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Infosys Chairman, Narayana Murthy receives CIF Chanchlani Global Indian Award 

The vast Metropolitan Ballroom of the Westin Harbour Castle was the venue for the Canada India Foundation’s Award Gala, which took place on April 26, 2014, to honour Infosys Executive Chairman, Narayana Murthy, as the 2014 recipient of the CIF Chanchlani Global Indian Award. The opulence of the venue was enhanced by the political heavyweights who were present in unprecedented numbers at an event of this kind. Gracing the occasion, along with Mr. Narayana Murthy, were Canada’s Finance Minister, Honourable Joe Oliver, as Chief Guest. High Commissioner of India in Canada His Excellency Admiral (Retd) Nirmal Verma, as Guest of Honour, Federal Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of State (Sport), Honourable Bal Gosal, Member of Parliament Patrick Brown, Senator Dr. Asha Seth, Ontario’s Members of Provincial Parliament, Dipika Damerla and Amrit Mangat. The distinguished list of attendees also included former Federal minister, Honourable jean Augustine, former Speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, Alvin Curling, and renowned hotelier, Steve Gupta. Canada’s Governor General also made an appearance via a video taped message to the audience.

The invited dignitaries and the nearly 500 attendees were formally welcomed by the Chair of Canada India Foundation, Dr. V.I. “Lucky” Lakshmanan, National Convenor, Laj Prasher, Gala Chair Dr. Terry Papneja, CIF Co-Chair Jay Minhas and the Board of Governors of CIF, from Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa. Lucky Lakshmanan spoke of the policy objectives of Canada India Foundation, and the highly successful Canada India Forums that CIF had organized (Energy-2009, Mining-2010, Agriculture and Food Processing-2012 and Infrastructure-2014). Laj Prasher talked about the strength of the organization, as evidenced by the credentials of its members, and strong network that the CIF had built to promote Canada India relations. He made a special reference to the Canada India Interparliamentary Friendship Group, who was represented at the Gala by MP Patrick Brown.

In his address as Chief Guest, Finance Minister Joe Oliver, stressed the importance of Canada India relations and his own strong interest in strengthening ties between the two countries. Guest of Honour, High Commissioner Verma, lauded Canada India Foundation for its four day extravaganza, made up of the 3-day Canada India Infrastructure Forum, followed by the Gala. High Commissioner Verma had participated in all four days of the CIF events and had nothing but praise for the organizers, Canada India Foundation.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the fifth CIF Chanchlani Global Indian Award to Mr. Narayana Murthy. Joining Mr. Murthy, Chief Guest Minister Oliver and Guest of Honour High Commissioner Verma, on the stage were the Award Endowment sponsor Vasu Chanchlani, and this year’s Award sponsors, Bhim Asdhir, Surjit Babra, Ramesh Chotai, Deepak Ruparell, Lucky Lakshmanan, Ravi Subramanian, Rakesh Gupta, Ranvir Dogra, and Kashif Khan. The eye-catching trophy and the cash award of $50,000 (Cdn), were presented to Mr. Murthy to thunderous applause. A special citation was read and presented to Mr. Murthy by Mrs. Jaya Chanchlani.

In his Award Acceptance speech, titled “Compassionate Capitalism”, Mr. Murthy demonstrated the personality that has made him one of the most admired Indians, and most respected business leaders anywhere in the world. Expressing his gratefulness to CIF for having been selected to be in the company of previous Award recipients, Sam Pitroda, Tulsi Tanti, Ratan Tata and Deepak Chopra, he made a strong case both for Capitalism, as the necessary recipe for global prosperity and compassion, without which the benefits of capitalism meant nothing. “It is very easy to observe that we have not made significant progress in enhancing social capital in the world – trust, concern for the less fortunate, honesty and fairness”, he said. “The good that a corporation must do is defined in its philosophy of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), encompassing the ideas of corporate governance, sustainable wealth creation, corporate philanthropy and advocacy for the goals of the community”, he added.

The Award Gala and the Canada India Infrastructure Forum demonstrated the important role that Canada India Foundation continues to play in enhancing Canada India relations.

A proud moment for CIF Charter Members as they pose with  Narayana Murthy

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