Prem Kalia is current the Past-Chair on the Board of Directors and has served as a Chair of the Gandhi foundation for more than 10 years.
Prem came in touch with Gandhian Ahimsa when he was in high school. He remembers selling Gandhi badges on Khaddar cloth with insignia of spinning wheel to raise funds for the student’s branch of Indian National Congress. He was appointed as a treasurer of the student congress when he was in grade 9.
Prem was a high school teacher for 33 years in St. Paul, Alberta and a tutor for Athabasca University in its early years. He also taught in a refugee school in India for six years before immigrating to Canada.
In 1986, he was elected as the provincial President of multicultural education council of the Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA). Prem focused on finding similarities between people, rather than differences. He published articles on universalism in a multicultural context, mystical universalism in ATA journals as well as the Moral and Religious Education Council. In St. Paul, Prem was the director and President of Mother Teresa Habitat Institute and Barbara Ward Learners’ Centre. He and his committee raised one million dollars for the Leper’s colony in Calcutta. Subsequently, Mother Teresa came to St. Paul to thank the generosity of its people.
Prem is interested in the “Universal” Gandhi who espoused Ahimsa, justice for the underprivileged, protecting rights of minorities everywhere, socio-economic equality, freedom from oppression and authentic interfaith dialogues. Brotherhood of humanity is truly the heart of Gandhian philosophy which can lay the foundation for world peace. Prem is convinced that genuine change occurs in society when we transform our own consciousness.
After retirement in 1994, Prem taught a number of alternative courses on spirituality and meditation at the University of Alberta, Extension and Metro Community College. He was invited to the University of Colorado and Griffith University, Australia to speak about Gandhian philosophy. Currently, Prem addresses student conferences and the Gandhian Institute at the University of Alberta.
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