“BE the change you wish to see in the world.” With these few words, Mahatma Gandhi conveyed a profound message, said Vim Kochhar, during York’s Faculty of Health Spring Convocation ceremonies Monday, where he received an honorary doctor of laws degree.
Those are words that Kochhar, a former Canadian senator, has lived by and he encouraged York University graduates to do the same.
Kochhar co-founded Rotary Cheshire Homes, where 16 deaf-blind people live barrier-free and independent lives. He went on to found the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons, which has raised more than $25 million for people with disabilities.
It has also helped establish bursaries for students with disabilities at York, what Kochhar called “Canada’s most accessible and barrier free University”.
Kochhar’s first 18 years in India shaped who he is and what he has done. He said: “If you are born Canadian or become Canadian – take pride in being a Canadian. Your heritage – no matter where you come from – will always help you. The country of your birth is like a mother you will always love.”