Monday, June 5, 2023
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Canada-India Foundation organized the felicitation ceremony to honour Dr. V. I Lakshmanan for getting the appointment as Officer of the Order of Canada

Canada India Foundation and members of the Indo Canadian community came together to congratulate Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan, OC, a past chair of CIF, eminent scientist and community activist, on his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada. The event also saw the official release of the full report that resulted from the CIF Canada India Healthcare Summit 2021, again an initiative conceptualized
by Dr. Lakshmanan.


Welcoming the gathering, Satish Thakkar, Chair, CIF, noted, “It is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you today the hero of this
evening – Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan, or as we fondly refer to him, our own Lucky Bhai. Those of us who have been fortunate to know
and work with him at close quarters have come to appreciate his tremendous achievements and his generous personality. Order of Canada recognizes those Canadians who have made the maximum impact onsociety by their actions at both professional and personal levels. Dr. Lakshmanan has led a life of excellence in his chosen field, displayed selfless commitment to community and country and has been an inspirational figure for a younger generation of Indo Canadians wanting to follow in his footsteps.”

Thakkar added, “CIF takes pride in campaigning for or supporting extraordinary Indo Canadians who deserve praise and honours from the larger society. We continue to identify and highlight exceptional candidates with the hope that our efforts result in
more such honours being awarded to them.”

Satish Thakkar, Chair, Canada India Foundation
Apoorva Srivastava, Consul General of India in Toronto
Dr. V. I Lakshmanan
Ajay Bisaria, India’s high commissioner to Canada 

Among the dignitaries who addressed the audience was His Excellency Ajay Bisaria, India’s High Commissioner in Canada, who
specially flew down for the event. Bisaria said, “It is good to be among friends in person after spending two years of my time
here doing virtual diplomacy! Praising the efforts of Dr. Lakshmanan, whom he called a ‘jewel of India’, Bisaria credited him and the
Indo Canadian community for many of the positive breakthroughs in the Canada India bilateral space. “Today an economic partnership is driving our relationship. That is how it should be. We are trying to get a trade deal done. Before the end of the year, we hope to have an Early Progress Trade Agreement in place. I want to congratulate you and the 1.7 million Indo Canadians for taking this relationship forward.”

Dr. Arun Chockalingam, CIF Advisory Board Member

An AV presentation captured the significant moments from Dr. Lucky’s illustrious career and life. Replying to the compliments and
sentiments expressed by many, Dr. Lakshmanan took the audience back to the day he left India with less than seven pounds in his pocket over a half century ago. A teacher, scientist, entrepreneur, and inveterate community worker, he has left his unique stamp on several projects. “I remember in those days, we had to drive six hours to Pittsburgh to go to the nearest temple! Now you have
temples and gurudwaras at every corner.”

Explaining how members of the community in their individual capacity as well as institutions helped bring about the current vibrant situation, he noted, “It all happens when you give. Not just money but giving your time to help the community is even more important. For that to happen, you need shraddha, abhyasa and vairagya.”

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