if any, students from BAME communities entering the teaching profession. She then moved to start an innovative course to enable, inspire, and support Asian women directly.
Her job was to recruit, train, supervise and support bilingual Assistants working in schools, whose qualifications had hitherto not been recognised and they were not able to get on to a Teacher Training Course. Ranjit is extremely proud of these teachers who have been enjoying their successful placements in mainstream classrooms.
What have you learned? Any challenges?
During her work at Bradford College, Ranjit made a difference to the lives of many communities by challenging the discriminatory practices within her institution. Her challenge to discrimination on grounds of race and gender is well documented in Law Books and a Council Publication, ‘Alibis for Inaction’.
Ranjit made a significant contribution to bringing about policy change, gave opportunities to members of BAME communities, encouraged them to speak up against unjust and racist/sexist practices, and to publish their research.
The challenge of working within an organisation, having spoken against its practices, has been her greatest strength. On reflection, she could probably have managed a better balance between work and life.
Since retiring from full-time employment her consultancy work with several public sectors and private organisations, contribution to seminars and conferences, nationally and internationally along with her publications have continued to inspire women of all ages. Her appointments (too numerous to mention here) have been wide-ranging and an interesting mix of paid and voluntary work.
But after a necessary break from public life, she has taken to going on cruises, which she says is a great way to see the world and gives her time and space for writing her memoirs to convey messages of support and inspiration and to communicate vital messages about survival.
What advice, contacts, or resources would help?
Ranjit is still keen to get involved in voluntary work and is now looking to start a local Creative Writing for Well Being Group.
Why we’re sharing these stories
Each year, an individual or organisation from each of our five categories plus one exceptional judges’ choice individual is recognised at our annual Igniting Inspiration celebration event.
We publish each and every nomination to raise awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North. While, this year, our physical event had to be deferred, our campaign to spread stories of positive social impact continues – good news is needed!