? India Canada Friendship Circle
ICFC Mission

ICFC encourages dialogue on India in a harmonious environment. The words "friendship" and "circle" in its name, convey an explicit desire to forge and maintain close ties among Canadians with an interest in India. The primary objective of ICFC is to enhance the profile of India in Canada through prominent speakers who articulate and interpret from their perspective the many facets of India's history, philosophy, scholarship, culture, industry, economy, arts and sciences.

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Sunday, May 27, 2018 (3:00 - 5:00 PM)

(Registration begins at 2:45pm)

at Rockcliffe Park Community Centre Hall
380 Springfield Road, Ottawa [at the intersection of Buena Vista Dr]

Common Purpose and the Human Spirit
by Prakash Diar

Event Poster (PDF)

Synopsis: The Indian Diaspora has made significant contributions on a global scale, including those of Prakash Diar, a world-renowned human rights lawyer based in Ottawa. Mr. Diar will talk about his personal experience of life in apartheid South Africa and a little about his experience in Canada. Through his personal experience he will talk about oppression and the human spirit. Not only to survive, but to thrive. Difficult and dangerous times call for commitment, thinking outside the box and action. The lecture is to inspire and remind people that a single person can certainly make a difference but working in alignment and with a common purpose with others can move the proverbial mountain.

About the Speaker: Mr. Diar has practised law in the area of human rights in South Africa and Canada and is internationally known for his defence of the "Sharpeville Six" in apartheid South Africa who were innocent but convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He testified at the UN which passed two Resolutions condemning the apartheid government for the impending execution of six innocent people. He also launched an international campaign which got Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, President Reagan and Chancellor Kohl to personally intervene in an attempt to save the Six. During this period in the mid 1980's, he was detained by the police under the State of Emergency and kept in solitary confinement for a month without being charged. His life was threatened after his release and two people close to him were assassinated. Canada helped Mr. Diar and his family leave South Africa in June 1989. In Canada, he received a Fellowship at the University of Ottawa in the Human Rights Research & Education Centre. Based on his clients' experiences, he authored a book: 'The Sharpeville Six', published by M & S, 1990, Toronto (endorsed by Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu & Nadine Gordimer, all 3 Nobel Laureates). Mr. Diar has also been a Legal Counsel for the Canadian Human Rights Commission and won one of the biggest race discrimination cases in Canada: National Capital Alliance on Race Relations ( NCARR ) v Health Canada, a case driven by Dr. Shiv Chopra. He is currently working with the Minister and DM of Justice on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's mandate to renew the Crown's relationship with Indigenous peoples, which includes adopting the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and implementing the Call to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Report.

Sunday, April 29, 2018 (3:00 - 5:00 PM)

(Registration begins at 2:45pm)

at Rockcliffe Park Community Centre Hall
380 Springfield Road, Ottawa [at the intersection of Buena Vista Dr]

Engaging Rural Communities to improve Child Health in India
by Dr. Mira Johri

Event Poster (PDF)

Synopsis: India's aspirations for development require healthy human resources but population health continues to lag, especially in rural areas marked by poverty. Despite improvements, India's under-5 mortality rate (48 deaths per 1,000 live births) remains high, health knowledge is low, poor health behaviours are common, and only 62% of children are fully immunized. Mobile phone ownership is now widespread and offers new opportunities to engage with communities and to promote community partnership in health and health services. We are piloting an interactive, voice-based, mobile platform (Tika Vaani, or "vaccine voice") in rural Hardoi district, Uttar Pradesh, India to improve child health in areas including immunization, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene. The intervention combines entertaining educational and training capsules broadcast via mobile phone and community mobilisation activities. This presentation will provide the first glimpse of how communities are receiving the intervention.

About the Speaker: Mira Johri, PhD MPH is Professor in the Department of Health Management, Evaluation and Policy at the University of Montreal, and Principal Scientist at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM). Dr. Johri's research focuses on global child health. Mira studied economics, ethics and political philosophy at McGill University, and public health at Yale University. She has served as Consultant in the Department of Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health at the World Health Organization, Geneva, and currently serves as Independent Expert to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Her research has appeared in high-impact journals such as the Lancet, BMC Medicine, and the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Mira is particularly interested in community-based research and in the potential of community engagement approaches to improve health and development outcomes. Her current work focuses on equitable access to childhood vaccines globally and in India.

The content of, and views expressed in, the lectures and audience discussions are entirely those of the speakers and individual members of the audience.  ICFC has no responsibility or liability for any views expressed and comments made and interpretations thereof.
Please join us for an informative talk and networking over tea and snacks at:

Rockcliffe Park Community Centre Hall
380 Springfield Road, Ottawa
[at the intersection of Springfield Road and Buena Vista Drive]

You are welcome to bring family and friends to this event.
Admission: $10 per person [for non-members]
Annual Members of ICFC have pre-paid for all events.

MEMBERS: We urge you to renew your ICFC membership.

Members pay an annual fee of $45 (single) or $90 (family of 2), and enjoy the entire series of five events for one year. You may renew your membership online, or at an event. We accept both cash and cheque at the door.

Become an Annual Member of ICFC

Summary of 2018 Events
April 29, 2018 Speaker: Dr. Mira Johri Topic: Engaging Rural Communities to improve Child Health in India [Event Poster]
May 27, 2018 Speaker: Prakash Diar Topic: Common Purpse and the Human Spirit [Event Poster]