Harpreet Uppal becomes the first female Sikh councillor in West Yorkshire after getting elected from the Labour stronghold of Ashbrow in the local elections in May.
The 35-year-old is continuing a 15-year journey into the political arena. Growing up in a politically-aware household Harpreet was inspired by her late mother, Satvinder, and her grandfather, who she never met, reported the Huddersfield Daily Eaminer.
“My granddad in India was quite political,” she told the newspaper. “He would join in protests on social issues and women’s rights. He wanted to make sure that young girls were educated.
“He went to Delhi and met Nehru when he was Prime Minister. Later he got my mum involved. She wasn’t massively political but when she came to England she worked as a home care worker and joined UNISON.
“She got involved with talks around the gender pay gap. Through the union they were able to get the wages up. That slightly politicised her. So I came from a left-of-politics stance – a socialist background.”
Born and bred in Fartown, educated at the local school and still living in the neighbourhood where she grew up, Harpreet is well respected in her community. Worshippers at the Gurdwara Singh Sabha temple are hailing her as not just Kirklees’ first Sikh female councillor, but also the first in Yorkshire and maybe even the north.
Her father, 72-year-old former mill worker Lamber Singh Uppal, couldn’t be prouder.
“When I first came to this country back in 1962 I never thought that one of my daughters would be a councillor,” he was quoted by the newspaper. “It really means so much to the whole family.”
See full story – “It was pretty cool” Kirklees’ first female Sikh councillor on being elected by her home town – here.
Historic moment. Gobind becomes first Sikh minister in Asia outside India (Asia Samachar, 21 May 2018)