By Shail Prasad
MISSISSAUGA: It was a difficult last 15 months for Mr Manmohan Singh battling his way to life in and out of Credit Valley Hospital. But unfortunately, on Family Day, he lost his hard-fought battle, finally giving up owing to multiple organ complications.
But much before that Mr Singh led a vibrant, colourful and illustrious life – full of warmth and care for people around him and even those unknown to him as he ran a successful accounting business Tax Leader in Mississauga for almost a quarter of a century. He also ran many programs to interact with the Indo-Canadian diaspora.
Those who know him were very fond of him and they recall his willingness to go the extra mile to lend a helping hand. Mr Singh made many friends along the way.
“He was someone I was always fond of,” recalls former MPP from Mississauga Mr. Bob Delaney who frequented the events Mr Singh hosted. Members of Peel Police and York regional Police also recall how Mr Singh made many friends with his easy and pleasing personality.
Among his friends, his untimely death is shocking news and they can’t get over the fact that he is no more.
“He never made me realize that he was in pain while he was in hospital,” said long time friend and mediaperson Mr. Tony Marwah. To his former business partner and protege Mr. Manoj Goel, it has been a personal loss.
Mr. Jaswinder Marjara, owner of CanIndia News recalls how Mr Singh was helpful to him.
For accountant Mr. Kamal Sharma, Mr. Singh was a mentor. “I always looked up to him whenever I had questions in my tax business.”
“Mr Singh had been a complete professional in tax business and a maverick who knew his way out in this business and I learnt a lot from him,” recalls Mr Goel who now owns the Tax Leader. accounting business in Mississauga.
Mr Singh led a not-for-profit organization National Association of Indo-Canadians (NAIC) making many friends who came on board with the vision of promoting Indian culture and heritage and giving back to the community.
Helping the new immigrants settle in Canada, organ and blood donation, honouring the pioneers, serving the seniors, celebration of culture are some of the activities the NAIC hosted over the years. Mr Singh held free tax sessions for senior immigrants and under-privileged people.
For decades, the NAIC organized the India pavilion part of Mississauga’s Carassauga Festival of Cultures, attracting hundreds of thousands for a grand display of India’s dances, music, costumes and cuisines.
Mr Ravi Pandey who took over the baton of India Pavilion in recent years, fondly recalls him as a great individual.
As former President of Panorama India, Mr Singh collaborated with India Consulate in Toronto to showcase Indian culture and heritage in the GTA.
Mr Singh also worked with the Peel Multicultural Council in some leadership capacity to promote diversity and multiculturalism. He was an active member of Lion’s Club.
A Queen’s Jubilee Medal recipient, Mr Singh led the Canadian Multicultural Council (CMC) a premier diversity organization in Canada promoting Indian culture and heritage along with 22 other nationalities on the biggest diversity stage in the GTA.
Mr Singh always believed in encouraging youth and giving them an opportunity to display their talent as he organized the Miss Carassauga Pageant, Indo-Canadian Beauty Pageant, Indian Music Talent Show and many similar events that further the cause.
“These activities give me strength and this is what my life is all about – giving back to the community,” he used to say.
Mr Singh leaves behind a son and daughter.