We Are Caring: Amrik Singh Aulakh
November 15, 2016

Amrik Singh Aulakh

Caring about the Community

Surrey’s Newton neighbourhood is a popular choice for Sikh immigrants from the Punjab region of India, and Amrik Singh Aulakh is among those who have chosen to call this area home. Upon first meeting Amrik, you’ll notice his brightly coloured turban, long beard and often serious expression. But look beyond, and you’ll see the warmth in his eyes, the caring in his heart, and the desire to reach out beyond his Indian community to make Surrey a better place for all. Amrik is so much more than initially meets the eye.

Amrik has been in Canada — and Surrey specifically — since 1991, giving the simple answer that he came here from India for “a better life.” He’s been working hard ever since, as a full-time operations worker for the Richmond School Board and more recently as a part-time insurance advisor with Westland Insurance Group. He starts his day in insurance mode, from 9 a.m. to noon, heads home for lunch — pizza is his favourite! — before leaving for his full-time job. Most nights, he comes home close to midnight.

Amrik is determined to make a good life for his family. At age 50, he is a busy parent of a toddler and loving every minute of it, enjoying showing his three-year-old daughter his favourite local spots like the Cloverdale Rodeo. His goal is to raise her to be a strong, smart and happy girl.

While there are often impressions that girls are undervalued in Indian culture, Amrik’s devotion to his daughter proves that stereotype doesn’t apply here. On his nightstand, you can even find his favourite book — I am Malala, which follows the journey of the brave Pakistani girl who was shot for fighting for the rights of girls.

Life gets hectic, juggling two careers and raising a child, but Amrik is committed to making Surrey more welcoming and safe for all. He has dedicated thousands of hours to volunteering, primarily in the area of crime and safety, including as a Surrey RCMP Auxiliary Constable, and a volunteer with the Surrey Crime Prevention Society.

“No one wants to live in a troubled neighbourhood. I want my city to be a safe and better place to live in,” says Amrik, who received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award (2014). “‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ said Gandhi,” he says as the reason behind his volunteerism.

While Aulakh admits he has faced discrimination in his volunteering efforts, recollecting how one of his volunteer co-ordinators openly doubted his ability to pass the training, it has only made him more determined to do good. “Professionalism, patience and dedication are all qualities that helped me to overcome these challenges,” he says.

“I am always eager to help those who need some support,” he adds. “I believe that you must not give up; only work hard toward your goals and you will be successful.”

And for him, Surrey is the perfect place to fulfill his dreams. “Surrey has diversity and is the best place to live and work.”