Harnoor Gill: South Asian Teen of the Year Award Winner

Y Media and CIBC, the leading North American financial institution organized the dazzling 6th Annual CIBC Midweek South Asian Awards event on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at the Grand Victorian Convention Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. This was established in 2007 and at this event; Mr. Yudhvir Jaswal (the CEO & Group Editor of Y Media) along with his team members welcomed and recognized the achievements of extra-ordinary South Asians locally as well as internationally.

Harnoor Gill: South Asian Teen of the Year Award WinnerThis one truly amazing category that was just recently added to the awards – The South Asian Teen of the Year award was awarded to none other than Harnoor Gill. Gill, who is of Indian descent, was born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada. At the age of 15, he is currently a sophomore from Christ the King Catholic Secondary School at Georgetown in Ontario. As an award-winning activist, published writer, motivational speaker and founder of Peace Welcome Club (PWC), Gill has achieved more than the average 30-year-old male. PWC was also founded by Gill at the age of 14 in February 2012.

Nine individuals, including Harnoor Gill, were recognized for their professional accomplishments and contributions for the South Asian community. Mississauga’s Arun Srivastava, CEO and president of Paystation, received the Entrepreneur of the Year award. Others: Vijay Sappani, Youth of the Year; Anil Chawla, Professional of the Year; Dr. Lalita Malhotra, Humanitarian of the Year; Rabbi Shergill, Artist of the Year. Stewart Bell received the Award for Bravery and Courage, Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell was given the Diversity Award and renowned cricket player Harbhajan Singh, who couldn’t make it to the event, received the Sher-E-Punjab Award.

“I am so thankful to Y Media for such a great honour and a pleasant surprise by recognizing me with a Teen of the Year award. I encourage all South Asian media outlets to refrain from promoting India’s politics and be more focused on current Canadian issues. This would especially be youth-led projects to promote volunteerism to help make this country a better place for future generations,” Gill said.

He added: “I felt so fortunate to stand amongst remarkable people of our community, and it was a blessing.” When asked how the idea came up to promote volunteerism and community service in youngsters, Gill said: “It starts from home. When you volunteer as a family in the community that’s how your children get inspired and they follow the same path. Do not encourage your children to complete 40 hours of community service only to fulfil high school diploma requirements. Tell them to go an extra mile and make a difference.”

Over the years, Gill has received many awards and honours, including the International Diana Award in 2013, International Eco-Hero Award in 2013, YMCA Peace Medallion in 2012, and Queen Jubilee Medal in 2012. He was named one of the Top 15 – under 15 in 2011 and Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year in 2011. Gill, who lives in the small community of Georgetown, loves it there and is heavily engaged in it.

Guru Ka Langar – A Message of True Oneness

On the tenth day of Ganpati visarjan, this year, more than 2,000 city police officers, including the traffic police and state reserve police force, enjoyed special ‘langar’ meals as they went about their work.

Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Commissioner of  Police, Greater Mumbai
Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Commissioner of Police, Greater Mumbai

The Guru Singh Sabha prepares langar for about 400 people every  day. The police officers have the central community body of Sikhs in  the city, the Guru Singh Sabha, to thank for it. The Sabha has received  a letter of appreciation from the Matunga police station, where it had  sent 250 food parcels, for this service. “We have been serving food to  the police force on immersion days for the last two years, but this is  the first time we received a letter of appreciation,” said Manmohan  Singh secretary of the Sikh body.

Around 30 members of the Sabha prepared 800 packets of food on  the seventh day of the festival, and 2,200 parcels on the tenth day,  serving a wholesome meal of sheera, puri, channa and pulav to the  police officers. The Sabha prepares langar for about 400 people at the Dadar gurudwara every day.Guru Ka Langar – A Message of True Oneness

“One of the philosophies of our religion is that every Sikh is a policeman (sant sipahi) of society, which is why we try to assist he police in one way or the other,” Singh said.

Senior police inspector Raghvendra Thakur, from the Matunga police station, said “We appreciate the organisation’s efforts for our officers, and I sent a letter last week conveying our gratitude.”

The Sabha has offered similar services to the police on other occasions, such as during Bal Thackeray’s funeral at Shivaji Park last year.

~Deeksha Singh
~New Delhi, 4th Oct’13

Journey with the Gurus, Vol 2 – Book Review by Gurmeet Kaur

Journey with the GurusMy eight year old nephew whom I lovingly call Sher Singh has been impatiently waiting for the Volume Two of Journey with the Gurus. “Maasi is it here yet?” has been the question that I have endured every time we’ve met at family gatherings for almost two long years.

At each meeting I would share with him the progress of Volume Two. “Right now, Inni Aunty is working on discussion points of Chapter 5” or “This week all the illustrations are being correctly placed,” or “It has been printed and is on its way to the USA.”

His anticipation grew at each step.

