Project Team: Tania Das Gupta (Principal Investigator, York University), Sugandha Nagpal (Co-investigator, O.P. Jindal Global University), Puneet Kaur Dhillon (Co-investigator, Punjabi Community Health Services), Rajat Nayyar (Research Assistant, York University)
In partnership with Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS), this project’s goals are to understand the shifting needs, obstacles, concerns and coping strategies around settlement among young newcomer Punjabis (ages 18–35) in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in the context of COVID-19.
The project’s objectives are to:
1) Assess the specific needs and obstacles that GTA-based Punjabi newcomers are encountering in the COVID-19 period and formulate support strategies.
2) Understand how young Punjabi newcomers may be adapting their migration plans, imaginaries and strategies to COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 in India and Canada.
3) Contribute to research and policy recommendations around settlement of newcomers during pandemic conditions and bring valuable insights to further improve immigrant settlement services in the GTA for Punjabi migrants and immigrants.
This project is funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Engagement Grant. This research has been approved by York University Research Ethics Board.
Update 1: We are currently recruiting research participants, both settlement workers and community members, for short interviews. To learn more or to participate in this study, please contact Rajat Nayyar at email@example.com.
- Settlement Workers | You are invited to participate in a short interview if you are a settlement worker, community health provider, employment, legal or education counsellor, volunteer, activist or community leader serving Punjabi newcomers in the GTA. *Click HERE for details.
- Community Members | You are invited to participate in an interview with us if you are between the ages of 18-35 and have immigrated from Punjab to the Greater Toronto Area any time since 2016. *Click HERE for details.
Update 3: Key Findings from Phase 1 | Research on Newcomers in the Punjabi Community and COVID-19 (February 2023)
In Phase 1 of the Project, in-depth interviews were held on Zoom with 18 South Asian community workers serving Punjabi and South Asian newcomers in Spring and early Summer of 2021.
*Click on the image to download.
Presentations, Video and Publications
“Mobile Dreams: Punjabi international Students in Toronto.” Video featuring project interviews, edited by Pradeepto Roy. Now available via YouTube. The event video is available at this link.
Tania Das Gupta was interviewed on the Mike Farrell show on CityNews 570 on the topic of international students and housing issues, 23 April 2023, 11:00 EDT
Tania Das Gupta and Yvonne Su. 2023. “International students face exploitation in Canada and abroad,” The Conversation, 29 March 2023.
Das Gupta, Tania and Sugandha Nagpal. 2022. “Unravelling Discourses on COVID-19, South Asians and Punjabi Canadians.” Studies in Social Justice 16, no. 1: 103–22.
Das Gupta, Tania with Sugandha Nagpal. Indian Im/migrants: Degraded Labour, Precarious Work, yet Model Minority? Presented at the 26th Biennial Canadian Ethnic Studies Association Conference, 4 November 2022, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Das Gupta, Tania with Sugandha Nagpal. The “Telling” of Punjabi Migration and Mobility during the Pandemic. Presented virtually at the 19th Annual IMISCOE Conference (Migration and Time), Oslo, Norway, 29 June 2022.
Das Gupta, Tania with Sugandha Nagpal. The Resilience of Punjabi Migration and Mobility during the Pandemic. Presented virtually at the Canadian South Asian Studies Association (CSASA), 12 May 2022.
The project’s team members presented preliminary research findings on the Punjabi community and COVID-19 to the Service Delivery Network (SDN) in Peel region, Ontario on 26 October 2021.
Das Gupta, Tania and Sugandha Nagpal, forthcoming. ”We know we have to work like a ‘donkey’ in Canada”: Employment Expectations and Experiences of Young Punjabis in Canada. In India Migration Report 2024: Indians in Canada, edited by Irudaya Rajan. Routledge.
Das Gupta, Tania. Forthcoming, 2023. “When the state is complicit in violence against women: Exploring experiences of Punjabi women international students in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).” Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal.
