November 2018 \ Diaspora News \ DIASPORA IN CANADA
Indo-Canadians pledge USD 7 mn to build hostels for poor children in India

Indo-Canadian expatriates have donated more than USD 7 million dollars to a Toronto-based non-profit organisation which ...

Hailing from a Punjabi family which settled in Kareli, Madhya Pradesh, after they were uprooted from Pakistan during the partition, Mr Papneja said: “As a young boy, I saw poverty at close quarters in my hometown and read how Gandhi made service to God’s creation as his mission after reading the holy Gita. I always wanted to do something for the needy.” According to Mr Papneja, they have just opened a chapter in Montreal to raise money from the local Indian community.

Indo-Canada Economic Council president Mr Arun Srivastava and his wife Anu also announced almost half a million dollars to build a girls-only hostel near Kanpur to educate girls from poor rural families. “Our donation is the continuation of my family’s long tradition of serving the underprivileged. My grandfather Mahashai Chitra Sen Nigam was a great freedom fighter who worked with Lala Lajpat Rai. He was also the founder-member of DAV College in Kanpur and instrumental in setting up the local orphanage, widows’ home and the Hindu temple,” said Mr Srivastava, who also heads Panorama India which is the umbrella organisation of over a hundred Indo-Canadian associations.

Each hostel costs about USD 290,000 to build and most donors sponsor hostels in the areas of India where they come from. Toronto businessman Mr Inder Sharma has committed to donate USD 2 million dollars to build many hostels in rural India. Another Indo-Canadian couple—Neelam and Kris Shah—announced to give scholarships worth USD 100,000 to 20 children over a period of 10 years.