Mr. Anand Kumar one of the top educators in the world and the man behind the world renowned Super 30 program for IIT entrants, a living testament to education being a great opportunity equalizer- India's Math Guru, educationalist, the Super Hero Behind Super 30, Padam Shri Awardee was Darpan's 13th International Sensation.
In May 2002, Kumar's selfless journey began with the start of Super 30, a program designed to provide coaching to 30 students from impoverished backgrounds based solely on their skills and merits at his own institute-The Ramanujan School of Mathematics.
Kumar didn't just tutor these kids but instead created a nurturing space for them providing them with books, study materials, and accommodation.
Seeing Kumar's passion and will to uplift others and push them forward in achieving their goals, Kumar's family became part of his vision where his mother cooked food for the students and his brother saw the overall process.
The first year 18 out of 30 students cleared the IIT Joint Entrance Exam, the next year it was 22. The year 2008 marked the beginning of new heights for the Super 30 program, as all 30 students qualified the entrance exam at IIT. In 2010, for 3rd year in a row all 30 students qualified the entrance exam.
With the success of the Super 30 program word got out about Kumar's talent and art as an educator and since then he has become a sought-after speaker at world renowned institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT, UBC, Tokyo University.
NEETU GARCHA-INDUSTRY MARVEL AWARD
Neetu Garcha is a well known face in the local and national media landscape. She is a reporter/anchor with Global National and has covered everything from crime and politics to breaking news and international crises.
She is drawn to stories about social justice and equality and embraces the opportunity the job presents to hold powerful people to account. She was named Broadcast Performer of Tomorrow and Broadcast Performer of the Year by the BC Association of Broadcasters.
ISHQ BECTOR-ARTISTIC VISIONARY AWARD
IshQ Bector is a Music Artist/ Filmmaker born and raised in Canada, with Punjabi roots. He first burst onto the music scene with the famous “Aye Hip Hopper” music video which has achieved cult status for Indian Hip-Hop. ishQ has been working closely with the “After School of Hip-Hop”, a school in Mumbai’s Dharavi slums dedicated to providing underprivileged children with an opportunity to develop their musical talents.
He’s done songs for many hit Bollywood films such as Gully Boy, Fukrey, Besharam along with full-length albums, live concerts, corporate campaigns, film and television background scores.
More recently he has been collaborating with local Vancouver talent on both songs for empowerment of youth and a lo-fi spiritual album funded by Creative BC.
DR.RANDEEP GILL-COMMUNITY CRUSADER AWARD
Dr.Randeep Gill is an ER physician at Surrey Memorial Hospital. In 2007 during residency he created a program designed to take high risk, inner city kids off the streets by providing mentorship within the hospital, in the hopes to change the trajectory of their life.
After transitioning his practice to Surrey Memorial Hospital in 2017 he volunteered his time as the Medical Director at the Vine Youth Clinic by Peace Arch Hospital focusing on youth mental health and addiction.
He sounded the alarm on the health care crisis South of the Fraser. He spearheaded a rally with a resounding display of unity and concern for the community’s well-being where citizens from all walks of life came together to overcome the alarming shortage of critical medical care resources.
JUGPREET BAJWA– BREAKING BARRIERS AWARD
Jugpreet Bajwa, , is not just an internationally acclaimed singer but also an icon of perseverance and resilience. Despite being visually impaired, he has won several international singing competitions, proving that talent knows no bounds. His melodious voice has not only earned him accolades but has also positioned him as an influential figure in the global music industry. Over the past few years, Jugpreet has been a highly sought-after judge for various music competitions and offering aspiring musicians invaluable insights and advice.
In addition to this, Jugpreet is a motivational speaker, inspiring scores of people, particularly those with disabilities, to face life's challenges with unwavering confidence and grit. His words not only inspire but also offer practical guidance on how to navigate the complexities of life with courage.
His extraordinary achievements were formally recognized when he became the youngest recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in Canada.
KAREN DOSANJH-HERITAGE DEFENDER AWARD
Karen Dosanjh has authored a book and co-produced a documentary film that gives voice to the early settler migration experiences of South Asians in Canada. In May 2020, she wrote Untold Stories: The South Asian Pioneer Experience in BC, which shines the light on the experience of the first wave of Sikh settlers from India to Canada in the early 1900s. This historic book has made waves in the US, the UK, Australia, and India and also earned the recognition of the Hon. Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, the Hon. Minister of International Development, Harjit Sajjan, and the former Hon. Premier of British Columbia, John Horgan.
