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

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

kate main

Gallery: Duchess Catherine races to the rescue in heels on beachy Sydney tour

GORDON RAYNER THE DAILY TELEGRAPH RUNNING in slow-motion along a golden beach, the Duchess of Cambridge appeared to emulate one of the famous scenes from…
Continue Reading »

Kirpans, stylized swords worn by initiated Sikh men and women as dictated by  their religious beliefs, are now allowed in embassies. Jason Payne/ PNG

Canada to allow Sikh kirpans in its embassies and missions abroad

JEFF LACROIX-WILSON OTTAWA CITIZEN Eight years after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that kirpans – the ceremonial daggers worn by those of the Sikh…
Continue Reading »

One of relatives of Chinese passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 pray at a hotel conference room in Beijing, China, Friday, April 18, 2014. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Malaysian minister says this weekend vital for MH370 search

IANS Kuala Lumpur  – Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishammudin Hussein said this weekend is very important for the search of the missing MH370 jet. “I…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Kirpans, stylized swords worn by initiated Sikh men and women as dictated by  their religious beliefs, are now allowed in embassies. Jason Payne/ PNG

Canada to allow Sikh kirpans in its embassies and missions abroad

JEFF LACROIX-WILSON OTTAWA CITIZEN Eight years after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that kirpans – the ceremonial daggers worn by those of the Sikh…
Continue Reading »

Inspector Paulette Freill, left announces at BC RCMP Headquarters in Surrey Thursday April 17, 2014 a 35 year-old Dutch citizen was charged with several criminal offence in connection to the 2012 death of teen Amanda Todd. Amanda's parents Carol, center and Norman Todd, right attended the announcement. Ric Ernst / PNG

Charges laid against Dutch man in Amanda Todd online extortion case

ELAINE O’CONNOR and STEPHANIE IP VANCOUVER DESI Five charges — including harassment and Internet luring — have been laid against Aydin Coban, a Dutch national,…
Continue Reading »

Amanda Todd

A timeline of the events before and after Amanda Todd’s suicide

A timeline of the events before and after Amanda Todd’s suicide: Late 2010 - Grade 7 student Amanda Todd was in a webcam chat room with…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

File photo: Indian villagers gather near the body of an elephant in a field in the northeastern state of Assam on July 8, 2013. It is believed that the elephant was electrocuted by power lines as they walked through fields of growing rice at night . STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Four elephants die from shoddy electrical wires in Indian forest

VANCOUVER DESI A wild elephant has died after it was electrocuted when it stumbled into low hanging electrical wires in a northeastern Indian forest, according…
Continue Reading »

Indian Lovers Party

Gallery: Weird Indian political party names and symbols

VANCOUVER DESI In a country with over 800 million eligible voters, which symbol you vote for is very important. The largest political parties have simple…
Continue Reading »

worship-India

Six-year-old worshipped for patch of hair on his back that has grown into a tail

VANCOUVER DESI A six-year-old Indian boy is being worshipped by villagers for a small patch of hair on his back that has grown into a…
Continue Reading »

underage-sex-pregnancy-Britain

Opinion: Britain’s youngest mom — 12-year-old — isn’t a case for the midwife, it’s a case for the police

ALLISON PEARSON THE DAILY TELEGRAPH  A girl aged 12 years and three months became Britain’s youngest mother over the weekend. She was still at primary…
Continue Reading »

nude bath

PETA India urges health ministry to ban sale of animal-tested products

IANS New Delhi – Animal rights group PETA has urged India’s health ministry to ban the marketing and sale of animal-tested cosmetics and household products….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Porn Queen-desi

Sunny Leone to host MTV reality dating show

IANS New Delhi — Indo-Canadian adult film star Sunny Leone is back to where she started her career in Hindi showbiz – the small screen….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra showcases a creation by designer Neeta Lulla on the sixth day of the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) summer/resort 2014 in Mumbai on March 16, 2014. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Mary Kom shoot harder than hardest for Priyanka

IANS Mumbai  – Months of turmoil for Mary Kom have been “harder than the hardest” for Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, who plays the title role…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Amitabh Bachchan’s Bhoothnath Returns screened before Indian president

IANS New Delhi  – Megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s latest film Bhoothnath Returns, a fun-filled film which also highlights the importance of voting, was screened for President…
Continue Reading »