Three Indo-Canadian women in running for prestigious awards

Toronto, May 14 (IANS) Three Indo-Canadian women have been nominated for this year’s YWCA Metro Vancouver’s Women of Distinction awards, touted as one of the most prestigious awards for women achievers in Canada.

Kamal Dhillon, author of “Black and Blue Sari”, Navi Gill, co-founder of Global Girl Power, and Anita Huberman, CEO of Surrey Board of Trade, are three of seven women from Surrey in the Canadian province of British Columbia to be nominated in various award categories, the Vancouver Desi reported Tuesday.

Dhillon is among five nominees in the Community Building category, Gill is among seven nominees in the Young Women of Distinction category, and Huberman is among 12 nominees in the Non-profit and Public Service category, the report said.

The Women of Distinction awards is YWCA Metro Vancouver’s premier fund-raising event.

The awards recognise outstanding women and workplaces and, since 1984, 247 award recipients and more than 1,450 nominees have been honoured, according to YWCA Metro Vancouver’s website.

“In addition to recognising the nominees, this event also highlights and raises funds for the programmes and services that help improve the lives of more than 55,000 people each year across Metro Vancouver”, the website posting said.

Dhillon, a victim of domestic violence, came out with her autobiography, “Black and Blue Sari”, in 2009 and now works as a counsellor for victims of domestic violence.

“Being a victim for many years myself, I knew what it’s like to live one day at a time, where at times you don’t even know you’ll wake up in the morning,” she was quoted as saying.

Gill, 26, is a co-founder of Global Girl Power, a Surrey-based charity that focuses on empowering young girls and women across the world.

“(Global Girl Power’s) focus is empowerment – it’s not one issue, which is why we wanted to start our own organisation,” she said.

“All these issues… that affect women, it all comes down to one thing: that they need empowerment.”

Anita Huberman, who started working for the Surrey Board of Trade at the young age of 19, focuses her work on government advocacy, helping local businesses and poverty.

CEO of the board for seven years now, she has helped develop five awards programmes that celebrate community, volunteerism, leadership, family and health.

“I was very humbled,” Huberman said after being nominated for the award.

“It really was a realisation of, you know, I’m doing good work.”

The award winners will be announced at a ceremony May 28.

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