Grand High Almoner of the Order Dr Bharat Khetani has received the singular honour of appointment as High Sherriff of Cambridgeshire.
The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The origins of the Office date back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order within the shire, or county, and for the collection and return of taxes due to the Crown.
Today, there are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales each year. Whilst the duties of the role have evolved over time, supporting the Crown and the judiciary remain central elements of the role today. In addition, High Sheriffs actively lend support and encouragement to crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and to the voluntary sector. In recent years High Sheriffs in many parts of England and Wales have been particularly active in encouraging crime reduction initiatives, especially amongst young people.
Many High Sheriffs also assist Community Foundations and local charities working with vulnerable and other people both in endorsing and helping to raise the profile of their valuable work. The High Sheriffs ́ Association adopted National Crimebeat in recent years in response to specific areas of need.
High Sheriffs receive no remuneration and no part of the expense of a High Sheriff’s year falls on the public purse.
Bharatkumar N Khetani was born in Kenya to parents of Indian origin from the State of Gujarat. He is married to Pritty, a radiographer and pharmacy dispenser, now retired. Bharat has one elder brother, an accountant, who is also now retired.
Primary & secondary schooling was in Nakuru a small town Kenya, a world renowned town, considered an Ornithologist paradise because of the flamingos and other birds that inhabit the lake at the southern end of the town.
Higher education was in the UK, in Leeds, followed by studies at St Mary’s Medical School in London, a facility made famous by Sir Alexander Fleming and the discovery of Penicillin.
Bharat qualified in 1979 with a pre-registration year spent in Peterborough followed by 3 years training for General Practice within the Peterborough Vocational Training Scheme. A partnership opportunity in General Practice at Parson Drove, a small village some 5 miles north west of Wisbech, followed which is where Bharat continued to practice until his retirement.
Alongside General Practice Bharat initiated one of the first Diabetic Retinal Screening Clinics in the country at, what was, the Peterborough District Hospital. Bharat also held out-patient clinics in Rheumatology, studied & practiced in Acupuncture, Hypnosis, Homeopathy and Spinal manipulation with much benefit for his patients.
After retiring from General Practice Bharat was elected Chairman of the Holbeach Hospital Nursing Home, a non profit Community run facility where his medical background proved beneficial for both resident’s care and finances.
Bharat is a member of the Wisbech Inter Faith Group where he currently holds office as treasurer. Both he and Pritty have volunteered with the local Food Bank, Octavia Hill Birthplace and St Peters Church in Wisbech.
Both enjoy travelling the world, exploring and learning about various cultures and traditions while studying the local flora and fauna. Previously leisure activities have included playing squash and, more recently, lawn bowling.
During his year as High Sheriff, Bharat is keen to encourage the various Charities in Cambridgeshire, especially those in the North, to make use of him and the Office of High Sheriff to raise awareness of their work and hopefully assist in raising the much-needed funds such groups require to continue their work.