In 2022, Karen partnered with SikhLens to produce a film, Hidden Histories: The Sikh Migration Path to Canada. She is now having an impact around the world by with film with releases in Canada, US, India and the UK. In February 2023, Karen was invited by the Government of Canada to premiere Hidden Histories film at the SikhLens Film Festival India, speak to media and students at SD College.
Also, while in India, Karen travelled to Sri Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple, to donate copies of her book Untold Stories to the library for the benefit of future generations. Karen has become a well-known thought leader on South Asian history and during Sikh Heritage Month each year, she does countless interviews on media outlets such as Global News, CBC Radio, CKNW.
In 2023, Karen was also named a BC Business “Women of the Year” in the “Entrepreneurial Leader” category and is the first woman of Punjabi heritage to be featured on the cover of the magazine.
JUGGY SIHOTA-CORPORATE ENGAGEMENT AWARD
Juggy Sihota currently serves as the Chief Growth Officer for TELUS Health.
She launched Consumer Health and introduced TELUS Health MyCare to Canadians in 2019, just before the pandemic. Today, TELUS Health MyCare is the fastest growing and highest patient-rated virtual healthcare service in the country used by millions of people coast to coast.
Additionally, she also introduced LivingWell Companion, a personal emergency response service providing 24/7 support with the push of a button; TELUS Healthy Living Network which includes a growing library of video content focused on health and wellbeing; and TELUS Health MyPet, a mobile app that connects customers and their pets to veterinarians and healthcare experts from their smartphone.
She is proud to say the TELUS Consumer Health team that she built and led was composed of 73% team members identifying as female and 47% identifying as a member of the BIPOC community. The team also consistently had among the highest engagement scores across TELUS.
NISHAN RANDHAWA-SPIRIT OF SPORT AWARD
Nishan Singh Randhawa is a wrestler and his most recent accomplishment is his gold medal win in the 2022 Commonwealth Games. He defeated his South African opponent Nicolaas De Lange 9-3 in the 97Kg freestyle wrestling in Birmingham, England.
He is a University graduate with a degree in criminology. He received a full scholarship to pursue his degree from Simon Fraser University.
He is also a Junior World Bronze Medalist in 2015. He is also a 3x Junior Pan America Champion. Also a 3x Junior National Champion and 4x Senior National Champion.
He is looking forward to once again making the community proud and being able to put on performances equivalent to the Commonwealth Games at the 2024 Olympics.
JOESH KHUNKHUN-YOUNG WONDER AWARD
Joesh Khunkhun is a recipient of the Loran Award valued at $100,000 as well as the recipient of the Terry Fox Humanitarian award valued at $28,000.
He is an advocate for mental health and learning differences, a professional speaker & a first-year University of British Columbia student studying cognitive sciences and psychology.
At the age of 12, he was the youngest person to ever speak at the Global Civic Public Salon. At age 14, he presented a TEDx talk called: “ADHD and My Purpose'' Through Future-ready Minds and Stigma Free Society, he's spoken to over 10,000 students and his lesson plans on anti-racism and ADHD are in over 800 schools across Canada
He is currently researching how social media can be used to provide culturally specific information to people in remote parts of the world and recently became a digital health fellow to do just that.
AMARJIT DHADWAR-ADVANCING PHILANTHROPY
Mr. Amarjit Dhadwar, the owner of A1 Sports has been giving his time and money to various charitable organizations. Out of all his involvements, the 50/50 event is a key milestone in his philanthropic journey.
In the 50/50 fundraiser, he spends 50 hours elevated 50 feet in the air, on a crane platform, raising money and awareness to champion causes that need community’s attention.
So far, he has executed 20 such 50/50 fundraisers and he continues to be an active volunteer with Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Ride2Survive, Diabetes Canada, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
For the past 13 years he has been involved with Ride2Survive. This ride has raised millions of dollars for cancer research.
He has also been an active volunteer with the Guru Nanak Food Bank. He alos arranged over 3000 meals to be delivered to Hope during the Pacific Northwest floods.