Born in a village near Ludhiana, Rajinder Singh Pandher completed his education and started teaching science in a school in the Indian Punjab before coming to Canada in 1972. He worked as industrial first aid worker for 15 years before joining the real estate industry. In 1976, he began writing and publishing small pamphlets in English on Sikh History and heritage for youngsters, distributing them free across Canada and has served as a volunteer editor of the Sikh Samachar magazine. Since 2010, he has also been writing an article every week for Sach Di Awaaz weekly newspaper, and since 2019 has published two books in Punjabi with Chetna Publishers of Ludhiana in the Indian Punjab that describe the culture in the villages of Punjab, as Mr. Pandher heard from his grandfather and parents. In this interview, Mr. Pandher describes the discrimination he faced when applying for jobs because of his turban, and the story of how he worked with a group of other Punjabi activists to advocate for inclusion of Punjabi as a second language in schools under the new educational policy of B.C. in 1994. He describes his experience working with the Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA) to support Punjabi teaching in schools, emphasizing the importance of raising children with an emphasis on education. He also shares his passion for Punjabi literature while growing up, and the devotion of his family as a whole to the promotion of Punjabi language, as the language of Sikh religious & historical literature.
Short promotional video (with English subtitles): Why is it important to learn Punjabi? ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਸਿੱਖਣੀ ਕਿਉਂ ਜ਼ਰੂਰੀ ਹੈ? پنجابی سکھنی کیوں ضروری ہے؟
Full interview, Part 1:
Full interview, Part 2:
Full interview, Part 3: