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July 12, 1999
Robin Sharma To Give Keynote Address at NetIP Convention
Radhika S Shankar in Dallas
For the 1,000 men and women who will attend the three-day annual convention of the Network of Indian Professionals in Toronto this September there is much more than business talk.
In fact, most of the convention, to be held at the Sheraton Hotel, September 3 to 5, is focussed on lifestyle. With a hypnotist in attendance and a prominent proponent of alternative medicine giving a talk about trends in medicine, and a variety of talks being organized by the South Asian Community Council based in Toronto, the convention could resemble a health fair for South Asians.
The convention, with Body, Mind and Soul as its theme, will have its keynote speech by the best-selling author ( The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari) and motivational speaker, Robin Sharma.
Toronto-based Sharma, a former hotshot attorney, is known for his books and talks that blend Eastern and Western wisdom. He has addressed thousands of business executives across North America, stressing the need to slow down and find more meaning in their work.
The Toronto convention is being organized by the South Asian Professionals Networking Association, an associate of NetIP, which sought the help of South Asian Community Council to bring in health and nutritional experts.
For the NetIP executives the theme of the Toronto convention echoes the efforts being made by the organization, arguably the fastest growing of Indian organizations, in recent months to incorporate holistic principles.
"The Western business world is embracing Zen and Hindu work ethos," says Suresh Kumar, New York NetIP president. "Should we wait for the West to remind us what is good in our traditions and culture?"
The spirit of the convention and the ensuing life lessons, he hopes, would help transform the lives of not only 6,000 members of NetIP but of their friends and relatives. NetIP, which is based here, has chapters in more than a dozen states across America, and hopes to have chapters in each of the 50 states in North America and at least half three provinces in Canada by the end of this year.
In May more than 20 NetIP members from New York area attended a weekend retreat in the Pocono Mountains at the Arsha Vidyalaya listening to an American-born, white Hindu monk extol the virtues of inner life. Similar retreats are being planned for NetIP members across America and Canada.
But slowly the organization is also seeking the help of other professional groups in order to address the physical and emotional health of its members.
The South Asian Community Council which will play a key role at the conference is only too eager to help NetIP, its Canadian associate Sapna, and other professional groups.
SACC, which became a chartered chapter of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario a few years ago, supports the Foundation's mission with an emphasis on increasing awareness of the high incidence of heart disease and stroke for South Asians. The mortality rate from cardiovascular disease for South Asians in Canada is 12 per cent higher than the national average and higher than any other ethnic group.
The SACC reaches the community through various fund raising programs, health promotion presentations and by providing culturally appropriate translated resources. The Council's mission is to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke through public and professional education and raise the necessary funds to support their efforts. Since 1994, the SACC has developed a patient education pamphlet in five South Asian languages, a professional education brochure, and a video in three languages. There have been over 60,000 copies of the pamphlet and brochure distributed in Canada, United States and England.
NetIP executives say they want to work with SAAC and AAPI, and a number of holistic health groups, throughout the year to build health consciousness among all immigrants regardless of their professions.
Basic details about the conference: Conference fee includes: Entrance to conference events, Conference materials, Light supper on Friday, Continental breakfast & Lunch on Saturday, Brunch, Dinner & Dance on Sunday. $ 199 per person, $ 330 for couple if registered by August 1.
When booking a room, cite 'SAPNA' or 'NetIP' or 'Network of Indian Professionals' for the conference rate
Conferences Rates (per night):
Airfare: Please cite # "CV997642" when booking with Air Canada to receive the conference discount (5 per cent to 10 per cenr). Call Air Canada at 1-800-268-0024.
Please cite # "542ZH" when booking with United Airlines to receive 5 per cent to 10 per cent off their excursion and full fare ticket rates, respectively.
Call United Airlines at 1-800-521-4041
Homepage for NetIO: www.netip.org
Homepage for Sapna: www.sapna.on.ca
or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
Arthur J Pais contributed to the story.
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