Dr. Kes Chetty Award
MOSAIC is proud to annually present our Dr. Kes Chetty Award. This award will be made to a MOSAIC client, immigrant or refugee who wants to pursue academic or vocational studies. Financial need, a commitment to enriching the Canadian community, and academic standing will be considered. The award will be made on the recommendation of MOSAIC staff.
For further information on the Dr. Kes Chetty Award, please call MOSAIC at 604 254 9626.
Krishnaveni Selvan & Mariam Abdikerim
Nominations for this award are by MOSAIC staff for clients or volunteers who demonstrate a commitment to enriching the Canadian community (e.g. volunteering, community involvement). Preference will be given to nominees demonstrating financial need or overcoming hardship. Applicants of all ages are eligible and encouraged.
Please fill out the application form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to 5575 Boundary Road, Vancouver, BC.
Getting to know Dr. Chetty
Kasval Chetty, known as Kes to his friends, was born in South Africa in 1927. As a fourth generation South African, he grew up steeped in the history and culture of South Africa, but he also carried with him a deep sense of his Indian heritage. And because of his Indian roots, he suffered first-hand the effects of the apartheid system, a political philosophy that had as its hallmark institutionalized racism.
Despite the unequal educational opportunities for people of colour, Kes, a keen student, obtained a medical degree. His work brought him increasingly face to face with the wrongs of the system, with the result that he became more active in politics. In 1962, fearing arrest, he left South Africa. After a short stay in Zambia, he went to London, England, where he took a degree in pediatrics.
Although he would have been quite content to stay in England, the late 1960s saw a rise in racism. So, once more on the move, he answered an ad for a doctor in Vancouver, and immigrated here in 1970.
Vancouver quickly became a place he loved, and soon after his arrival he began to take an active role in community life. He contributed to local NDP politics, believing this party was best able to deal with issues of social justice. At meetings, dinner parties, and Sunday brunches, he loved nothing so much as debate and discussion about current ideas with old and new friends. People were drawn to him for his kindness and generosity, his wit and intelligence, his compassion and integrity.
Despite being far from his original home, he never lost sight of South Africa, and worked tirelessly to establish an aid group for South African refugees. At the same time, he was working on health concerns among immigrant groups in B.C., as well as serving on the Board of Directors of MOSAIC.
Kes had a great passion for learning, and particularly loved to pass this enthusiasm on to young people. His love of people and of life, his sense of humour, his strong sense of social justice will be remembered by all those who knew him.