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

sex-psycho-scandal

Jian Ghomeshi charged with four counts of sexual assault, released on $100,000 bail

LAUREN STRAPAGIEL CANADA.COM Former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi has been charged with four counts of sexual assault one month after he was fired by the national…
Continue Reading »

TRAFFIC ACCIDENT-DESI-TRANSIT

Surrey driver who killed senior at bus stop granted full parole after serving four months in prison

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI A Surrey man who drove his car into a bus stop and killed an 83-year-old man five years ago has been…
Continue Reading »

10413566DESI

University confessions Facebook pages can show the hardships of college life in B.C. (w/video)

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI “Today I decided that I would start studying for finals,” an anonymous student wrote to the UBC Confessions Facebook page on…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

sex-psycho-scandal

Jian Ghomeshi charged with four counts of sexual assault, released on $100,000 bail

LAUREN STRAPAGIEL CANADA.COM Former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi has been charged with four counts of sexual assault one month after he was fired by the national…
Continue Reading »

TRAFFIC ACCIDENT-DESI-TRANSIT

Surrey driver who killed senior at bus stop granted full parole after serving four months in prison

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI A Surrey man who drove his car into a bus stop and killed an 83-year-old man five years ago has been…
Continue Reading »

10413566DESI

University confessions Facebook pages can show the hardships of college life in B.C. (w/video)

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI “Today I decided that I would start studying for finals,” an anonymous student wrote to the UBC Confessions Facebook page on…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

suffer in silence

Help for Victims of Sexual Abuse

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The reasons for not reporting incidents of sexual abuse or harassment are many and varied. Recently, we have addressed some of…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Desi crime

Vancouver pimp who ran teen prostitution ring won’t be sentenced until next September

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI The sentencing of convicted human trafficker and pimp Reza Moazami has been delayed nearly 10 months. In September, following a year-long…
Continue Reading »

Sitara Devi

Kathak star Sitara Devi dies after prolonged illness

IANS Mumbai – Eminent danseuse Sitara Devi, who once impressed Rabindranath Tagore with a three-hour solo recital, died here Tuesday after prolonged illness, leaving behind…
Continue Reading »

monkey main

Killer monkeys invade India after government issues wildlife preservation to protect wild apes

CEN AGENCY A ban on capturing monkeys in India has led to an explosion of ape attacks – some which are deadly – across the…
Continue Reading »

Surrey RCMP were called to ..

Surrey husband charged with murder after wife found dead in Newton home

SURREY NOW and VANCOUVER DESI A Surrey man has been charged with murder after his 64-year-old wife was found dead at their Newton home on…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Hrithik Roshan and Sussanne Khan

Arjun Rampal still quiet on his proximity to Hrithik Roshan’s ex-wife Sussanne

HINDUSTAN TIMES In December 2013, Arjun Rampal’s name was dragged into the troubled Hrithik Roshan-Sussanne Khan marriage. Rumours claimed that the actor, a close friend…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Bipasha Basu: Pinkathon important platform encouraging women

IANS Mumbai – Actress Bipasha Basu Tuesday expressed support for Pinkathon, a run for breast cancer awareness, terming it an important platform that encourages women….
Continue Reading »

Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood’s female stars rise in stature and crank out hits, but ask: Where is the money? (w/gallery)

NIRMALA GEORGE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — This is Bollywood’s year of the woman. Some of the biggest hits in India’s prolific movie industry…
Continue Reading »