The Dr. Hari Sharma Foundation for South-Asian Advancement is pleased to congratulate Mr. Harinder Mahil on receiving the Order of British Columbia (OBC). A very well-earned honour for Harinder, a founding member, leader and executive member of the Foundation.
A lifelong advocate for social and racial justice, equality, protection of our mother earth and its resources, equality, and peace, Harinder’s contributions towards helping improve the quality of life for British Columbians in general and its South-Asian diaspora in particularly are exceptionally broad and meaningful.
As the former chair of the British Columbia Council of Human Rights and a Commissioner of the British Columbia Human Rights Commission, Harinder helped create an atmosphere of respect for individual rights irrespective of their class, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or age. By utilizing the wealth of knowledge he gained through work as a trade union and community organizer, he helped foster a much egalitarian workplace culture, fostering institutional commitments towards creating a workplace atmosphere free of discrimination and abuse, specifically respecting the racialized workers.
As a community organizer, Harinder, along with other important British Columbians, such as the late Charan Gill, Dr. Hari Sharma, Dr. Chinmoy Banerjee, and the currently serving speaker of the British Columbia Legislature, Raj Chouhan, Sarwan Boal, and Judy Cavanagh helped create the Canadian Farm Workers’ Union in order to bring workplace justice to the farmworkers, who were hitherto denied even the basic workplace protections, given poor or no wages, zero benefits, and who worked in a physically and emotionally extremely insecure atmosphere.
Zahid Makhdoom, President of the Hari Sharma Foundation, while congratulating Harinder said that honouring Harinder with the Order of British Columbia is a testament to the importance of his struggle. He added that “social justice and workplace security are essential goals and elements for building and sustaining a just and fair society. Harinder’s tireless efforts towards realizing these goals make him one of the most important and reliable leaders in the much necessary movement towards a non-discriminatory, non-racialized, just and fair society in general and workplace specifically”.