Amritpal Singh Maan is a well-known name within his Sikh community in the UK, lovingly called ‘Amrit Maan’. Even so, most appear to agree that Maan is an ‘unassuming’ person, preferring to let his work speak for itself. In January 2022, Maan was named in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2022 and awarded the Order of the British Empire for having provided over 200,000 meals, worth around GBP 1 million to those in need during the pandemic and the extended lockdowns in the UK. He’s like to be spotted at London’s Covent Garden, where he runs the popular restaurant, ‘MD of Punjab’. Established in 1946 by his great-grandfather, it is the UK’s first ever Punjabi-style restaurant.
An elated Maan took to Twitter soon after the announcement was made, dedicating the honour to “those that came before me and inspired the spirit of seva in me and the many I have worked alongside who strive to make a difference.” This spirit of selfless service, he said, graciously, was instilled in him by his family.
Maan’s response when he saw the email informing him of the honour, was one of “stunned disbelief,” he told news agency ANI. “I’d had a difficult day and it was instantly forgotten.” His surprise is arguably misplaced- his philanthropic work is prolific and goes back many years, making a well-known and much-loved figure within the British Sikh community. Maan has always reached out to the needy, supporting organisations that work with underprivileged people, as well as the armed forces and even cultural groups. Also a solicitor, it’s no surprise that Maan is happy to take on pro-bono work, usually providing assistance to victims of trauma and various crimes. He also gives free legal advice to smaller businesses.
The recognition, Maan told ANI, has “strengthens my resolve to continue my philanthropic work championing issues like women’s rights, fighting social injustice, highlighting British-Sikh history and support and increase Sikh representation and contribution to our fantastic Armed Forces and other key services such as the Police Force.”