July 4 , 2007 issue

Community News

Guyana needs a new 'civic culture' to combat the problem of race says Guyanese educator
Kenneth Persaud, former Principal of Kitty Progressive College
By Adit Kumar
“There is need for a civic consciousness to make people ‘Guyanese’ again … and to start fresh to inculcate a Guyanese Social Culture”, Kenneth Persaud told a public meeting on June 22, 2007 at the Penthouse Restaurant, as he offered solutions to Guyana’s racial problems.
Persaud, Director of the Institute for Democratic Stability (IDS), said that every commentator on Guyana has recognized that racism has been the major impediment to its development since independence. But while this is true, he says, no one offers a meaningful method to solving that stultifying problem.
“The people at large are eager to extricate themselves from that death trap but cannot do so with the consistent, overpowering conditioning from the power elite. Contrary to popular thinking these power elites are found not only in the political structures but also in every other organization, state and private, within society”, Persaud posited.
To combat this disease the Institute is proposing a suitable framework through which society can face this major national problem head on.
“And race, like religion or ideology, are attributes of strength, not weakness … but, an educational infrastructure, one directed to focus on a new vision, a new reality within society, is necessary”, Persaud argues.
A successful educator himself, Persaud proposes a civic stream into the curriculum of the educational institutions and an outreach component to the wider society, the purpose of which is to expand the narrow focus of the racial/ethnic stereotyping to one of a genuine, Guyanese civic culture.
His detailed proposals for the educational curriculum include the use of stories with a moral content at the entry levels of the educational stream to a critical study of democracy, with practical internships, as students progress through university. Teacher training needs to be reoriented as well for molding a decent social awareness across board.
Citing practical examples in vogue in other parts of the world, Persaud addresses a comprehensive outreach project to meet the needs of the wider society.
“With the understanding that reciprocal relations at work or play favor success, societies advance; people who are not merely passive observers but active players enhance the achievement of all”, Persaud told his attentive audience.
For the past half century members of the IDS have been involved in the affairs of Guyana and witnessed the rise and fall of its fortunes, Persaud said. But now they feel they need to inject a new understanding into the nature of Guyana’s problems and provide solutions for the country’s advancement, he offered.
The distinguished educator, a graduate of York University here in Canada, was also a Lecturer at the University of Guyana and formerly Principal and Founder of the famous but now defunct Guyana Progressive College in Georgetown. Involved in Guyana’s political/social development as educator, writer and activist, Persaud is passionate in his quest to see Guyana overcome its deep-rooted racial problems.
He was in Toronto this past week as part of his efforts to make people aware of his solutions for Guyana’s predicament. He has presented his program in New York and Florida so far and has found a keen sense of urgency in the audiences in the Diaspora. He is on his way to Vancouver on the West Coast where he has been invited by some of his former students.
“Toronto, too, gives IDS an additional impetus to launch its program at home”, Persaud observed in response to a question from the audience.

Annandale Picnic
Saturday, July 28, 2007, at Morningside Park, Area # 7, (Morningside south of Ellesmere) from 10 am to 7 pm.
Contact Dharam Lall 416 -314-5613 (work); 416 - 282- 6752 (home) or Gyntree 905- 472-6082.

Mahaica picnic

The 15th Annual Mahaica Picnic will be held on Sunday July 29 at Milne Dam Conservancy Park, Markham (McCowan & Hwy 7). Contact: Karan 416-464-9974/Dalchand 416-292-3313.
Bush Lot picnic
The Bush Lot Annual Picnic (20thYear) will hold its annual picnic on the 22nd of July 2007, at Morningside Park (Area #5) at 1pm sharp. For more information call Raj: (905) 420-2433 or Sam at (905) 455-6245.
Annual youth camp
The Toronto Arya Samaj along with other Samajes in the Greater Toronto Area will be hosting the 19th Annual Arya Veer Dal Training Camp from Thursday, July 12, 2007 to Sunday, July 15, 2007, at the Vedic Cultural Centre, 4345-14th Avenue, Markham. The training program will include religious, cultural and recreational activities.
For information, contact Vidyarthi Sriram @ 416-754-3448, Pt. Naresh @ 905-790-1397, Dave Ramoutar @416-663-4037 or visit web site: www.aryaveerdal.net
BVB Sanskrit exam
The Toronto Sanskrit and Hindi Prachar Sabha has been approved as an Examination Centre for the Saral Sanskrit Examinations of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai, India.
