Former Miss World Diana Hayden to speak at TOIFA’s International Women’s Day event

Published: February 27, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Diana Hayden

Former Miss World and Bollywood actress Diana Hayden will be one of six successful women participating in a panel discussion Saturday at Richmond’s River Rock Casino Resort in honour of International Women’s Day. Submitted photo

It was a long “climb” to the top for former Miss World and Bollywood actress Diana Hayden.

“I climbed my way to the top,” Hayden told Vancouver Desi from her home in India. “It wasn’t very straight away into the glamour world.

“I just worked really, really hard.”

At the age of 14, Hayden’s parents split up and she was forced to quit school and find a job. She worked hard to earn a living — as a telephone operator, a receptionist.

And today she pays it forward by helping women through motivational and confidence-building lectures.

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, the Times of India Film Awards is using its global platform to celebrate “the spirit and power” of women like Hayden this weekend.

TOIFA is hosting an event Saturday at Richmond’s River Rock Casino Resort bringing together six successful women — three from British Columbia and three from India, including Hayden — to participate in a panel discussion, followed by a fashion show, dinner and music.

“Women panelists were selected to represent women achievers from various fields: politics, arts, entertainment and entrepreneurship,” said TOIFA Project Head Sameer Soni. “(They) are pioneers, visionaries and are women who have followed their dreams.

“Each one has a story to tell and has made a difference to the world.”

Hayden hopes to share her story and the lessons she’s learned.

“I know the trials and tribulations you face as a women in the work force — in the glamour world as well,” she said.

“(But) we can achieve whatever we put our minds to — and sex is not a barrier, it’s not an issue.”

While Hayden admits India has “come very far” — “we still have further to go,” she said. “As much as (India) has so much heritage — our culture, it’s so old.

“We’ve got a lot of women here, but if you look at the workforce and Indian rule, even at home, the level of equality that women have in the west, we do not have it in India.”

Local broadcaster and fellow panelist Shushma Dutt is eager to hear the viewpoints of women such as Hayden.

“It will be an interesting thing to see how (Indian women) present their problems and views — it’s going to be very interesting to hear Diana Hayden talk,” she said.

In Dutt’s daily work, she interviews strong and successful South Asian women on OmniTV and plans to share their success and advice at Saturday’s panel.

She particularly focuses on immigration and the challenges women face when transitioning into a new culture.

“I think women get the majority of the problems,” she said. “If the kids are not listening it’s (her) fault — you haven’t given them the education they should have. The responsibility lies on the women a lot.”

Other panelists include local psychiatrist and author Dr. Shimi Kang, who is a true success story having gone to medical school when she was 19 years old, then started a charity at 22, worked at hospitals across India and completed a fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux, former Miss Asia Pacfic Dia Mirza and actress Perizaad Zorabian will also contribute to the discussion.

“The key message is of empowerment and celebrating the strength and passion of women,” said Soni. “South Asian women have been an active voice of global development and are the epitome of spirit, courage and values.”

The panel starts at 6 p.m. and is followed by a Marc Robinson fashion preview featuring B.C. designer Davi Bains and Indian designer Satya Paul.

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

common krait

Man bites, kills poisonous snake slithering towards him in bed

VANCOUVER DESI In a shocking incident, an Indian man bit and killed a venomous snake in his bed, according to the Daily Telegraph. Rai Singh, from…
Continue Reading »

teen music video

Vancouver teen’s music video gets over 300k views in less than a week

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver teen and aspiring musician Sid Bhullar has released his third music video online  – and within one week he’s already surpassed 300,000…
Continue Reading »

Unruly passenger tied to his seat

Drunk Air India passenger tied to his seat on flight after attacking people onboard, tearing clothes of two pursers

VANCOUVER DESI An Air India passenger, who went wild after a few drinks and allegedly tore the clothes of two pursers and bit some fellow…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

teen music video

Vancouver teen’s music video gets over 300k views in less than a week

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver teen and aspiring musician Sid Bhullar has released his third music video online  – and within one week he’s already surpassed 300,000…
Continue Reading »

Best polio vaccine? Oral and injectable, used in tandem, new study says

By Helen Branswell THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — For decades scientists have debated whether injectable or oral polio vaccine is the best option for trying…
Continue Reading »

BRITISH COLUMBIA

B.C.’s top Mountie says RCMP budget cuts won’t slow fight against gangs

VANCOUVER DESI The province’s top Mountie maintains budget cuts to the B.C. RCMP will not affect the force’s commitment to taking down gangs, though two…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Const. Ian MacDonald says: ‘You don’t want to see anybody carted away in an ambulance over this, and that is a very real possibility. Ric Ernst/PNG

‘It’s pride getting in the way’: Feuding Indo-Canadian youth factions worry Abbotsford cops (w/ video)

JENNIFER SALTMAN  VANCOUVER DESI  No one really knows how the conflict started. According to a number of people who are involved, in February one person…
Continue Reading »

Stone-health-Kaleem

Eight-year-old Indian boy’s swollen hands are larger than his head

VANCOUVER DESI Kaleem, an eight-year-old Indian boy suffering from a mystery condition has puzzled doctors after his hands swelled to giant proportions and are larger…
Continue Reading »

India-surgery

Doctors remove unborn child’s skeleton from woman’s womb after 36 years

VANCOUVER DESI In an unusual surgery, doctors in India removed the skeleton of an unborn baby from its mother’s womb after 36 years, the Press…
Continue Reading »

Sikh-Ontario

Turbaned Sikhs will not be allowed to ride motorbike without a helmet in Ontario

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she won’t allow for turban-wearing Sikhs to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. In…
Continue Reading »

Annu Gaidhu

Mississauga beauty Annu Gaidhu crowned Miss India Canada (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI Mississauga’s Annu Gaidhu was crowned Miss India-Canada at the 24th annual pageant in Toronto Saturday evening. The 23-year-old yoga instructor and aspiring child…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

desi boobs-actress-celebrity

Bollywood actress from Britain still finds time to help her parents at their corner shop (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI British actress Geeta Basra, who made a name for herself in Bollywood with three major films, still helps her parents at their local…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood stunt man

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar takes up the ALS ice bucket challenge

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood action hero Akshay Kumar took on the ALS ice bucket challenge in true stuntman style – with 11 buckets of ice water….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Aamir Khan dropped pants for ‘PK’, wonders would Salman Khan follow suit?

IANS Mumbai – It seems Aamir Khan is in the mood to rag his friend and colleague Salman Khan! The former dropped his pants for…
Continue Reading »