Canada India Education Society (CIES) had a very successful fundraiser in Vancouver on Friday September 28. Formed in 1991, CIES has been promoting partnership between India and Canada in general and Punjab and BC in particular. It has been very successful in building transformative relationships through a variety of long-term projects. The main objective of this particular fundraiser was to raise money for Cops for Cancer and the Punjabi Language Program at UBC.The spacious banquet Hall was overflowing with enthusiastic supporters of both of these causes.
The Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer annual campaign is a partnership with law enforcement agencies and emergency services personnel from BC. It seeks to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer, survivors and their families. Funds raised through donations are utilized for critical pediatric cancer research in order to find safer, more effective treatment for children. They are also helpful in learning more about how and why pediatric cancer develops.
In addition to a large number of community supporters, the audience also included prominent representatives of the Cancer Society, Cops for Cancer and UBC’s Department of Asian Studies’ Punjabi Language Program. A number of students in the Punjabi Program at UBC showed a video prepared by them about Punjabi in Canada. Also, they spoke about their experiences in learning Punjabi at the university. Dr. Ross King, Head of the Asian Studies at UBC spoke eloquently about the Punjabi Program at UBC.
Dr. King stated that UBC has the longest standing commitment to advanced study of Punjabi in North America. It has the largest and most extensive program in language, literature and related cultural history. In addition to the regular offerings of first, second and third year courses in Punjabi, UBC is also offering a variety of other courses. These include courses about the Sikhs, Punjabi Cinema and South Asian Studies. Currently, close to 250 students are enrolled in various Punjabi courses at UBC. It is interesting to note that a number of former students of Punjabi classes at UBC are currently teaching Punjabi at various public schools in BC.
Dr. King concluded his remarks by emphasizing that money raised by CIES at this fundraiser would go a long way in supporting UBC’s Punjabi Program. Furthermore, it will be of great help in student mobility to India on official bilateral exchange agreements via UBC’s Go Global office. In this context, CIES must be commended for bringing the community to-gather in support of such worthy causes.