Jalandhar’s daughter-in-law, Rachna Singh (49), has made history by becoming the first South Asian Woman to become Education and Childcare minister of British Columbia (BC) province in Canada. She is the second Punjabi after Moe Sihota to handle the portfolio.
She first contested in 2017 and won in the 41st election of the BC Legislative Assembly from Surrey’s Green Timbers constituency from New Democratic Party (NDP) and in 2020 she got re-elected again. She has been appointed minister in the recent reshuffling in BC. Rachna Singh married in Jalandhar’s Sehgal family, which owns petrol pumps and gas stations here. Her husband Gurpreet Singh is a Radio Journalist in Canada and the couple has two children.
Gurmeet Monty Sehgal, Rachna’s brother-in-law, told The Indian Express, “It is a proud moment for them as well as for the entire Punjabi community that she has been appointed as education minister there and she will do the justice to her post as she belongs to a family of educationists. Her father Dr Raghbir Singh is a renowned Punjabi writer and retired as head of the department from Punjabi University, Patiala. Her mother, Sulekha Singh, is also a retired professor and her sister Srijana is a Chemistry professor in the USA”.
Sehgal, who is the spokesman of the Petrol Pump Dealers Association, added that his elder brother, Gurpreet had moved to Canada in 2001 and then Rachna, who was a counsellor at Red Cross in Mohali, also moved and started her career in BC as a counsellor in drug abuse, alcohol and domestic violence cases. She contested her first election in 2017 and won. Then she won again in 2020 and now became a minister.
Also, a large number of Punjabi students are going to Canada on study visas and she could be a great help to them also, he added.
Sehgal said, “Currently, my mother is also in BC and is enjoying the achievement. Rachna is excited about her new role. She has always been a very committed person and will do justice to the post.” Rachna studied in a government school in Sector 35, Chandigarh, and Punjab University, Chandigarh. Rachna, who has been quite active on the issues of anti-racism tweeted, “I am honoured to serve as BC’s minister of education and Child care”.