Year 2006 has been a fairly challenging one for the NRI community
Richmond, BC, Canada, Jan 15, 2007
Year 2006 has been a
fairly challenging one for the Indo-Canadian community. Three tragic
incidents within a couple of weeks placed the whole community under
a microscope. These tragedies are regrettable. The response by the
community as well as the Indo-Canadian media has been very reassuring
Hopefully, we won’t see any more tragedies like these in our
Drugs and youth violence continue to be other concerns for the community.
Easy availability of drugs especially around some schools in the
Lower Mainland is a matter of grave concern. Some of the more vulnerable
youth may find it hard to resist the temptation to make easy money.
Once involved, they may find it extremely difficult to get out.
For the past several years, a number of organizations and individuals
have been making an earnest effort in combating the scourge of drugs
and youth violence in our community. As a result, a lot of initiatives
– both at the prevention and intervention levels- have been
put into place in order to tackle this issue.
Also, the Indo-Canadian media has been on board full speed. Consequently,
a lot of progress is being made on this front. However, a lot more
still needs to be done.
With this in mind, it was felt that there is a strong need for a
broad community consensus. It was time to build further on the work
done by the Sikh Societies Of Lower Mainland. Consequently, a few
months ago, its scope was expanded in order to achieve broad community
consensus. It is very encouraging to note that in addition to various
service providers in our community, Kwantlen University College
as well as Langara College have also come on board. This is a major
development and a big plus for our community.
Kwantlen University College has offered to spearhead the research
on South Asian youth and gang violence.
Langara College has offered to help us with the issues relating
to media. It is rather unfortunate that quite often there is more
focus on the negative rather than the positive aspects of our community.
It is likely that more than 98 percent of our young people are very
hard working, productive and outstanding citizens.
However, less than two percent of our misguided and wayward youth
seem to get attention. Thus, a very small percentage of individuals,
engaged in inappropriate activities, overshadow the wonderful work
of so many others in our community. Not only that, there are so
many positive attributes of our community that rarely get any recognition.
The Indo-Canadian community is one of the most, if not the most,
politically aware and active communities in Canada. The large numbers
of elected officials at the municipal, provincial and federal levels
speaks for itself.
Indo-Canadians are some of the hardest working, resilient and resourceful
people around. Not only that, they are very generous donors as reflected
in raising millions of dollars for tsunami and earthquake victims
as well as various other worthwhile causes.
In addition to their involvement in the political process, Indo-Canadians
have also been excelling in sports, athletics, technology, business
,journalism ,media and education. Some of our young people are blazing
new trails almost on a daily basis. These are some of the things
that all of us can be rightly proud of.
In view of all of this, let us hope and pray that 2007 will be a
better year for our community.
(Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and Community
Activist. He heads the Richmond Multicultural Concerns Society and
can be reached at; email@example.com)