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First Of The Roundtable Meetings On Diversity And Inclusion Held In Vancouver

By Acharya S.P. Dwivedi

VANCOUVER – Now governmentpervades all aspects ofsociety and from this spectrumpublic heavily rely on government.To address and find solutionof the collective needs ofpublic ,all levels of government,are found seeking more andmore direct public consultation.The BC MulticulturalAdvisory Council (MAC)recently has initiated a plan tohave a series of roundtablemeetings of cross- section ofcommunity, business, governmentand non-government partnersto help identify issues, challenges,barriers and gaps toaccessing provincial programsand services. Roundtable meetingsare meant also to identifystrategies, approaches for effectiveand efficient cross culturalcooperation and partnership.Based on the profound successof its first meeting in Coquitlamon November 7,2013,theProgram Manager- MadhaveeInamdar of MAC plannedmore four roundtable meetings.The second was held onFebruary 18,2014 at VMCA inVancouver in which sixty peopleparticipated. Program startedat 4.00 PM with the welcomingspeech by Madhavee andshe introduced the Chair ofMAC- Tenzin Khandsar whoemphasized on the importanceof multiculturalism and advised-“to look forward and lookbeyond the past”.Participants discussed and identifiedfive major issues and challengesrelated with -A. Funding,B. Immigration, C. Education,D Accreditation E.Senior/Native. To addressabove issues I. Well integratedprograms and policies are to bemade. II. Government shouldprovide information regardingbasic policies and programs tonew immigrants. III. Simple butfair system of credential assessmentof immigrant’s education,training and experiences shouldbe introduced. I V.Multiculturalism must be a partof curriculum in schools.We should not forget that multiculturalismis not only aboutsamosa, pizza , muffins or ethnicdance, as some political leadersthink ,but it is about the culturaltraditions, values and beliefsystems. Some participantsexpressed their concerns thatour advices are going to be seriouslyconsidered when governmentmakes the policies andprograms or it will go underground.I think that cultural andreligious diversity is a reality andwith active propagation ofmulticulturalism and social engineeringwe can create healthyenvironment where everyonewill have respect for each other.The roundtable meeting wasconcluded with a sweet note-Bulgarian dinner.

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