Saturday, January 28, 2023
HomeCANADAY Media Exclusive: Vedanta Founder Anil Agarwal Honoured With Global Indian Award...

Y Media Exclusive: Vedanta Founder Anil Agarwal Honoured With Global Indian Award In Canada By Canada-India Foundation

Canada India Foundation held its annual CIF Global Indian Gala at a glittering ceremony that attracted who’s who of Indo Canadian community, federal, provincial and municipal leaders, decision makers, academia, businesses, and India watchers. A highlight of the evening was also the presence of the Anishnawbe Health Foundation, representing the Indigenous People of Canada, as the day coincided with the National Truth & Reconciliation Day. The Award winner, Anil Agarwal, donated the entire award money of $50,000 to the Anishnawbe Heath Foundation, while adding another $21,000 on his own.

Satish Thakkar, Chair, CIF

Satish Thakkar, Chair, CIF, acknowledged the unprecedented level of support from the community and sponsors this year and said that it was a clear sign of the dedication and commitment of Indian Diaspora to work towards an ideal partnership between Canada and India. He lauded the award winner, a world-renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist, Anil Agarwal, as a fine example of a success story that inspire every youngster growing up, to dream big and persevere to fulfill the dream.

Anil Agarwal, the Chairman of Vedanta Resources

Anil Agarwal, the Chairman of Vedanta Resources, based in London, England, in his acceptance speech, spoke from the heart on his struggles, challenges and the life lessons that he learned along the way. He said that in his first time in Canada, he was totally overwhelmed with the hospitality extended to him and the high levels of success that the Indo Canadian community has achieved in Canada. He said that he had never experienced anywhere else in the world the simplicity, affection and love of people as much as in Canada. He was also especially gratified to notice that Indo Canadian families retained the cultural traditions of India.

Talking about India, he urged everyone to understand the tremendous potential in a country headed to a $30 trillion economy in the near future. India and Canada are both democracies and there are many ways they can collaborate and engage to advance economic conditions for both, he noted. Anil Agarwal struck up an easy relationship during an interaction facilitated by CIF with Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, Federal Minister Mary Ng and invited him to visit India.

Talking about India, he urged everyone to understand the tremendous potential in a country headed to a $30 trillion economy in the near future. India and Canada are both democracies and there are many ways they can collaborate and engage to advance economic conditions for both, he noted. Anil Agarwal struck up an easy relationship during an interaction facilitated by CIF with Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, Federal Minister Mary Ng and invited him to visit India.

The world also knows Anil Agarwal as a great philanthropist who has committed 75% of this wealth to charity. His charitable arm oversees a huge country-wide movement called Nand Ghars that impart training skills, virtual classroom and other amenities to 80 million needy women and children in India. Typical of his generous nature, while donating the CIF Award money of $50,000 to a local charity of Indigenous people, Anishnawbe Health Foundation, he announced that he would add $21,000 on his own to the donation.

Anil Agarwal concluded his speech by making a promise that will help uplift India’s poor in the long run. “As you know, I dream big! If I can make my company into a $100 billion institution, I want to make 75% of it, i.e., $75 billion, made available to change the lives of the poorest of the poor in India. Rest of my life is dedicated to that project.”

Consul General Apoorva Srivastava

Many other dignitaries spoke at the event which was attended by nearly 1,000 people. Consul General Apoorva Srivastava applauded CIF for its great contributions through advocacy and many initiatives during the past 15 years towards strengthening Canada India relations. She said that the Indian diaspora of 1.8 million in Canada was a great source of strength for both Canada and India.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Premier Doug Ford acknowledged the importance of accelerating and expanding the credentials accreditation process for new immigrants, as Ontario and Canada had a lot of potential jobs but not enough skilled resources to fill them. Premier Ford also thanked Mr. Agarwal for his invitation to him to visit India and said he hoped to visit India soon.

Federal minister, Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade of Canada

Federal minister, Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade of Canada, mentioned her meeting with Hon. Piyush Goyal during May 2022, as well as her more recent conversation with him and said that Canada and India were on their way to a pragmatic Free trade agreement by the end of the year, which will protect both Canada and India’s interests.

Hon. Helena Jaczek, Federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Hon. Helena Jaczek, Federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement recalled the many previous CIF Galas that she had attended and said that relations between countries may be strengthened by governments and businesses, but it is the people who make the bond work. She said that her priority was to make a more modern and less cumbersome procurement process, which would benefit businesses.

Amanda Strohan, Deputy High Commissioner for Canada in India

Amanda Strohan, Deputy High Commissioner for Canada in India, said that at present 400 Canadian companies had a base in India, and recently 10 companies from Canada had participated in India Renewable Energy expo.

September 30 was the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and Canada India Foundation was honoured by the presence of Anishnawbe Health Foundation. Accepting the Cheque for $71,000 on behalf of the Foundation, Mr. Tim Laronde, Board Member at the Foundation, thanked CIF and Mr. Agarwal for the donation while acknowledging the common values regarding the union of mind, body, spirit and emotion shared by the cultures of India and that of the Indigenous people of Canada. He presented Mr. Agarwal with a special print of the painting titled “The Great Reunion) by Ojibway artist, Brandon Jocko, as well as a certificate of appreciation to CIF.

Ritesh Malik, National Convener, CIF

Concluding the event, Ritesh Malik, National Convener, CIF thanked Mr. Agarwal, all the dignitaries and attendees while reiterating the theme of the Gala, “Engage, Evolve, Elevate”. “Canada-India’s true potential cannot be left to the mercy of small irritants and issues which crop on and off. It’s high time we engage, evolve and elevate this important partnership for long term good of people on both sides” he said.

All the speakers acknowledged the great contributions of Mr. Agarwal towards the betterment of the Indian community and praised his pledge of giving 75% of his wealth to charity, while congratulating CIF on completing 15 years working tirelessly towards stronger Canada India relations.

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