Dr. Asha Seth receives the highest recognition from Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons – 2010 – for being an outstanding Ontario physician ‘who has demonstrated excellence and come closest to meeting society’s vision of an ‘ideal physician.’ She couldn’t have been more happier in her professional career than to get this recognition from her professional regulatory body. ‘IDEAL PHYSICIAN’ – WHAT A SATISFACTION! An Obstetrics and Gynecologist, Asha works with St. Joseph’s Health Center and she must have during over 35 years must have delivered hundreds and hundreds of healthy babies, many of whom have now grown up and themselves working in the medical field.
Medical practice yes, but she spends lot of her time raising money for charities in which she has active support and participation of her husband, Dr Arun Seth, also medical doctor: She’s called ‘an embodiment of hope’ through her involvement in innumerable charities serving Canadians and the international communities as her hands reach out first in her and families’ deep pockets and then far and wide: No wonder, Asha is called ‘Physician-Philanthropist’, who carries the Maple leaf ‘with élan.’ That, she explains, as “length of the Canadian national flag is twice as its width, my philanthropic activities have grown twice as large as my medical practice’ and she likes it that way. One charitable project after another – her mind is always active thinking how to raise funds for Heart and Stroke Foundation, for helping people with all kinds of cardiac problems, diabetes, cholesterol, persons with physical disabilities, causes for which, with the support of Arun, Asha has successfully raised thousands of dollars.
From one fund raiser under brand name of NIMDAC (North Indian medical doctors Association of Canada), Arun and Asha raised over $100,000 and that check was presented to the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons before a Blue Ribbon Valentine Gala last year.
She raised another $100,000 last year for Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. It was to support their research and persistence to raise awareness about heart diseases which afflict South Asians the most.
“I am here to celebrate the heart,” Asha said while presenting a check for $50,000 to the Heart and Stroke Foundation President: “Our future depends on this consistent rhythmic beat.”
She’s chair of the Continued Medical Education under whose auspices she has organized seminars on medical subjects. Attending these seminars is essential for medical doctors for them to get their medical license renewed. “As its Founding President (of NIMDAC Foundation), Asha has organized seminars/forums where hundreds of physicians and dentists in Ontario could reconnect and learn,” she says.
Asha doesn’t stop: In 2010, through the NIMDAC FOUNDATION, She raised money to for CNIB (the Canadian National Institute for the Blinds) Skills Academy for Grades 1-2, thereby working with children and their parents to encourage learning and playing in a group setting, with a focus on integration into the public school system.”
“Our Foundation also supports a number of charitable organizations and funds that we raised also assist vulnerable population, support research, treat diseases, ensures medical and dental training, enhances health care and support services and offer disaster relief,” explains Asha. Arun says he has equally “devoted thousands of volunteer hours to various charities and organizations.” He has and continues to persistently work closely with his wife Asha raising money for dozens of charities.
He was appointed as Co-chairperson for the Fundraising Committee for the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation in 2008. He was also honored by St. Joseph’s Health ‘center for 30 years of dedicated service.
Even though he’s a family physician, Arun is deeply concerned about the exploding cost on treating diabetic patient, which’s over $8-billion now and in the coming years, if the current trend continues, could explode several folds: He’s troubled as people as young as 30-40 years are becoming diabetic: “Take into account the loss in productivity in the country as more and more people start becoming diabetic, get heart attacks, and get incapacitated for months on? The cost on them could be tons of billions of dollars in loss productivity,” says Arun.
Arun and Asha joined hands in raising funds for a new Center for the Zoroastrian Society of Ontario, for the Canadian Museum of Hindu Civilization, the Wall of Peace Initiative, the fund raiser where Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty accepted the invitation as the keynote speaker, as also Mississauga City Mayor,
legendry Hazel McCallion.
“The Wall of Peace honors peacemakers from around the globe who have collectively stood for human rights, equality, justice and non-violence. And it also embraces the participation of Canadian schools, educators and community leaders with the view that education is the strongest force to shape the change required to bring about the world peace.”
Each day as she gets up, Asha says her first thought is how to help people in need. Before she reaches others, she and Arun dig into their pockets. That’s the only way others would respond: ‘How much are you committing Asha,’ Asha says other donors and philanthropists ask her and rightly so. “You have to do good yourself before you reach out to others to do likewise.”
Asha and arun are two sides of the same coin and so can’t be separated especially when it comes to raising funds for charitable causes.
They are constantly reminded of what Mahatma Gandhi used to exhort the millions in India: ‘Observe just one time in one week and you will help feed millions starving people in the country.’ “If you have extra cash, please use for people who are in need,” Asha and Arun go round suggesting to your friends, neighbors and others.
Charitable Causes –
Their First Love