LONDON The Prince of Wales has announced popular American singer and songwriter Katy Perry as an ambassador for the British Asian Trust’s Children’s Protection Fund for South Asia. Both have come under fire from critics over the decision. The Prince of Wales, accompanied by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, attended a glittering reception at Banqueting House as part of the charity’s annual dinner. The announcement was made at the event. “My work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador has taken me to many parts of the world and opened my eyes to the many vulnerabilities of children,” Katy Perry said on the occasion. “India has long held a special place in my heart, and on my last visit, I was able to meet with The Prince of Wales and other leaders in Mumbai, and I was impressed by their strong plan — from on-ground initiatives to fundraising — that will aim to cut child trafficking in half. That is why I am especially honoured to be named an ambassador for the British Asian Trust’s Children’s Protection Fund, and to help shine my light on the work that the British Asian Trust will be doing in South Asia, and to be a part of finding solutions to child trafficking. Children are vulnerable and innocent and have to be protected,” she said. The reception was attended by supporters of the Trust, senior Cabinet ministers and leading global business leaders. The Royal couple met guests including Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock; High Commissioner for Pakistan Nafees Zakaria and High Commissioner for Bangladesh Saida Muna Tasneem. They also met other British Asian Trust ambassadors, including broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake, musician Naughty Boy and prominent guests including Russell Peters, Zameer Chaudhary, Zeeshan Shah, Sahibzada Jahangir and others. The evening celebrated recent achievements of the charity as well as new plans to provide social impact at scale across South Asia and acknowledge the role of key supporters. Soon after Katy Perry’s announcement was made, both Katy Perry and Prince Charles were slammed online. Many criticise the choice of Perry for the role. Namalee Bolle, writing on Twitter, said: “Colonialism at its finest. Of course we want to help on the biggest platform possible. But can’t we find a South Asian worldwide representative instead of someone renowned for cultural appropriation and tone deafness?” Nurshila Jackson said: “Katy Perry as British Asian Trust ambassador – what part is British and what part is Asian? Or has she a long lost family history suggesting that she’s all of the above?” TV presenter Anila Chowdhry commented: “It was a bit of an eye roll moment seeing Katy Perry becoming ambassador of British Asian Trust. Because the charity clearly thinks no-one from the charity is big enough from the minority community to get their message across into mainstream. But it is important to have diversity in charities to reach different communities and get the message out there. So understandable why they’ve done it, if they aren’t reaching wider communities.” The charity’s chief executive, Richard Hawkes, explained Perry would raise the charity’s profile. He explained: “She’s such a massive global superstar and having her associated with the organisation in any way is absolutely brilliant for us because it definitely attracts attention, it gets people more aware of our work and aware of the anti-trafficking work that we do. So yes, without question it’s going to raise our profile and get more people interested in what we do.”—AP
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