Examinations of the Bhavan are normally held in February and September each year. The first Examinations in Toronto will be held on September 8 and 9, 2007. Classes commenced in April and eighteen students have so far enrolled.
Classes are open to the public. Interested persons may contact: Pandit Kupchand at 905-201-2635, Mr. Shiwraj at 905-471-8696 or Cecil Persaud at 416-297-1940.
Members of the Committee will be happy to conduct classes in any Mandir where there is an interest for such classes.
Canal No 2 picnic
The Canal #2 and Patentia Annual Picnic will be on Saturday .July 14 th 2007 at Milliken Park , Area B. For more info contact: Trevor 416-545-7157, Jean 416-299-7060, Cecil Persaud 416-297-1940, Haro 647-688-4276 or Townie 416-283-7639.
Thakkar at 65
The Menaka Thakkar Dance Company will launch a 'Year of Celebration' in honour of Artistic Director Menaka Thakkar's 65th birthday as well as her 35 years of performance and teaching in Canada, with a mixed program of contemporary classical Indian dance.
The triple bill includes the world premiere of Riaz, a brilliant new group choreography by one of Canada's foremost Indian solo dancers, Natasha Bakht, and two of Thakkar's most acclaimed works, Parashakti (1992) and Homecoming (1996).
This special evening of contemporary Bharatnatyam dance takes place at the Markham Theatre for Performing Arts, July 6, 2007.
For tickets and more information please call:905-3057469 or visit www.menakathakkardance.org
Pranav Walkaton
Pranav Ashram located at 102 Rivalda Road, Toronto, will hold its 1st Annual Walkathon and Annual Family Picnic in aid of Pranav Heritage and Cultural Activites to be held on Saturday, July 7th, 2007. Venue: Round Tree Mills Park (off Islington).
Registration begins from 9:00 am. Walk commences 10:00 am. Campaign goals: To support Heritage programs for children and cultural activites. To promote radiant health and fitness. To Protect and Preserve the environment. For info please contact 416-741-4335.
67-72 Villages picnic
#67-#72 Village Corentyne Annual Picnic will be held on Saturday July 21 from 11 am - 9 pm at Meadowvale Conservation Park, Derry/Mavis Road. Rain or shine, picnic will continue so be there to have lots of fun. Contact Mahen 905-277-1580 or Babo-416 747-9428.
Neighbours Night Out
Sunday July 8, 3-8pm at the Jenner Jean-Marie Community Centre, 48 Thorncliffe Park Drive, Neighbours Night Out in Thorncliffe Park. Food and refreshments, jumping castle and games for children, music and dancing, free admission. Contact: Geoff Kettel 416 425-8954 or gkettel@gmail.com
CICA family picnic
The Canadian Indo Caribbean Association of Hamilton and Surrounding, invites all to its Annual Family Picnic on Sunday, July 15, 2007 from 12:00 noon - 8:00pm @ Shady Acres Park in Binbrook, Ontario. There will be games for adults and kids, music, food and more. For info, contact Basdeo 905-575-5647 or Mahendra 905-662-9719.
RBC scholarship for undergrads
RBC has launched a new scholarship for undergraduate students that will reward those who can create the most practical and inspirational ideas for innovation and improvement in the field of business, science or visual arts.
A total of nine scholarships are being offered. The top three "gold" award winners will each receive $5,000 and will be invited to choose from among several one-of-a-kind educational experiences designed to give students a first-hand look at life in the field of business, science, or visual arts. A typical experience will include hands-on activities and provide students with exclusive one-on-one time with leading professionals in their chosen field. The experiences can last between one and three days and may take place in one of several different locations across Canada, all travel expenses included.
To be eligible for the RBC Royal Bank Scholarship for Undergraduates, applicants must be either permanent residents or citizens of Canada, enrolled in an accredited college or university, and at least entering their second year. Applicants must have also achieved at least a 70 per cent average in their previous year of study. Applicants will be asked to identify and articulate concrete ideas for innovation in business, science, or visual arts. This includes presenting a plan to implement their idea, and describing how it will have an impact in their field.
For more information about RBC Royal Bank Scholarship for Undergraduates, as well application forms, please visit www.rbcroyalbank.com/scholarships/undergraduate.
