Indian award for Sam Pitroda
By Gurmukh Singh, Toronto, March 13, 2008 (IANS)
Canada-India Foundation (CIF) has decided to honour Indian Knowledge
Commission chairman Sam Pitroda with the first annual Global Indian
Award for pioneering the telecom revolution in India. Called the
CIF Chanchlani Global Indian Award, it carries $50,000 in cash and
a trophy. The award will be conferred on Pitroda by former Indian
president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at a gala dinner here April 18, 2008.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier David McGuinty
are likely to be among about 400 attendees at the event. CIF co-founder
and local Indo-Canadian businessman Vasudev Chanchlani has sponsored
the award and pledged $1 million to create a fund for it. It will
presented annually to "an outstanding Indian who has demonstrated
global leadership, vision and personal excellence, which has made
all of us of Indian origin extremely proud of our heritage".
a press conference here Wednesday, foundation convener Ajit Someshwar
said: "The CIF aims to promote interests of Indo-Canadians
in political and public life here. We will support secular, qualified
Indo-Canadians who want to serve in politics, public life, parliament,
and other important Canadian institutions.
well, the foundation will lobby for India in Canada, and for Canada
in India. We will advocate a better relationship between India and
Canada, and work to make Canadians more aware about India's potential."
said since its inception last year, the foundation has interacted
with top political and business leaders from the two countries,
including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his ministers,
Minister for Overseas Indians Affairs Vayalar Ravi and Confederation
of Indian Industry (CII) president Tarun Das to make them aware
of the CIF mission.
who runs the Sigma Group of companies here, said: "Our focus
will be to change the minds of top Canadian leaders, ministers and
business people about India. We will invite federal ministers to
dinners and events to discuss issues impacting Canada-India relations."
foundation also plans to work for free trade and strategic partnership
agreements between the two countries, opening of Canadian visa offices
in Mumbai and Chennai and restarting Canadian engagement with Gujarat
that was `blacklisted' by Ottawa after the 2002 riots.