Mission To Bring Community Together Through Social Action, Dialogue
BRAMPTON: Dialogue, a collaborative approach to issues facing the Indo-Canadian community and damping down on divisive politics were points of interest at the first awards dinner and entertainment gala of the Indo-Canadian Harmony Forum on May 24.
The event, the ICHF Apex Awards Gala 2018, at the Courtyard by Marriott Brampton, saw an enthusiastic gathering of over 300 members of the community to support the Forum’s outreach to various stakeholders to promote respect and amity amongst the many diverse segments of Indo-Canadian society.
Keynote speaker Ujjal Dosanjh, former premier of British Columbia and former federal health minister, set the tone of the evening with an inspirational speech about the concept of unity and tolerance that is inherent in the Indo-Canadian psyche and decrying the onset of identity politics, often abetted by political parties to create separate vote banks. “Why should we as persons of Indian origin, call ourselves Sikh Canadians, Hindu Canadians or break ourselves into different linguistic groups?” he asked.
The other main speaker of the evening Deepak Obhrai, the longest-serving Indo-Canadian parliamentarian in the House of Commons, lauded the efforts of the Indo-Canadian Harmony Forum to promote mutual cooperation and peaceful co-existence within the community. He was also confident of the future of multiculturalism in Canada, similar to how the concept has flourished in India for thousands of years. “We must all think of Canada first,” he asserted.
Earlier, welcoming the audience, Kuldeep Sharma, President of the Board, mentioned the remarkable diversity of society in both India and Canada. “I think we all know that it is harmony that brings balance to our social, political and community lives and that the lack of it would mean decay, divisiveness and unnecessary social and other tensions leading to fragmentation. We do not need friction of thoughts and a clash of ideologies here,” Sharma said.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by Jay Nair’s fusion music troupe and Salsa dance by Tanya and group – which was followed by the awards program.
The Harmony Awards Program recognizes individuals, organizations, community groups and businesses that have made a noteworthy contribution during the current year. These include areas such as education, health, fundraising, charitable and voluntary services, business, sport, arts, the environment, all contributing to the advancement and well being of the Indo-Canadian community.
The award-winners are:
Ujjal Dosanjh – ICHF Lifetime/ Outstanding Achievement Award
Deepak Obhrai – ICHF Apex Excellence in Public Service Award
Surjit Babra – ICHF Apex Business Person 2018
Anand Aggarwal – ICHF Apex Corporate Citizen 2018
Raman Chaudhari – ICHF Humanitarian Award 2018
Dr. Mohini Sain – ICHF Apex Technology Award 2018
Dr. Vinita Sharma – ICHF Apex Business Person of the Year 2018
Stanislaus Antony – ICHF Media Person of the Year 2018
Devesh Gupta – ICHF Apex Young Professional of the Year 2018
Renee Sharma – ICHF Apex Youth Achiever of the Year 2018
Jay Sulanki – ICHF Apex Upcoming Artist Award 2018
The Board of Directors of Harmony Forum comprises: Dr. Azad K. Kaushik, Kuldeep Sharma, Pramod Goyal, Dharma P. Jain, Sudhir Anand, Sanjeev Malik, Surinder Sharma, Dr. Keshav Agnihotri, Arvind Bhardwaj and Praveen Varma.
MCs for the evening were Sameer Sharma and Muska.
The Indo-Canadian Harmony Forum is a not-for-profit organization aimed at serving the Indo-Canadian community is Canada. It’s objectives include promotion of harmony among Indo-Canadians and Canadians at large. It also intends to expand and strengthen links between Indo-Canadian organizations throughout Canada by creative communication and networking.
Why ICHF Exists?
ICHF intends to instill sentiments of peaceful-coexistence, mutual respect, amity and brotherhood amongst the diverse segments of our society in Canada, as also to raise funds for further strengthening and expanding programmes and activities of the Forum. We are focused on bringing the Indo-Canadian Community Together…