With a lot of hope, ambition, and enthusiasm, Ram Sharma left India for England on his way to Canada to fulfill his dream of continuing his teaching career in the new country. The intended brief stop in England stretched to over three months. After landing in Toronto and staying there for a week or so, he boarded “The National” for the 1,700-mile-or-so train journey to Regina to seek a teaching position in the province of Saskatchewan. The date was July 7, 1964.
Destiny took him to a tiny place called Crane Valley, about 90 miles southwest of Regina in the Assiniboia School Division, to teach English at the high school level. His wife, Sudesh, joined him in 1965. The stay in Crane Valley lasted 25 long years. Their two daughters, Natalie and Anu, were born, raised and educated there. After completing their high school, they went to Saskatoon to study at the University of Saskatchewan. Natalie got her BComm degree and later joined the RCMP. She is a corporal now stationed in Vancouver. Anu, the younger daughter, went to the University of Ottawa to get her MD. She practices as a family physician in Vancouver. She also works with Doctors without Borders organization and travels all over the world when she is called to duty to work with the refugees in war and conflict situations, such as in Sudan, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Ram Sharma took early retirement in 1989, and moved to Saskatoon and has made the bridge city his permanent home since then. He has traveled all over Canada, the USA and India, looking for a retirement place, but he thinks Saskatoon is the best place to live. Its moderate size, cost of living as compared to Calgary and Vancouver, many cultural, sports, medical and recreational facilities, and most importantly its friendly people are attractions not to be matched by any other city. Ram and Sudesh have a very close circle of a dozen or so families in the East Indian community besides scores of other friends and helpful neighbours.
Ram Sharma has briefly worked as a volunteer, helping autistic children in a classroom situation, giving a helping hand to seniors to prepare their income tax returns, and working with the Hindu Society of Saskatchewan. Sudesh is very active, helping sick children, cooking for the Friendship Inn, and offering her services at the Indian Pavilion during Folkfest under the able leadership of Mrs. Maya Chakravarti, an indefatigable volunteer in the Hindu community.
Ram and Sudesh Sharma donate generously to about 30 charities every year. By establishing a fund with Saskatoon Community Foundation, they have created a permanent source of income for their favourite charities in the city. And they aim to continue giving to other charities as always.
They believe in sharing their good fortune with the needy and less fortunate. Their belief is that extending brotherly love, helping the poor and the destitute, and trying to lessen misery in the world (even by an ounce at a time) is the true essence of any religion and the best way to find God.