BC’s Integrated Anti-Gang Police honors community leader Balwant Sanghera
Surrey, Vancouver, July 10, 2014
Well-known NRI community activist Balwant Sanghera has been recognized for his work as the chair of South Asian Community Coalition Against Youth Violence (SACCAYV).
During a police committee meeting on gang-prevention (June 09), the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC (CFSEU-BC) acknowledged Sanghera’s efforts towards youth violence prevention with a Challenge Coin, often presented in policing circles for significant contributions.
Formed in 2002, SACCAYV is a community-based organization which aims to prevent and reduce youth gang violence in the South Asian community. Sanghera was instrumental in bringing together various community and Sikh Temple leaders to form the Sikh Societies of the Lower Mainland which evolved into the SACCAYV, and included broad participation from the South Asian community, academic institutions, community organizations, Vancouver Police and RCMP.
"The work that Mr. Sanghera has done to improve public safety and prevent gang violence not only in the South Asian community, but in all communities, is inspirational," says CFSEU-BC spokesperson Sergeant Lindsey Houghton. "His continued advocacy for gang prevention and community engagement has been a model for others and it is an honour for us to be able to work alongside him."
In addition his work with the youth anti-gang violence coalition, Sanghera, a retired school psychologist, is the past president and current Director of Richmond Multicultural Community Services, an active member of the India Cultural Centre of Canada in Richmond, President of East Richmond Community Association, and of the Punjabi Language Education Association of Canada. Sanghera is a recipient of the Order of British Columbia as well as Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond and Golden Jubilee Medals.
The SACCAYV aims to coordinate and support all efforts directed at the prevention of youth drug use and youth gang violence. The SACCAYV’s primary goals are to build on community capacity by bringing together all youth gang violence services under one umbrella; act as a collective in addressing the issue of youth gang violence; and speak as one voice to policy makers and law enforcement.
(Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist)