THE main agenda of the two-day 2nd Punjabi Literary and Cultural Summit of North America that wrapped up in Punjab Bhawan in Surrey on October 28 was “Adverse impacts of harmful drugs.”
The summit kicked off on October 27 with a strong message from Sgt. Jag Khosa of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) about how parents can be better role models to their kids. He was
followed by famous Punjabi singer, Sarabjit Cheema, and other prominent speakers like former gangster Jordan Buna and Maya Bhogal, Surrey School District’s Safe School Liaison, who spoke about the pressure kids face from the society and what matters the most when they are planning their career path. Sgt. Mike Sanchez and Sgt. Gary Sidhu also educated the students and their parents on the subject.
On the second day, five students were awarded scholarships for their participation in this program: Tanvir Phagura of L.A. Matheson Secondary School, Kiran Grewal and Priya Neg of Sullivan Heights Secondary School, Gurleen Sohi of Guru Angad Dev School and Navtej Kaur Kang of Khalsa School. Later, the students took over the stage to share their problems and concerns with teachers, parents and the authorities.
A short play, “Balde-Birkh,” on drugs and gang violence was also organised by writer and director Parminder Swaich and her team. The evening concluded with a Kavi Darbar (gathering of poets) with particpants from various parts of North America.
Sukhi Bath, Chairman of Punjab Bhawan, said that this was just a beginning and he would take this initiative forward by organizing small workshops in schools and Punjab Bhawan to not just educate student, but also provide them a platform to share their concerns with everyone. He also appreciated the support from Surrey RCMP and Surrey School Board in making this event a success.