7th year of Masala!Mehndi!Masti!
Masala!Mehndi! Masti! (MMM) is back for its 7th year and runs from July 27 to July 29 at the Bandshell Park, Exhibition place, home of the CNE. This year, special guest Rahul Bose will present his films "Mr & Mrs. Iyer", "Pyar Ki Side Effects" and "Bomgay", which has won him critical acclaim globally.
New this year is the MMM Artist Walkway co-produced by Tushar Unadkat of Mukta Arts and will feature a colourful walkway in a fine display of visual arts and craft skills, for display and for sale to the public.
On Saturday July 28, a community circle will be formed to perform the annual Dandia Dhamaka, an event in which sticks are used by participants to perform with each other in a dance first started in the Gujarat.
The first annual MMM Peoples’ Choice Award will be launched in which everyone will be welcome to vote for their favourites from a list of nominations compiled by members of the community.
On July 28 and 29, literary works will be presented by Pooja Makhijani, author of Mama’s Saris, TSAR panel of authors, Farzana Doctor, author of Stealing Nasreen, Monica Prabhan, author of The Hindi Bindi Club and Silviano Barbosa, writer of the Sixth Night, which will be presented through readings, writing workshops and activities for children.
Deesha of R&B /Soul Recording fame is also on stage on July 29.
In the field of music, on the mainstage on July 29,the Bilz and Kashif of Montreal will celebrate their recording success with live performances. Jorge Miguel will provide guitar music and tabla for Flamenco and Kathak Dance (Flamenkathak), on July 28 at the mainstage Bandshell.Teams from the Universities ofWaterloo, Mc Master and Mc Gill will also be making competitive presentations.
Devika Mathur also performs on this night. She was a finalist in the Canadian Idol shows a few years ago and is now a DJ on CMR Radio 101.3 FM.
On July 27, Indian Ocean, a band from India will play music and will feature Susmit Sen on guitars and vocals, Asheem Chakravarty on tabla, Rahul Ram on bass guitar and vocals and Amit Kilam on drums. (MM)
Hindu Youth Conference 2007
Hindu Youth Conference 2007 - "7 Insights Into Hinduism", a full day Conference to encourage interest in the Hindu religion and a forum to address questions about Hinduism that are important to today's youth and young professionals will be held on July 7th, 2007 at the Bahen Centre, U of T.
Renowned speakers from different walks of life will join together to make this an interactive and informative experience for all. Participants will benefit from discussions on how Hinduism relates to a 21st century lifestyle, similarities between Hinduism and other religions and much more.
Meals and a networking event are included as part of the registration fee (Early Bird - $7, @ Door - $10).
If you are between 16 and 35, don't miss this unique learning experience and the opportunity to build lasting new relationships!
Register online today at www.hinduyouthconference.ca!
Mrs Deoki Chandra
Mrs. Deoki Chandra passed away peacefully at the Toronto East General Hospital on Saturday June 23, 2007, after a brief period of illness. She was 74 years old.
Mrs Chandra who hails from Triumph Village, East Coast of Demerara, Guyana was the daughter of the late Budhni and Sahebdin alias Baul Gangadhar and sister of Jasoda, Shankeranand and Nityanand, who have all passed away. Her father, a past president of the Triumph Arya Samaj, was affectionately nicknamed Ranger Baul, as he had worked as the Ranger for an extensive period with the Beterwagating/Triumph Village Local Municipal Council.
Mrs. Chandra was the wife of the late Ghanshyam Chandra, formerly of Windsor Forest, WCD. Ghanshyam, who worked many years ago as a technician at the Triumph Village Pumping Station, was the son of the late Gujrati and Doodnauth Sadhu.
Upon retiring in August 1989 after 27 years of service with the Guyana School of Agriculture at Mon Repos, ECD, Mrs. Chandra emigrated to Toronto. She lived amongst her children until hospitalised, where she spent her final days.
Religious ceremonies in her honour were conducted by Pandit Vishnu Prashad Misra of Balmiki Ashram in Scarborough and Pandita Jasodra Prasad of the Toronto Arya Samaj. Service was held at Ogden Funeral Home on Tuesday June 26th, followed by cremation the next day at Highland Memorial Gardens.
