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Calendar released in Canada dedicated to creator of Rock Garden of Chandigarh

Rock Garden Anjali Appadurai
Anjali Appadurai received an Environmental Justice Hero Award at the unveiling of the calendar honouring Rock Garden creator Nek Chand. Photo by Gurpreet Singh.

To mark the centenary of the birth of Nek Chand, environmental justice activists came together in Surrey, B.C. to unveil a calendar in his honour.

Chand created the famous Rock Garden in Chandigarh, India. which houses sculptures made from waste materials. He was born on December 15, 1924.

The online social and political issues magazine Radical Desi published the 2024 calendar in partnership with People’s Voice newspaper, Mehak Punjabi Di TV, Channel Punjabi, Spice Radio, and Indigevision.

The calendar marks important dates related to the environmental movement.

Anjali Appadurai, a well-known climate justice activist did the unveiling. She previously ran as an NDP candidate in the federal riding of Vancouver Granville in the 2021 election, as well as for the leadership of the ruling BC NDP in 2023. She was presented with “Environmental Justice Hero Award” on the occasion by anti-racism educator Annie Ohana on behalf of Radical Desi. Ohana is the past recipient of Radical Desi medal of courage.

Appadurai, the keynote speaker, shared the story of her political journey and why it is important to talk about the environment as the world grapples with both a climate emergency and social injustice.

The Rock Garden of Chandigarh.
Recycled ceramic statues are displayed in the Rock Garden of Chandigarh. Photo by Fanoflesage.

Ex-Chandigarh resident recalls Rock Garden founder

Others who addressed the gathering included Shokouh Farshidfar from Hamsoo a group dedicated to recycling and waste management; Tara Shushtarian from West Coast Climate Action Network; Ravneet Singh from Eco Sikh; radio host and former Chandigarh resident Gaurav Shah, who has been associated with the Rock Garden as an event organizer and who shared his memories of the late Nek Chand; journalist Dr. Gurvinder Singh Dhaliawal, who is vocal on human rights, and myself on behalf of Radical Desi.

A moment of silence was held at the beginning of the event in memory of the firefighters who died this year in the line of their duties both in Canada and across the globe, as well as for thousands of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks.

Jennifer Sherif from Indigevision emceed the event. Being an Indigenous educator, she made connections between Indigenous people’s unique relationship with the land and the broader climate justice movement.

Rock Garden
Every year, Radical Desi co-founder Gurpreet Singh (second from left) unveils a calendar wiith various partners promoting greater appreciation for our shared history.

Gurpreet Singh is a B.C. author and co-founder of Radical Desi. Follow him on Twitter @gurpreetonair. Follow Pancouver on Twitter @PancouverMedia and on Instagram @PancouverMedia.

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Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh is a B.C. author and cofounder of Radical Desi.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.