Lok Issues

Pamela Jane Gerrand, A Sufi Philanthropist from Canada

She is Canadian by nationality but Indian by heart. Pamela Jane Gerrand is a writer, singer theater actor, philanthropist and a spiritual motivator. She has performed several charity concerts across the globe but has been mostly been influenced by Indian culture. She is an ardent and acclaimed speaker with a passion for empowering and inspiring women. She travels widely to perform and deliver workshops. She works for women’s empowerment through her songs, charity shows, workshops and meditation sessions.

At home, Pamela and her family love to eat Tandoori Chicken, Papad and Naan. She likes wearing Saris and follows many other Indian traditions at their home in Canada.

Recently she visited India to deliver her speech at Women’s Economic Forum. We met her and had a candid conversation of her life choices and how she is transforming society into a worthwhile place for women to live in.

What was the Women’s Economic Forum and what was your role in that?

Women’s Economic Forum or we call it WEF is a global conference to foster empowering conversations and connections among women committed to bringing constructive changes in their lives. This is a philanthropic and non-profit collaboration. I expressed my belief about the requirement of women leadership. I have found India to be an optimistic place where people listen carefully and are eager to work on good deeds.

You are involved in many jobs from a writer to an actor. How often do you work for social change?

Yes, right, but all my work is related to bringing peace to humanity whether it is in my writing or singing. My record label ‘IndieGo Records’ works for enlightenment and encouragement for those people who are living at the edge of society, who are stressed and frazzled.

A couple of months ago, I went to the ‘1000 Goddess Gathering’ programme held at Washington DC, USA. This was an event to rejuvenate the divine feminine through combined energies. We believe that the planet will shift from one of fear to compassion. It was a huge gathering out there. I believe that every action has some effect. My songs and my lectures will put out some positive energy to bring women into the mainstream.

Wherever I go, I believe that women should come forward, they should not hesitate from fighting for their rights. The world is one; men and women are equal. Disparities are made by humans, not by nature. We should not create differences between men and women.

Can you explain a little about your philanthropist approach? What have you done and are doing today?

See, I have done more than 300 charity concerts across the globe. I am associated with the Hunger Project Canada. Whatever I earn from live concerts it goes to the Hunger Project. People who can’t buy bread get some help through this effort. Also, I spread awareness among women about their rights and roles. When people tell me that they are stressed, I suggest to them to start meditation or yoga. I try to empower their inner souls so that they can empower themselves. I can say that despite a beautiful world we are destroying it ourselves. I try to deliver heart opening performances and talks.

If we talk about India, I have learned about a deep contrast in society. I know that there is a big gap between the upper strata and the lower strata of society. I would like to work for those people who are on the margin. If any opportunity comes my way, I would like to work for sure.

Well, you said that India has transformed you. Why do you say that?

India changed my life completely. I was not what I am today. I was not this much calm and composed. About 15 years ago, I started learning meditation from my Guru Swami Eknath. Initially it was difficult, but you won’t believe it, I never missed my class for the following seven years. Every Sunday, I used to go to the meditation class. It was very much the first impact of India on me when I learned meditation, yoga and Sanskrit Shlokas.

What do you know about issues in India and what are you planning for the future?

I know India has one of the biggest slums in the world. There is so much poverty and hunger but everything can’t be changed overnight. It will take time to bring everything to a corrective pattern. I will come back in the next few months; I have met many people in this short trip and learned a lot. There are people who are working for social change. Problems should be listened to locally and globally if required. My efforts to bring change are always there with those people who are working hardcore on the ground.

So how was your experience overall in India?

I can’t express it in a few words. If I am a sufi, it is because of India; if I am calm, it is because of India. It was like home coming for me. It took me out of my comfort zone that I was living in15 years ago.

But yes, I have experienced something unique on Indian roads, the madness that I won’t forget. People come from everywhere in front of your car, you can’t stop them; they don’t get hurt and even don’t hurt anyone else. People love this madness and I love these people

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