Daughters Day Steering Committee

Daughters Day Members

(Back row, from left): Trina Joshi, Sabrina Atwal, Satya Das, Mita Das, Charan Khehra, Jim Gurnett, Shaykh Sheikh, Didar Pannu, and Poushali Mitra. (Front row, from left): Dr. Raj Pannu, Gurcharan Bhatia, CM, Paula Kirman, Dr. Gita Das, and Christina Nsaliwa.


Dr. Vivian Abboud, Chair. Two jobs, motherhood, university and adjusting to life in a new country; such was Dr. Vivian Abboud’ s initiation into the Canadian society. Fast forward 20 years. Vivian is a wife to a very supportive husband, mother of three, public servant, community advocate, business founder (Viva Café Cafeterias).

In 2014, Dr. Abboud was selected as one of “Canada’s Top 25 Immigrant” by RBC.  As well, in 2015, as one of “Canada’s Top 40 Women Change Makers” by Canadian Living Magazine and “Top 40 Under 40” class by Avenue Magazine.  Dr. Abboud was part of the working group that created WAVE (Women Advocacy Voice of Edmonton). Her volunteer story and leadership views are published in the Edmonton Women Magazine, Franco Magazine and the GOA Connector/Women in Leadership SharePoint.

Dr. Abboud is an advocate for Human Rights and Citizenship and she is constantly contributing in the community to making a positive difference wherever there is a need to act.

Charan Khehra has varied life experiences including education, public service, and community building. He was an assistant professor in India, an executive officer in the U.K. civil service, economist with Alberta government, and then until his retirement in 2005, he served the Alberta NDP opposition caucus as the executive assistant to the leader and director of special projects.

He is a co-founder of Daughters Day, and has served on numerous community relations councils, trade union bodies, public agencies, and non-profit organizations — promoting social justice, human rights, democracy and peace.

He is a recipient of the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers Rise award, SAGE award for public service, and Alberta centennial medal for community service. His formal education includes: M.A,, MSc, DGA, and graduate certificate in education.

Mita Das‘ community service spans a broad range of interest, from music and the arts to human rights, empowerment of women, and the crafting of a civil society.

Educated in india and Canada, Mita has spent much of her professional career in accounting and finance, most recently with the Government of Alberta.

Mita has served as President of the Edmonnton Raga-Mala Music Society, which for three decades has been bringing the classical music and dance of India to Alberta audiences.

As a leader of Daughters Day, she has actively promoted human rights for all girls and women, everywhere.

At Canadians for a Civil Society, Mita has led the organisation’s development and growth from an informal gathering of friends to an influential and effective citizens’ organisation, that convenes progressive citizens to advance the Common Good.

Jim Gurnett has been a community activist on human rights issues for many years, with special interests in issues of housing security and  immigration/refugee issues. He is the executive director for the NDP government caucus at the Alberta Legislature and was active with the Daughters Day project for several years, including leading the development of the handbook “Together: Creating a Better World.


Satya Das is the founder and principal of Cambridge Strategies Inc. With more than 25 years of journalistic experience, he is actively engaged in various peace and human rights causes.

Paula E. Kirman is a freelance writer/editor/photographer and a human rights activist, community organizer, and musician. She is the editor of the inner city community newspaper Boyle McCauley News.

Trina Joshi, originally a journalist from India, is a full-time volunteer in Edmonton. Owing to her post-graduate education in Journalism and Political Science, she has a good grip on social issues and wishes to contribute to the cause of gender equality through excellent initiatives like Daughters Day.

Sonia Bitar is a retired Citizenship Judge for Northern Alberta and a former Executive Director of Changing Together, a Centre for Immigrant Women in Edmonton.

Poushali Mitra works in the human services sector in Edmonton and is passionate about promoting and advocating for women’s rights in Canadian society, especially amongst immigrant communities.

Gurcharan Singh Bhatia is a veteran advocate for civil rights and multiculturalism in Canada. He is a retired judge of the Citizenship Court of Canada, a former Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and the founder of the International Association of Citizens for a Civil Society.

Didar Pannu is a former teacher and school superintendent, and counsellor with the federal government.

Dr. Raj Pannu is a professor emeritus and former leader of the Alberta NDP.

Allan Shepherd is a freelance writer and journalist and a founder of the International Association of Citizens for a Civil Society.

Sabrina Atwal is the Project Director at Indo Canadian Women’s Association and works extensively with immigrant women and youth in the area of advocacy and research.