Renowned lawyer and humanitarian, Roop Sharma, was honoured with two Lifetime Achievement awards last month.
On June 21, the Canadian Association of South Asian Lawyers (CASAL) awarded Sharma the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to society and culture in Canada, Guyana, India and England. The presentation was witnessed by Ujal Dosanjh, former premier of British Columbia; Minister Bal Gosal, MP Parm Gil, Dhaman Kissoon, LL.B., and hundreds of South Asian lawyers.
Two days later, in front of an audience of thousands at Celebration Square in Mississauga, Sharma was presented his second Lifetime Achievement award by Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, Masood Khan, Chair of the South Asian Canada Day Committee; MP Brad Butt, MP Dr. Kristy Duncan and Councillor Ron Star.
The presentation was witnessed by Sharma’s five children, Prabha Bassoo, Ishwar Sharma, LL.B.; Astuti Sharma, Kamla Sharma and Mala Singh, who sang Canada’s national anthem before the ceremony.
“We thank God for granting our dear father this great honour,” said Ishwar. “He has worked hard all his life and truly deserves these accolades.”
Humbled by the accolades, Sharma gave an eloquent acceptance speech and a moving dedication to his late wife, Dhani Sharma, for inspiring him to achieve his goals. He also praised his brother, Chet Sharma, a practicing lawyer who attended the ceremony with his wife, Bhaminee.
The celebration in Mississauga included several performances by a live band, the Mississauga Chinese Arts Organization, comedy by Marc Anthony and a fashion show.
Sharma is a founding member and legal advisor of the Caribbean Children Foundation and served as President of the Canada Hindu Organization; Chairman, Canada Pandits Parishad and President of Gayatri Mandir.
Sharma has won several awards and accolades throughout his career, including a Certificate of Appreciation for volunteerism in the community by the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture; the Adyatam Sadhak Award, New Delhi, for selfless contribution in propagating the Hindu Religion and Culture Overseas; Dharm Ratna, presented by the Canada Hindu Organization and Dharm Bhushan, presented by the Guyana Pandits Council.
Sharma graduated with an LL.B degree from the University of Windsor Law School in 1974 and was appointed by the Ontario government in 1976 as a licensed Hindu marriage officer. He qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor in 1977 and has practiced at the same building in Toronto where the law firm of Sharma and Sharma stands today.