I got emotional when I received a call from the office of Canada’s Governor-General informing me that I had been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada because I felt so incredibly honoured and humbled by the appointment. This high recognition means a great deal to me and I am deeply appreciative. It is truly a privilege to be counted among the remarkable individuals who have received this recognition in the past.
Every country is not just a geographical area but a living embodiment of the values that define a nation and its people. While no country is perfect, Canada is proof that in a world often fraught with division and violence there is at least one place that exhibits an adherence to our shared responsibility to care for each other.
My journey from a tiny ethnic community in India called Parsis to this prestigious appointment is an example of the values we cherish as Canadians. In Canada there are no outsiders and anyone can receive its highest honour. In the complex tapestry of countries that make up our world Canada stands as a beacon of diversity and inclusion as we weave together threads of Indigenous heritage and immigrant dreams.
For me, receiving the Order of Canada is not just a personal achievement but a recognition of the collective efforts and contributions of countless individuals who have supported and inspired me. I am sincerely and deeply grateful to each of them.
I share this recognition with my family, friends, mentors, colleagues, and the community at large in Canada and around the world for their generous and active support, encouragement, and guidance. This honour would not have been possible without their collaborative spirit and their collective will to make a positive impact on society.
There are many obstacles and barriers to overcome as an individual trying to make a difference. The paths of pioneers and social activists are not easy. As an Officer of the Order of Canada I feel inspired and encouraged to continue to contribute meaningfully to the betterment of our nation and the world through the creation of media for social change.
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