His journey of falling in love with Guru Nanak ji started with Chapter One, nay, with the poem in Volume 1. On his birthday, we shared a story night. He along with his older brother snuggled in bed and we read the poem of Guru Nanak’s coming. He was in awe. And when he held the majestic hard bound book, in his two little hands, I knew from the spark in his eyes, that a relationship had begun.

I wasn’t sure if the book would be read to the children with the same dedication as the first night. But, my fears were unfounded. The children made sure that it was. All ten chapters of Volume One were read to them over and over, again.

Journey with the GurusUp until that time, my nephew had only a vague idea of who Guru Nanak was. But thanks to Volume One of Journey with the Gurus, Guru Nanak has become one of his closest companions.

“Will you take me to Batala?” he questioned me the other day. “Why Batala?” “Guru Nanak ji got married there,” he replied. I was stunned.

Journey with the Gurus, Volume Two, is now being read to him every night. He is so excited to read all about Guru ji’s travels.

Journey with the Gurus, Volume Two covers the life and teachings of Guru Nanak from the start to the mid of his first sojourn by the way of nine stories. These stories are inspired by Guru Nanak Chamtkar of Bhai Vir Singh. They have been lovingly retold by Inni Kaur who has been involved in educating Sikh children for decades.

A map at the beginning of the book marked with important places covered in the stories helps visualize Guru ji’s travel at the global context. Little fingers can easily follow the route that Guru ji took centuries ago. Fifty-five beautiful original illustrations in rich, vibrant colors make the stories come alive.

One feels like one is traveling with Guru ji. Whether it is celebrating Guru ji’s homecoming in Talwandi or saying good-bye standing with the sangat in Saidpur or Haridwar. One can also easily identify with Pir Khan, a good man who forgot his virtues when he became powerful or with Bhai Lalo whose joy knew no bounds when Guru ji embraced him.

And, at times one becomes a traveler.Walking the pathways that Guruji and Bhai Mardana traversed – enchanted by the flora and fauna that adorns the landscape, resting under the starry nights full of music and magic. My toddler daughter often comes to this book not only to marvel her “Baba Nanak” but also to see the parrots, rhinos and peacocks.

Journey with the GurusEach story is woven in an easy to understand language – the dialogue between the subjects captures the imagination of young minds and permeates them with Gurmat concepts in a non-preachy way. For example, when Mata Tripta ji asks, “Will you stay with us for a while?” Guru ji replies, “I am here with you now.” In the story of Sajjan’s transformation, when, Mardana wonders why Guru ji bothered to risk their lives in order to make a good man out of Sajjan, Guru ji replies: “Mardana, do you think it is important to change a dirty, smelling pond into a clean water spring?”

The dialogues between Guru ji and Mardana remind me of loving conversations between a father and his child. Life-lessons are being imparted in a loving manner.

Because this book is dialogue oriented, it helps in transporting the children to the time and space of Guru Nanak. Each chapter ends with discussion questions. These questions provide a framework for meaningful conversations. They help in connecting the dots from the past to the present. The children can relate Sikhi to their everyday life.

The book includes an extensive glossary of all native terms that children may be unfamiliar with. It ends with a lovely poem written by Bhai Vir Singh which is translated by the author. This translated poem is sung by Jamel Kaur(daughter of Dya Singh of Australia) and her group. The song can be downloaded from www.journeywiththegurus.com.

This hard-cover book is printed on heavy museum quality paper and has been designed to be passed from generation to generations. These volumes are irreplaceable, and are a timeless addition to our homes, history and our psyche. They are perfect for a Sikh family’s evening activity or to be read at bed-time. They are a great fit for Sunday Gurmat schools as well. They make ideal gifts for the children’s elementary school libraries on the occasion of Gur Purabs or Vaisakhi day celebrations. In fact, I believe every Public library in the United States should have these books.

Where Inni Kaur’s retold stories are the soul, the illustrations by Pardeep Singh are the heart of this charming series. Perfected by Manjyot Kaur’s editing, this team has created nothing short of magic.

To read a chapter and download songs, please visit www.journeywiththegurus.com

Distances Made Shorter

Another Weekly Train Service Begins to Sachkhund Hazur Sahib, Nanded.

Another Weekly Train Service Begins to Sachkhund Hazur Sahib, Nanded


Make way for the most sort after train service! Cut short the hassle to reach Sachkhund Shri Hazur Sahib, Nanded. Avail the advantage of the Weekly Train Service being started to give the Sangat a great experience while travelling.

Take a note of the details and let others know as well!

Weekly Train Service –
Sachkhand Hazur Sahib
Starting on – 3rd October, 2013
From – Nangal Dam/Anadpur Sahib via Chandigarh at 4:20 p.m October, 2013
To – Hazur Sahib, on 4 October, 2013 at 11:45 p.m.

NOTE – Every Saturday, this train shall be leaving Hazur Sahib at 11:00 am and will reach Delhi at 1.10 pm and then will reach Chandigarh 6:00 pm.
And will run from Nangal Dam 4:20 pm on every Thursday and will reach Hazur Sahib Nanded at 23:40 on Friday night.

Distances Made Shorter