Canada India Foundation Honours ‘Rapper Purhythm’ With $50,000 Music Scholarship
Toronto: Canada India Foundation honoured Sparsh Shah, the 14-year-old prodigy, with the Global Indian Award on Friday, 6 July 2018 at Pearson Convention Centre, Brampton.
Canada’s Prime Minister Hon. Justin Trudeau congratulated Sparsh Shah for getting the award. In a video message, recorded by Hon. Gagan Sikand, Liberal MP from Mississauga-Streetsville, the Prime Minister lauded Sparsh’s talent and spirit, and encouraged him to continue on his special journey of discovery through his music.
Hon. Nina Tangri, the newly elected MPP from Mississauga-Streetsville, read a message from the new Ontario Premier Hon. Doug Ford in which he congratulated Canada India Foundation, stating, “For all Ontarians, the Canada India Foundation exemplifies our vibrant pluralistic province and highlights the contributions that the South Asian community continues to make to our culture and heritage.” Hon. Stephen Lecce, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Infrastructure, and Hon. Deepak Anand, MPP from Mississauga-Malton, accompanied Hon. Tangri when she read the Premier’s message.
Sparsh was the unanimous nominee of CIF’s 2018 Global Indian Award. The award recognizes an individual who has championed the transformation of India into a global power and presence on the world stage. It has a cash component of $50,000 that is donated to a charity of Award recipient’s choice. It is the first such award of its kind outside India, and it brings together who’s who in Canada’s business and political circles, making it the most high profile Indo-Canadian event in Canada, year after year.
Sparsh, better known as ‘Purhythm’, the rapper, was born with brittle bone disorder, which causes perennial fractures of limbs. He was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, which makes his bones extremely brittle, due to which even a hard handshake can break his bones. He cannot bear weight on his hands and legs; hence cannot walk or run like other normal kids.
He has had more than 130 fractures and multiple rod surgeries so far in 14 years of his life. Despite such debilitating conditions, Sparsh’s musical talent has built a massive fan following on social media of over 70 million followers. He is also a motivational speaker. He has been training in Indian classical music for the last eight years and American vocal music for over four years.
Sparsh, who also performed some of his rap songs at the event, said he would use the cash to further his music education at the Berklee College of Music.
The Global Indian Award was launched in 2008 a year after Canada India Foundation was established to foster better bilateral relations between Canada and India, to create opportunities for Indo-Canadians, and to educate Canadians about the significance of the new India. Previous winners of the Global Indian Award are Sam Pitroda, Tulsi Tanti, Ratan Tata, Deepak Chopra, NR Narayana Murthy, Subhash Chandra, and Swami Ramdev.
A who’s who of the Greater Toronto Area’s Indo-Canadian community participated in the Gala, which included entertainment by physically challenged artists Azaz and Sufia, and Luca – Lazy Legs – Patuelli.