Namarta Kochar

Namarta Kochar, a community leader advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion, healthcare, the environment, gender equality and poverty.

Namarta Kochar, Special Projects Officer in Strategic Communications at the University of Saskatchewan, has helped strengthen various spheres throughout Saskatchewan, and helped address and bring awareness to global issues facing our community such as diversity, equity and inclusion, healthcare, the environment, and poverty.   A recognized humanitarian, change-maker and mentor, Namarta has been a catalyst for improving the quality of life for others in our community and promoting human dignity for all.  

Namarta’s extensive list of community leadership, volunteer activities and philanthropic efforts have included the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre, Dress for Success Saskatoon, Ovarian Cancer Canada, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, The Arthritis Society, Saskatoon Salvation Army, the Alzheimer Society, the Children’s Wish Foundation, Postmedia Raise-A-Reader, the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, the Royal University Hospital Foundation, the Saskatoon Community Foundation, YWCA Saskatoon, the Secret Santa Foundation, as well as the 8th World Summit of Young Entrepreneurs, a United Nations Global Partnership Program involving governments, multilateral agencies, and multinational corporations, held in Brussels, Belgium.

Namarta currently serves as the first visible minority female chair of the City of Saskatoon’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, which aims to create an inclusive community, and has also served on the City of Saskatoon’s Environmental Advisory Committee.

Namarta was the recipient of the highest volunteer award in Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal, the Community Leadership award from Leadership Saskatoon, and the Living in Harmony Award from the City of Saskatoon for her promotion of intercultural harmony in the community.

What does Global Citizenship mean to you?

Global citizenship embraces a world that values the importance of social responsibility, promotes respect for all beings, and works together to ensure human dignity for all.  By focusing on our collective strengths, addressing global issues, and learning from one another, we can build a world in which everyone can thrive.  Through education and awareness, we can learn and understand global issues affecting our world today, and through cooperation, empathy, and volunteerism, we can make a positive difference and help create a just and fair world for all.   

Where do you find your inspiration?

My biggest inspiration is my late mother.  Throughout my life, she always taught me to have courage and stand up for what I believe in, and to do it with respect and compassion.  She always believed that if you are able to help someone, then you should in whatever way you can.  Through her example and her teachings, I have tried to become an engaged citizen and help bring awareness and address issues facing the world.  I am also inspired by our amazing Saskatchewan community, and how time and time again, through challenges, crises, and even a pandemic, people come together to help their neighbours and fellow citizens.  It is heartwarming to see and an encouraging reminder that we are stronger when we work together.

What do you see as one of the most encouraging or innovative trends that is creating positive change in our world right now?

The focus and understanding of the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is creating positive change in our world right now.  In line with the many elements of global citizenship, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion promotes cooperation, belonging, and respect, at the same time appreciating and acknowledging our differences.  Through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we learn from each other, share experiences, have empathy for one another, and help build a world where everyone feels welcomed, valued and supported.