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

dog-rock-tar

Video: Rescue story of a dog that fell into hot tar and turned into a rock

VANCOUVER DESI A team of animal rescuers in Western India spent two days working to free a helpless dog trapped in a pile of hot…
Continue Reading »

Surrey-crime

Surrey Sikh temple hit-and-run still a mystery after two years

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Surrey Mounties believe somebody must have seen something that can help investigators solve a hit-and-run crash that happened two…
Continue Reading »

Pakistan

Kids sweatshirts made in Pakistan and sold at Kroger, Fred Meyer stores in the U.S. recalled for choking hazard

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK — Nearly 8,000 children’s hoodies are being recalled because of a possible choking risk. No injuries have been reported, but…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

The cost of not controlling Ebola in Africa? Cases elsewhere, experts warn

By Helen Branswell THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — The revelation that a man with Ebola was diagnosed in a Texas hospital could be seen as…
Continue Reading »

Health Canada bans some drug imports from India; cites quality concerns

THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — Health Canada says it is banning imports of some medications and drug ingredients produced in India due to concerns about…
Continue Reading »

Global index ranks Norway tops, Afghanistan worst for well-being of older citizens

By David Crary THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK — Canada ranks fourth when it comes to the well-being of its older residents, according to a…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

body image-beauty-weight-control

Self-compassion leads to positive body image in women

IANS Toronto – Women who accept and tolerate their bodily imperfections appear to have a more positive body image despite their high body mass index…
Continue Reading »

British comedian John Oliver takes aim at Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's U.S. visit on his HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. YouTube/Screengrab.

British comedian John Oliver again covers Indian politics in HBO show, takes aim at Modi’s U.S. visit (w/ video)

VANCOUVER DESI British comedian John Oliver has covered Indian politics yet again on his new HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. In this…
Continue Reading »

1INDIA_INTERNATIONAL_KITE_FESTIVAL_213745704

Last remaining family member of Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh dies in Toronto

IANS Chandigarh — The younger sister and last remaining blood relative of revolutionary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh has died in Canada, according to relatives in…
Continue Reading »

Komagata Maru

India honours 100-year anniversary of Komagata Maru with commemorative coins

IANS New Delhi — India on Monday released a set of special coins as part of a year-long centenary commemoration of the 1914 Komagata Maru…
Continue Reading »

Sandy Sidhu main.jpg

Nanaimo’s Sandy Sidhu to appear in film at VIFF, but the actress is still waiting for her big break

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI It took years for Nanaimo’s Sandy Sidhu to admit that she was an aspiring actress. Enrolled at UBC for cell biology…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Shah Rukh Khan Deepika Padukone Bollywood sex

Shah Rukh Khan: My films are never male-oriented (w/gallery)

HINDUSTAN TIMES Shah Rukh Khan may be a name big enough to make a film a blockbuster on his own, but he says that his…
Continue Reading »

Sonam Kapoor

Gallery: 10 celebs who did not let diabetes rule their lives

VANCOUVER DESI Did you know Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor has been living with Diabetes from her teen years? And her Pakistani co-star in Khoobsurat — Fawad…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Indian court blocks 72 websites from streaming Bollywood movie ‘Bang Bang’

IANS New Delhi – The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed various internet and telecom service providers to block access to 72 websites hosting the yet-to-be…
Continue Reading »