Four South Asians Awarded Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal

VANCOUVER – Four prominent members of the South Asian community have been recognized for their outstanding community service and tireless dedication to various organizations throughout Vancouver.
Hardev Bal, Jarnail Bhandal, Inderjeet Hundal and Nitya Iyer were among thirty residents to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal on Nov. 18 at a ceremony hosted by Don Davies, MP (Vancouver Kingsway).

“These are people of extraordinary commitment, generosity of spirit, rare skill and deep compassion. I am honoured to recognize their worthy contributions to our community,” said Davies.
60,000 medals were struck in Canada to commemorate the historic occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne. Each Member of Parliament was allotted thirty medals to award to deserving members of their community.

Hardev Bal is a successful businessman who has volunteered countless hours to help the South Asian community access Canadian institutions of all types. He created employment for hundreds of individuals over the years and introduced thousands of new Canadians to the Canadian political process. He is a pioneer of democratic engagement in our nation.

Jarnail Bhandal is a multicultural bridge-builder, educator, anti-racism campaigner and Gurdwara leader. He served twice (once as President and once as Vice-President) of the Khalsa Diwan Society and is widely regarded as one of the wisest and most balanced leaders ever to lead a Sikh temple. He is a veteran fundraiser, and devoted many years to the education of children and the care of our elderly.

Inderjeet Hundal has contributed countless hours to improve working conditions, seniors’ welfare and social integration within the South Asian community. He is a founding member of the Collingwood Neighbourhood House, a former member and Vice-Chair of the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal of BC, and is currently the Housing Administrator for Seniors Housing with the Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS).

Nitya Iyer is an outstanding lawyer who is a trailblazer for human rights and pay equity. She has argued cases at all court levels including the Supreme Court of Canada. She contributes countless volunteer hours to community groups, focusing on the advancement of women’s health, equality and progressive public policy. She sits on the board of directors of the Canadian Human Rights Reporter and is a member of the Canadian Disability Rights Council.