ਹਰਭਜਨ ਬਾਰੇ | About Harbhajan
ਇੱਕ ਬਹਾਦਰ ਜੀਵਨ | A Resilient Life
Our dad, Harbhajan “Harry” Ranauta, was born March 30, 1958 in the village of Abbuwal in Punjab, India. He immigrated to Canada in 1979 and despite having a Masters Degree in Textile Chemistry, worked as a taxi driver and manual labourer during his early years in Alberta and British Columbia.
He eventually settled in Richmond, British Columbia and, with two of his brothers, founded Tulsi Masonry. In his late 30s, he returned to school and founded Ranco Plumbing & Heating in 1999. Both businesses continue to operate today.
Many of those who had the privilege of meeting our dad knew him for his fun and kind nature, his curiosity as a lifelong learner, and for the love he had to give. For his two sons, his dedication to hard work remains inspiring and his embarrassing dad-jokes unmatched.
Few knew that he also struggled his whole adult life with a chronic illness and Harbhajan lost his decades long battle with depression and alcohol use disorder on April 15, 2015, shortly after his 57th birthday.
Like many Punjabi families supporting a loved one through mental illness and addiction, we faced hurdles in speaking honestly and openly about our experiences with others in and outside of our community, knowing where to turn for help, and accessing culturally-relevant programming and services.
While the existing supports ultimately could not provide us and Harbhajan with what we needed long term, the effort he made to attend the rehab and support groups that we could find will continue to be an inspiration for a future in which people like our dad are supported in ways that are meaningful to them to ensure better health outcomes.
The Harbhajan Ranauta Legacy Foundation was formed on the unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples which includes the sc̓əwaθenaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsawwassen), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Kwantlen, Stz’uminus, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam). We aim to reassert the kinship and respect expressed through ਤਾਇਕੇ (Taike), the Punjabi word meaning ‘our elder cousins,’ as it was used by early South Asian migrants to refer to the Coast Salish peoples.