Native Village/Country parent’s background:
I was born in Sri Nagar, Jammu & Kashmir and raised in Jalandhar, Punjab, India. My Father’s native village was Kaonke Kalan, Jagraon, Punjab. He served in the Indian Army and later took early retirement and became a successful property developer. My Mother, now retired, was a government school teacher. My childhood was spent at my maternal grandparents’ home, located in Rama Mandi, Jalandhar Cantt, Punjab, India.
Your Early Education:
My early education was at Army school, previously known as Vajra Army High School, Jalandhar Cantt. I cleared JEE test right after grade 10 and went to Govt Polytechnic College to complete my Diploma in Pharmacy with Distinction. My interest in Economics and technology was the reason behind my graduation in Computer Science and Economics. I was a debate champion who helped my college B.D. Arya college to receive numerous awards. My eager and spontaneous attitude towards current affairs was one of the reasons I became an Individual Development President for JEE Club, Jalandhar. Subsequently, I continued my studies in literature and philosophy.
When & Why You came to Canada:
I came to Canada in the Summer of 1999. As a child I was always curious to travel the world and gain more knowledge. My Father always supported this goal and helped me become a proud Canadian resident. My immediate family joined me in 2002.
Your career advancement initiatives, volunteer work and present occupation:
During my first year in college I was offered to work for The Indian Express Newspaper. Learning from the senior journalists and that too with limited technology helped me actually understand true concept of journalism. In Canada,
I enrolled into Legal studies and Law, in early 2000’s but due to some personal family problems, I was forced to quit. Such struggles were temporary and did not stop me from pursuing my studies. After that, I enrolled myself in Bachelors of Psychology and just completed it last year. I have worked as a Program Assistant at Pro Bono Law Alberta, a paralegal, and am a motivational speaker on the side. I enjoy working with families and kids and find myself always working in fields where I am helping others.
I also worked in Retail Management and helped having successful job fair events. I have also worked in a Nursery Department taking care of a plants installation as Construction & Renovation Manager for the biggest Home Improvement Store in Canada.
Because of my study in psychology and my enhanced knowledge in spirituality, I have been able to work as a relationship advisor and spiritual counsellor. As I said before, I have a passion for helping those around me, and whenever I have the opportunity, I volunteer in my community. I have volunteered at many women and children shelters, and providing support to sponsored families in Calgary. I currently own and run Reporters 24 Canada, a news and media platform, and I am the leader of One Voice Alberta, a non-profit organization helping all Albertans, mostly international students.
Your Regret in Life
My only regret in life is not being with father in his last days to bid goodbye. He was my greatest mentor, idol, friend and sound board till 2008. I regret missing him all the time.
Pick Any One of Your Best Achievements:
That’s is a very difficult question. Every situation I have been in and every hurdle I have faced would be rated as my best accomplishments. Every mission accomplished is a best achievement.
Were You Ever Discriminated?
I have, but it has helped me to learn to keep moving forward in life, and never get distracted by the of sound of noisy critters as I walk my path.
Are You Happy in Canada?
I am super happy in Canada. It has blessed me with more than I could have ever expected when I first arrived in this beautiful country. I however miss my first home which is India, especially the street food.
Any Comments on Canada’s Culture:
I believe that Canada actually does not have a culture. Canada is very diverse, and teaches us to be free spirited. We learn the true definition of being Canadian, which is too be kind to others, be empathetic, and helping others. Canadian culture is to just be a good human.
Any Comments on Canada’s Weather:
I love how our weather varies throughout the country and you can choose which weather you would prefer to stay in. Although in Calgary the weather is very moody, but that’s what makes it enjoyable to me. Also, choice rest with you whether you like to stay in a drastically cold snowy Province or beautiful British Columbia.
What Brought You Success in Canada?
My father’s Cancer Treatment at Tom Baker Hospital extended his life from 6 months to 6 years and my daughter’s life was saved as she was a preemie (7months). Such Medicare is not available in any part of the World. These positive happenings helped me to pursue my professional goals.
Are You Willing to Help New Immigrants and How?
Always. This is the reason I am working as Managing Director for One Voice Canada Alberta. This organization’s main motive is to help and support new immigrants, especially International Students in Canada.
Your Message for Canadians of Asian Origin:
Never give up. For some good things happens in less than 5 years, however, for some it could take 10 and may be more… but please don’t give up… just be clear in your head about your personal and professional goals. You can always take a detour if needed, slow down as well, but don’t give up and no short cuts!! I promise it is worth it in the end.
Always always give back to society.
Stay happy and blessed always 🙂