“Mobile Dreams: Punjabi international students in Toronto.” Video featuring project interviews forthcoming in 2023.
- Screening of the project video—Mobile Dreams: Punjabi International Students in the Greater Toronto Area—with Director Tania Das Gupta at York University | Monday, 13 September 2023 | Noon to 14:00 EDT | Hybrid
- Roundtable on Migration, Mobility, and Covid-19: Migration Governance and Migrant Agency | 26 November 2022 | 11:00–13:30 EST | Marigold India Habitat Centre
- Statelessness & COVID-19: Case Studies Around the World panel discussion | 15 June 2021 at 09:00 EDT | University of Ottawa Public Law Centre and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre
- How are South Asian migrant women in Canada overcoming employment challenges? | Thursday, 3 June 2021 at Noon | The Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Migration and Integration
- Dr. Tania Das Gupta offered a seminar on abuse and violence in relationships on 10 May 2021, as part of ‘Why Are Good Men Silent?‘, a PCHS initiative to positively engage South Asian men towards healthy relationships in the family & community.
- Read The COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on Canadian victim services, a StatCan COVID-19 data perspective by Mary Allen and Brianna Jaffray
- Watch the webinar on COVID-19 and its impact on South-Asian Canadians with Baldev Mutta and Omar Latif (30 April 2021)
- APNA Health: Information on COVID-19 relief and vaccine
- Settlement services offered by Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS)
- COVID-19 resources by Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS)
- Watch the COVID-19 webinar series by United Way Greater Toronto
- The Impact of COVID-19 on South Asians in Canada, a report prepared by the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA), South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO) and South Asian Women’s Rights Organization (SAWRO)
- An Inventory of Agencies Serving the South Asian Community in Peel Region by Social Planning Council of Peel
- 2021 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration
- International students say they want to study in Canada, but staying is a problem if they can’t find housing (CBC, 22 August 2023)
- Adventures in Real Estate: “I see now why landlords target international students—it’s easier to take advantage of us” (Toronto Life, 16 August 2023)
- Canada’s costly housing market leaves international students open to exploitation (The Conversation, 30 April 2023)
- International students face exploitation in Canada and abroad (The Conversation, 29 March 2023)
- These hard lessons await international students in Canada (Toronto Star, 3 April 2022)
- Canada’s international student recruiting machine is broken (The Globe and Mail, 21 January 2022)
- The Shadowy Business of International Education (The Walrus, October 2021)
- Inquiry into coronavirus nursing home deaths needs to include discussion of workers and race (The Conversation, 25 May 2020)
- Aggarwal, Pramila, and Tania Das Gupta. 2013. “Grandmothering at Work: Conversations with Sikh Punjabi Grandmothers in Toronto.” South Asian Diaspora no. 1: 77–90.
- Das Gupta, Tania, Guida Man, Kiran Mirchandani, and Roxana Ng. 2014. “Class Borders: Chinese and South Asian Canadian Professional Women Navigating the Labour Market.” Journal of Pacific Migration Review 23, no. 1: 55–83.
- Firang, David. 2020. “The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on International Students in Canada.” International Social Work.
- Nagpal, Sugandha. 2019. “Dreams of Flight: Young Dalit Women and Middle-Class Culture in Punjab.” PhD diss., University of East Anglia.
- Rajani, Namita, Eddy S. Ng, and Dimitria Groutsis. 2018. “From India to Canada: An Autoethnographic Account of an International Student’s Decision to Settle as a Self-Initiated Expatriate.” Canadian Ethnic Studies 50, no. 1: 129–48.
- Singh, Katherine. 2021. “Asians Moved Back Home En Masse: Then, Something Beautiful Happened.” Refinery29, May 13, 2021.
- Subramaniam, Vanmala. 2020. “New race-based data shows visible minorities in Canada disproportionately affected by COVID recession.” The Chronicle Herald, 7 August 2020.
- World Bank. 2004. Resuming Punjab’s Prosperity: The Opportunities and Challenges Ahead. Accessed September 6, 2020.