The day dawned gorgeous and beautiful. India Rainbow had been planning this for a long time – to see the celebrations for 25 years of service. Guest of honour, Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, was just back from his whirlwind tour of India and other Asian countries. He spoke eloquently about the progress India and Canada has made on many fronts, and how organizations like India Rainbow has helped thousands of immigrants succeed in Canada. He was all praise for the work done by the organization, and mentioned increased funding in the settlement sector – which shows the faith they have in services the organization provides.
The chief guest, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, spoke about his early years in Madras as a newly graduated physician, and recalled the challenges he faced in a new country, trying to learn a the native language –completely relating that experience with other newcomers to Canada.
Both the guests were given a warm traditional India welcome with tilak and fresh flower garland.
“We are proud to announce that this is the grand finale of the year long celebrations to mark 25 years of India Rainbow. Let’s capture some magical moments, let’s create happy memories and let’s surround ourselves with laughter and friendship as we celebrate this very special milestone”, said Sheela Joshi, President of India Rainbow.
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCall ion and Brampton Mayor Susan Fennel were both proud of the long association both cities have had with India Rainbow over the past two decades, and how we need to build on the great talent that the new immigrants bring to Peel region.
The evening featured excellent entertainment with the traditional Rajasthani Ghumar dance, tabla and dhol fusion, bhangra dance and a live jazz band.
India Rainbow Community Services of Peel (IRCS) is a charitable, non-profit community based organization whose purpose is to strengthen the community by improving the quality of life of its diverse population with services that are non-religious and non-political. The organization is committed to reaching out to those in need, providing most of its services free of charge.
Services are provided with great sensitivity, care, integrity and accountability by trained staff, who in turn helped by a host of willing volunteers. Serving the community at large, helping new immigrants find their way around, stretching out a hand of support to the frail and the elderly, lending an empathetic ear, is all part of everyday activities at one of the well known and highly respected organizations in the Peel region.
India Rainbow was founded in 1985 by concerned members of the Indo-Canadian community to start a drop-in centre for South Asian newcomer seniors. ‘Rainbow Club’ as it was then known has now morphed into a multi service agency providing numerous services from five sites in Peel.
“Looking back, both India Rainbow and the clients we serve are like seeds that were nurtured and cared for and now have sprouted beautifully into what we are today. With the commitment and support from staff and Board, we continue to grow and provide much needed care to our clients in the Peel community,” says Kitty Chadda, Executive Director.
Since its inception, India Rainbow has assisted the immigrant community to integrate into the mainstream Canadian society through education, training, counseling, referral, information and bridging barriers. In 1985 India Rainbow started with just one program; and now twenty five years later is proud to serve the community with multiple services that include: Immigrant and Newcomer Settlement Services, Job Search Training, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC), Women’s Services, Child, Youth and Parenting Services, Housing and Support Peel, Skills Training, Long-Term Care Program, and Senior Wellness Program. India Rainbow offers services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.
Last year, India Rainbow served over 8000 clients through its programs.
• India Rainbow’s Head Office is located at 3038 Hurontario Street, Suite 206 in Mississauga. Phone: 905-275-2369. The branch office is located in Brampton at 9446 McLaughlin Road North, Unit 1. Phone: 905-454-2598. It maintains regular business hours, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. Evening hours for LINC classes is available at our Mississauga site at: 905-273-4932, and in Brampton at 905-459-4776.