Canada’s Highest Civilian Award for SAA’s Founder Dr. Jagannath Wani

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Governor General of Canada His Excellency the Right Honorable David Lloyd Johnston announced on 31st December that Dr. Jagannath Wani, the founder President of Schizophrenia Awareness Association (SAA) and a naturalized citizen of Canada, will be conferred the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honor, on behalf of the Queen Elizabeth II who is also the Queen of Canada and is the sovereign of the Order. The Order of Canada is awarded by the Governor General on recommendations of the Advisory Board for the Order chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada.

Dr. Wani

Established by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1967 to coincide with the centennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the Order of Canada is the centerpiece of Canada’s honors system and is awarded in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation by Canadians who have made a major difference to Canada through lifelong contributions in different fields. The Order of Canada’s motto is "They desire a better country".

Dr. Jagannath Wani is Professor Emeritus of Statistics & Actuarial Science at the University of Calgary. His work in Canada has focused on mental illness and promotion of India’s art and culture and multi culturalism in North America. Dr. Wani founded Schizophrenia Society of Alberta and raised funds for scholarships and chair for study of schizophrenia. He established the Vedanta Society of Calgary for study of Vedanta philosophy and raised funds for a scholarship for students of Eastern religions at the University of Calgary. He launched Raga–Mala Performing Arts of Canada to promote music and dance of India in North America through scholarships, concert tours, and introduction of world music course.

He initiated and edited BANSUR Magazine in Canada devoted to classical music and dance of India with North American perspective. He started World Music Course at the University of Calgary to create understanding amongst the students about cultures of various countries and raised funds for the same.

Dr. Wani is the founder president of Maharashtra Seva Samiti Organization (MSSO) for development, relief work and education in Maharashtra state of India, and served as its President from 1984 to 2009, securing several million dollars in grants from Canadian Government agencies for projects in India and supervised major fund raising for 1993 earthquake victims in Latur, India.

In India, he instituted K.S. Wani Memorial Trust by donating all his inheritance for development of less privileged people and completed several projects in the area of education, health and vocational training. Other organizations he promoted in India include K.S. Wani Institute of Advanced Studies in Marathi for research and development of Marathi language, Schizophrenia Awareness Association in Pune for creating awareness about schizophrenia and for supporting self–help groups for families of mentally ill, charity eye hospital for providing free eye care to less privileged and Vishwasetu Association for communication and collaboration between Non–Resident Indians and voluntary social organizations in India. He constructed for SAA a centre for rehabilitation for persons afflicted with mental illness, produced awareness movies, and published books relating to mental health.