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  Indo-Canadian Business Association, BC, Canada, I-CBA

Indo-Canadian Business Association of BC's 17th Annual Student Achievement Awards

Punjabi at Simon Fraser University

I-CBA has raised more than $300,000 in scholarship funds

Surrey, BC, Canada June 04, 2016 Singh

Indo-Canadian Business Association of BC (I-CBA) had a very successful 17th Annual Student Achievement Awards ceremony on May 19 at Crown Palace Banquet Hall in Surrey. This non-profit community organization has been doing a commendable job in raising money, supporting and encouraging a number of students to pursue their dreams. It was great to hear from founding members and directors of I-CBA Jolly Dhaliwal and Avtar Badesha about the growth of this organization over the past few years.

Current president Hardeep Singh Shergill welcomed a wide range of attendees and contributors to this very worthwhile cause. To its credit, I-CBA has raised more than $300,000 in scholarship funds so far.  Recipients of these scholarships go on to prominent post-secondary institutions in order to pursue their studies. These scholarships are a great symbol of support to them.

The 2016 Achievement Award Winners for 2016 were: Baljinder Bal, Jashandeep Jassal, Parwaz Vir Brar, Ryan Koonar, Sherry Sandhu, Gurveer S. Palia, Mankiran Pandher, Ranveer S. Palia, Sahib Singh Shergill and Simrin Brar. All of these young scholars deserve our hearty congratulations and best wishes. So do all of the businesses, I-CBA directors, volunteers and others who made this event such a great success.

 The program included chief guest Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovations and Citizens Services. Virk highlighted some of the innovations in technology and BC’s leadership in this field.  Keynote speaker Dr. Andrew Petter, President and Vice Chancellor of Simon Fraser University commended the South Asian Community for being actively engaged in promoting ties between Canada and India. He touched upon the frequent exchange programs between SFU and various organizations in India. For the past few years, the Indo-Canadian community in general and the SFU India Advisory Council in particular have done a commendable job in bringing India and Canada closer to-gether in the academic field. Dr. Petter thanked the community for its on-going support and commitment.

In addition to the already great work being done by I-CBA, it made another remarkable contribution to a worthwhile cause at its latest function. I-CBA director Kanwarjit Sandhu disclosed that as a result of its efforts and very generous contributions by prominent businessmen like Arvinder Bubbar and many others, I-CBA has raised $10,000 for this year and has committed to raise $10,000 each year over the next two years for SFU to offer Punjabi classes at its Surrey Campus. Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA) had been urging SFU to offer Punjabi at its Surrey Campus for quite some time. In this context, Dr. Petter had promised to offer Punjabi at its Surrey Campus if the community/PLEA could contribute $10,000 each year for three years. Thus PLEA is very thankful to I-CBA and the generous donors for making this commitment.

The community has risen to the occasion. Now the ball is in Dr. Petter and SFU’s court. PLEA is very hopeful that Punjabi classes will get under way at SFU Surrey in Sptemeber, 2016. Once we hear more from SFU, PLEA would launch an information campaign and co-ordinate with SFU to ensure that there are enough students to   make these classes viable. Usually, 25 students are needed in order to get a class started. This is a great start. PLEA is looking forward to collaborate with SFU and I-CBA for very successful Punjabi program at the SFU Surrey campus.

Balwant Sanghera/ President, Punjabi Language Education Association