One of the prominent Bhutanese scholars, Tika Adhikari, who has been living in Canada since 2002 has been shortlisted as one of the top 75 finalists for the seventh annual RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.
Adhikari, who had taught Economics to King Jigme Khesar in his 11th and 12th grade in Bhutan, is also one of the contributing editors of the Bhutan News Service.
According to the Canadian Immigrant’s website, the program serves to recognize and celebrate the inspiring stories of Canadian immigrants who have made a significant contribution to Canada since their arrival.
“Each nominee has a unique story that helps define Canada. Their successes help build a country that is rich in diversity and a home where newcomers thrive,” said Christine Shisler, director, Multicultural Markets, RBC. “We thank everyone who took the time to nominate a dynamic individual from their community and now encourage all Canadians to vote for their favorite finalists.”
More than 150,000 Canadians have cast votes to determine the Top 25 winners over the last seven years.
Past winners have included entrepreneurs and business leaders, artists, academics, community volunteers, sports heroes, philanthropists, inventors and visionaries, as young as 17 years and as old as 92.”
Meanwhile, the Punya Foundation, a nonprofit chaired by Adhikari, has published a message in its Facebook page requesting Bhutanese around the globe to cast votes for him.
“President of the Punya Foundation is nominated to be Canada’s top 25 immigrants. With our support he will win,” read the Foundation’s message.
Online voting is open until May 11 at www.canadianimmigrant.ca/rbctop25.
Who is Tike Adhikari?
Tikaram Adhikari originally from Bhutan, is a man devoted to the community. He is passionate about assisting newcomers in settling into new homelands, developing cross-cultural understanding among people, and promoting peace and dialogue amongst diverse groups of people through understanding and harmonious collaboration. Global citizenship, adult education, social justice and promotion of human rights underpin Adhikari’s work in social service provision and development.
Adhikari came to Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 2002. He was instrumental in the early settlement of Bhutanese refugees in Winnipeg. The Manitoba provincial government consulted him about developing a settlement plan for Bhutanese refugees. Adhikari took the lead in making presentations at several service provider organizations, including Welcome Place, and raising awareness regarding Bhutanese people so that various organizations were better prepared to assist Bhutanese refugees upon their arrival. In addition, Adhikari accompanied staff from Welcome Place to receive the refugees, visited them often to help alleviate feelings of depression and isolation, and mobilized community support on their behalf.
In 2012, Adhikari was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contribution to community services in Canada, particularly the settlement of Bhutanese refugees. Adhikari is currently the president of the Nepali Cultural Society in Winnipeg. The society’s membership is composed primarily of people with Nepalese or Bhutanese ancestry. He regularly updates the federal government on the status of Bhutanese newcomers in Canada. He is also the chairperson of the Punya Foundation, an organization that provides educational support to vulnerable youth as well as empowerment to marginalized women in refugee camps in Nepal.
In addition to his volunteer work, Adhikari continues to promote cross-cultural communication, diversity and multiculturalism in his work as a career coach at Manitoba Start. Manitoba Start is the first stop for all newcomers to Winnipeg, and provides newcomer-specific career development and employment supports. In this capacity, Adhikari also serves as a role model and mentor for newcomers by facilitating their integration into Canadian workplaces and encouraging their positive contributions to Canadian society.
Although highly educated and experienced, Adhikari had difficulty finding full-time employment to support his family of five when he first immigrated. He eventually found part-time employment as a university instructor. To improve his prospects, Adhikari pursued a master’s in natural resources management at the Natural Resource Institute, University of Manitoba, while continuing to support his family by working as an instructor in economics and international development studies at the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg.
Adhikari’s hard work and dedication to continuous learning not only paid off for him and his family, but he is also able to use his personal experience in offering career guidance to newcomers.
(Adhikari’s profile is taken from http://canadianimmigrant.ca/)