Mrs Chandra is survived by five children – Shakuntala and Gaitri who are residing in Triumph Village and Nalini (Baby), Robin and Viren of Toronto, along with four grandchildren Parmanand, Nadira, Kenrick and Ishwar, and two great grandchildren Rajendra and Suraj.
Mrs. Deoki Chandra’s children would like to express their thanks and appreciation to everyone, who offered prayers, support, condolences, attended services and provided counselling to the Chandra family at a very stressful time when they tragically lost their wonderful and beloved mother.
Scarborough Village Festival
On July 14, Scarborough Village will get together for its second annual summer festival. Held in Scarborough Village Park next to Cedar Drive Public School, organizers expect about 3,000 people to attend. “There will be 20 acts on stage,” says staff person Lara McLachlan, “as well as food and fun activities for children and the whole family.” A key feature of this year’s festival is the participation of youth.
The festival begins at 11:00 a.m. and goes to 7 p.m. next to Cedar Drive Public School (21 Gatesview Ave., Scarborough).
Scarborough Village is the neighbourhood located around Markham Rd and Eglinton Ave E.,
Contact: Lara McLachlan 416 261-0150, Vathany Uthayasundaram 416 967-1773 Ext. 241 or Jacek Otreba 416 265-3043.
Dr. Deen bags Canada’s top engineering honor
Professor M. Jamal Deen, Senior Canada Research Chair in Information Technology at McMaster University
Guyanese-born Dr. M. Jamal Deen, professor of electrical and computer engineering and Senior Canada Research Chair in Information Technology at McMaster University, has been elected Fellow of The Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE). The CAE is one of the three member Academies of the Council of Canadian Academies, the other two being the Royal Society of Canada (to which he was elected a Fellow in 2006) and the Canadian Academies of Health Sciences. The Academy is an active member of the international Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS), which involves 24 other leading countries.
Dr. Deen is the 9th faculty member of McMaster University to be elected a Fellow of The Canadian Academy of Engineering –the most prestigious honor aspired for by Engineers in Canada. “The Canadian Academy of Engineering comprises many of the country's most accomplished engineers, who have expressed their dedication to the application of science and engineering principles in the interests of the country and its enterprises. Members of the Academy are nominated and elected by their peers to honorary Fellowships, in view of their distinguished achievements and career-long service to the engineering profession.”
The Canadian Academy of Engineering citation states "Professor M. Jamal Deen of McMaster University is an international leader in microelectronics and optoelectronics and one of the world’s foremost engineering scientists. His eminence in research is based on the powerful models he has developed for the accurate analysis and design of high-performance semiconductor devices and circuits, and the experimental techniques he has innovated to study important device properties. A highly accomplished researcher, inventor and a prolific scholar, his device models and experimental innovations are used worldwide. He is also noted for his mentoring of engineers and scientists, his competency and proficiency as a teacher, and his effectiveness in technology transfer to industry."
Dr. Jamal Deen is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC); a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (FIEEE); a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society (FECS); a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (FAAAS); a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada (FEIC); and Honorary Member of World Innovation Foundation – the Foundation’s highest honor.
Born in Georgetown, Guyana, Dr. Deen attended Queen’s College where he was a regular prize winner for his academic performance. He completed a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics/Physics at the University of Guyana in 1978, winning the Irving Adler Prize as the best graduating Mathematics student and the Chancellor’s Medal as the second best student of the University. During his undergraduate studies, he was also a full-time Math/Physics/Science Teacher at Indian Education Trust College (now the Richard Ishmael Secondary School).
The research work of Dr. Deen and his collaborators were recently the subject of several news articles in the popular press and news magazines – Globe and Mail, The Hamilton Spectator, Canadian Business, Design Engineering etc. for their work in developing new technologies for medical and environmental applications that include
• a biophotonic fluorescent system to detect diseased cells within the body;
• a wireless imaging communications system for screening organ systems such as the breast, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract; and
• sensor systems to detect food- and water-borne pathogens.
Their research work had a big boost when they recently won $10.65M grants to develop Canada’s first Micro- and Nano-Systems Laboratory at McMaster.
Dr. Jamal Deen has been living in Canada since 1986. He is married to Meena Deen, and they have three sons – Arif, Imran and Tariq, aged 15 to 21 years. They currently live in Dundas, Ontario, Canada.
This year’s Fellows were recently inducted at a ceremony held in Toronto on Friday 1 June 2007.
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