KIDS-PLAY’s Anti-Drugs And Gangs Forum Draws More Than 700 Youth In Surrey

By R. Paul Dhillon

SURREY – More than 700 youth turned out for the KIDS-PLAY’s anti-drugs and gang forum Wednesday night in Surrey.

The VPD top-cop Kal Dosanjh and Olympian Arjan Bhullar fronted Kids Play Foundation group has taken a lead against the problem with several previous forums as he says they are extremely necessary given that the gang activity, drugs, and violence continues to be of great concern to the residents of Surrey with so many shootings.

Dosanjh told the LINK there have been 54 shootings in 2016, a huge increase from 2015, along with a fentanyl crisis which has resulted in 71 overdoses in Surrey, therefore the need for prevention and intervention programs remains incredibly high.

An example of how the Kids Play is helping people is Austin Batra, a youth volunteer with Kids Play who understands first-hand the importance of not going down the wrong path.

“I got mixed up with the wrong crowd,” says Batra.  “I wanted to be one of the cool kids and started participating in activities I shouldn’t have.  But an intervention from my father along with having mentors like Kal Dosanjh changed my life.”

It’s with this goal in mind that over 700 youth and parents attended the forum along with several youth organizations operating within the City of Surrey.

The sad part is that there was no member of the Surrey RCMP at the event, which is a shame given that it’s an event that is helping to get youth away from the drug-gang scene and their presence would have positive impact on youth.

Wednesday evening’s forum was be headed by David Steverding of Odd Squad Productions, Joe Calendino of Yo Bro/Yo Girl, and Sim Sidhu with BC Crimestoppers, all who have worked to warn youth of the dangers of drugs and gang life.

Attendees also heard from athletes Jas Dhillon of the BC Lions and 2-time Canadian Olympian Nick Sandhu.  Attendees will engage with each other on a number of topics, including on how to create and take part in change, how to identify behaviours attributed to a dangerous lifestyle in youth, and how to curtail these types of behaviours in our community.

Kids Play Foundation is founded by 2012 is a community organization that aims to keep B.C. kids away from the life of crime through its various sports programs.  Kids Play believes in building a better future for our youth, one game at a time. For more info contact executive director Kiran Toor at 778 320 6540.

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