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Can you tell me about your childhood and where you grew up?
I grew up in Punjab, India, and I now look back and reflect on how positive an experience that was. I learned three languages at a young age, which was natural to me as a young person but would be far more challenging now. I also received my engineering degree, and my upbringing really prepared me and gave me the confidence to take on new challenges.

How did you get interested in politics and what was the process of getting involved?
My interest in politics was grounded in my family, who valued both education and public service. It was a basic value instilled in me early that personal success was not enough. Helping people and contributing to the wider community was a requirement for a well-rounded and fulfilling life. I got involved in politics the way most people do, as a volunteer at the local level. I have always been attracted to talking with people one-on-one, and even today, I believe that every citizen deserves my full attention if they require assistance. The “game” of politics has never held much interest for me, nor has the desire to appear important. I genuinely view politics as service.

What were some of the challenges you encountered that made you stronger?

As I’m sure is true with most immigrant stories, moving to a different country and starting a new life was both challenging and energizing. It forces one to get out of their comfort level, make new friends, learn a new culture, and embrace a new home. It may seem cliché, but moving to Canada has created a passion for this country that I experience each and every day. It has allowed me to embrace all that Canada and Surrey have to offer.

What kind of advice do you have for young people starting out?
My best advice for a young person interested in politics is to get involved locally and view it as an important public service. The old saying that change is made by those who show up is as true today as it was twenty years ago. As a further benefit, you will make friends for life and make a positive difference in your community regardless of how much time you invest.

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