Upadhya Family Indigenous Award

Donor Story:

This award is in honour of my parents, Neeta and Krishna Upadhya. They courageously immigrated to Canada in middle age, sacrificing the many comforts of their established lives to provide better prospects for their two sons, with a particular concern for my physical disability. Similar to many new immigrants, Krishna never had his international engineering qualifications and considerable work experience fully recognized in Canada, so had to give up his profession and Neeta was not able to teach in high school here despite her many degrees. With much hard work, they eventually established themselves in Winnipeg. They always encouraged me to gain a good education as a means of becoming an independent and successful member of society, and supported my decision to leave home to attend Queen’s. 

Over time, they fostered a number of Indigenous children with special medical needs, for whom they were able to make a huge difference and from whom in turn they received much fulfilment. Through their involvement with the Indigenous communities in Manitoba, my brother Hersh and I learnt of the many challenges faced in society by members of these communities. This award will commemorate my parents’ work so that their grandchildren, David and Anjuli, will remember their strong values and what they achieved.

We hope that by supporting Indigenous Canadians entering the Smith Commerce program, we will be helping them succeed in gaining a great education, which will improve their own prospects, and also enable them to positively impact others in their communities and those in the generations to come.”


Fund Desctiption:

Established in September 2016 and revised in October 2018 by Gaurav Upadhya, BCom 1991, and awarded on the basis of academic achievement to Indigenous students entering first year of the Bachelor of Commerce program in the Smith School of Business under the Indigenous Admission Policy.