Mississauga, Canada, October 10, 2014: The start of the Thanksgiving Weekend was truly an appropriate occasion as Members of Canada India Foundation (CIF) and other friends gathered together to share their memories and cherish the legacy of Vasu Chanchlani, entrepreneur, philanthropist and founding member of CIF.
Mr. Chanchlani’s popularity was underscored by the eagerness with which many dignitaries and friends made time from their already packed schedules and the family-focused Thanksgiving weekend to attend and express their thoughts about him, including their sadness at his completely sudden and unexpected demise a month ago. Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister for International Trade, Akhilesh Mishra, Consul General of India in Toronto, Senator Asha Seth, Harinder Takhar, former Minister in the Government of Ontario and former Senator Con Di Nino were joined by representatives from organizations and individuals, including CNIB, McMaster University, Sheridan College, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, IIT Alumni Canada, The Indus Entrepreneurs, Lata Pada of Sampradaya and Jake Dheer of Rogers TV in expressing not only their appreciation for Mr. Chanchlani’s contributions but also the spirit in which he made them. Two of Vasu’s good friends in the parliament, Minister Jason Kenney and MP Patrick Brown, sent in their regrets at not being able to be present at the event.
Among the CIF members and colleagues who were present, many spoke of their personal memories of Vasu, including his warm and outgoing personality, the spontaneity of his acts, the consistency of his interactions with people of diverse profiles and economic or social status and his strong beliefs and deep knowledge of Indian scriptures. CIF speakers “Lucky” Lakshmanan, Laj Prasher, Ramesh Chotai, Terry Papneja, Atul Tolia, Ravi Subramanian, Anita Dalakoti and Pankaj Dave were joined by other members Deepak Ruparell, Rahul Shastri, Sudhir Handa, Anant Seshan as well as Aditya Jha and Mahendra Naik. The evening had earlier began with Pankaj Dave singing a song which was very dear to Vasu, a composition of Pandit Ravi Shankar and Beatle George Harrison,
Mr. Chanchlani was of course, integrally linked to CIF, having been one of its founding members as well as the named sponsor of the prestigious CIF Chanchlani Global Indian Award. The first recipient of the Award, Sam Pitroda, who received the award at CIF’s first and defining Gala in 2008, recalled his interactions with Vasu and expressed his condolences to the family, in an email which was read out during the event.
Attendees at the event also wrote their personal messages on the back of a collage of pictures of Mr. Chanchlani taken at various CIF and other organizations’ events, making up a collective memory of a man whose presence enhanced the lives of people he interacted with.
Canada India Foundation (CIF) is a national, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization established in 2007 to foster support for stronger bi-lateral relations between Canada and India; to educate Canadians on India; and to increase the participation by Indo-Canadians in political process in Canada. CIF's members include industrialists, senior Canadian business executives and top tier professionals.
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