RICHMOMD – Indo-Canadian community activist and LINK columnist Balwant Sanghera is among a number of Canadians being recognized across Canada with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Sanghera immigrated to Canada from India in 1966. He obtained his M. Ed. From UBC, and then spent 17 years as an educator in Lillooet and 5 years in Hudson Hope before accepting a position as school psychologist with the Burnaby School District in1990.
As part of his assignment, Sanghera worked as part of a multidisciplinary team at the Maples Adolescent Centre in Burnaby. He retired in 2004 after serving in BC’s public school system for 36 years in various capacities. Sanghera is also past President of the Richmond Multicultural Concerns Society. He is currently President of the Punjabi Language Education association of BC, President of the East Richmond Community Association, chairperson of the South Asian Community Coalition Against Youth Violence and is a former member of the Board of Directors of VIRSA, the Sikh Alliance Against Youth Violence, former member of City of Richmond Intercultural Advisory Committee and the Multifest Committee of the Cambie Community Centre as well as being a member of the Board of Variance of the City of Richmond. His previous community appointments include Senator of Simon Fraser University for 7 years, Vice Chairman and Board Member of Langara College for 5 years and Councilor in Lillooet for 13 years. He has served as member and chairperson of the BC Teachers Federation’s Committee of Ombudspersons for ten years Sanghera has a long history of active participation in his community and has served on the boards of numerous organizations and has volunteered his time for many community initiatives. He is also a recipient of the 2002 Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his service to the community and in June 2004, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia. In 2005, Balwant was chosen as one of the top 10 citizens in Richmond. In 2006, Balwant was awarded the Pride of India award by India International Friendship Society. Later on, he was awarded the Glory of India award in 2007.
Sanghera was identified as one of 100 Indo-Canadians of influence in BC by The Vancouver Sun newspaper. He was also honoured as one of Top 25 Canadian Immigrants for 2010 by the Canadian Immigrant magazine. In 2011, Sanghera was awarded the Solicitor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Crime Prevention and Community Safety by BC’s Attorney General and Solicitor General Shirley Bond. He has just been chosen to receive the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal .
The medal will be presented to Sanghera on November 10 at a special ceremony presided over by his Member of Parliament, Alice Wong in Richmond.