His life began in the village Shankar, Jalandhar, Punjab, India where his father was a teacher and so was his grandfather. Rishi Nagar spoke fondly of his grandfather, ailed with Parkinson’s disease and with whom he spent about 9 years caring for. He recalled how his grandfather loved English literature and used to share stories from great writers such as Shakespeare from memory. This sparked an interest in him to learn more and so he pursued a Masters in English literature and went on to become a college teacher. Nagar spoke of his mother and father,
‘My parents always wanted me to become a teacher. Not a doctor or an engineer but a very good and hardworking teacher and so I followed in the footsteps of my grandfather and father to do exactly that.’
In 1992, Rishi became the youngest principal of Arya College for Women in Noormahal, Jalandhar, India at the age of around twenty-three years old.
In 1999, a news team arrived in Noormahal from a newspaper based in New Delhi, India called Dainik Jagran to write a story about the historical monument Noor Mahal Ki Sarai near Arya College. Rishi was interviewed and printed in the newspaper. From that moment on he decided that he wanted to become a journalist.
The transition was smooth; he left his career after serving seven years as a teacher in September 1999 and became Chief Reporter in the same month. Through his hard work and motivation, within the span of five years he was transferred to Chandigarh and became the Principal Correspondent, the only post within the whole province at the time.
Life took an unexpected turn for Nagar when his parents and sister were involved in a serious road accident. He went back to teaching in Jalandhar at SDM Co-Education in April 2007 and what seemed to be out of the blue, having applied in the year 2002, he received paperwork to immigrate to Canada later that year.
‘I had read Canada was one of the best countries to live and work in. To have the first hand experience of living in such a country was one of the reasons I wanted to come here.’
Here began a new chapter of his life. Rishi, his wife and son travelled to Toronto, Canada in 2009. After four months in Toronto he moved with his family to Vancouver where he reconnected with his former students and friends from his village who helped him settle and find his first job as a security guard.
After three years of working as a jail guard for the New Westminster Police he heard an announcement on RedFM, the radio station was looking for a part time news broadcaster. Without hesitation Rishi applied, interviewed and got the job. Having started out as a broadcaster in Vancouver Rishi Nagar went on to becoming the News Director as well as Radio host at RedFm, Calgary.
‘This is a great country; it is a country where one can fulfill their dreams. One of my fondest memories and what I feel is an achievement for me is when I was invited by the office of Prime Minister Harper to join a dinner arranged for Prime Minister Narinder Modi of India during his state visit. Had I been in India, this may have never happened.’
Rishi Nagar has become a well-known face and voice within the South Asian Community in Calgary, Canada. He spends a lot of his time volunteering and uses his platform to showcase talent, raise awareness, and educate the South Asian Community. He can always be counted on to lend a helping hand within the community.