Dr. Satwinder Bains is the Director of the South Asian Studies Institute (SASI) at the University of the Fraser Valley. SASI, which celebrated its 10th year of operations in 2017, has served as aa hub where scholars, community members, international visitors, and students come together to address issues impacting South Asian Canadian communities locally, nationally and internationally.
“It all began when I went to the Gurdwara one day, and I saw that a lot of the elders were not wearing masks,” Sukhmeet explains. “We already know the evidence-based information that elders are more prone to getting Covid-19, and so seeing elders come into the Gurdwara not wearing masks concerned me, especially being a public health professional and medical student. So that’s when I decided I need to do something about it. Hence, I started this initiative.”
“The biggest piece of advice I can give anyone, in any role, is to learn how to influence people to change their behavior. I took some conflict resolution courses as part of my Masters, and it taught me that the secret to solving issues was to ensure that you are truly listening to what someone’s concerns or issues are before you try and come up with solutions. It’s something I try and teach my kids as well. The pandemic is really bringing that into focus.”