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Baeke Vekh Jawana…

BobbyGrewal.jpg 72 year old Balwant (“Bobby“) Singh Grewal is walking 500 miles (800 km) from the Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh to the House of Parliament in London in five weeks. He began on June 5th and is scheduled to finish on July 9th. He is raising 100 million pounds for cancer research. (If you can’t tell by the bolded format, I’m rather impressed by this feat.)

Grewal is undertaking the walk to raise one million pounds for research into bowel cancer and other bowel diseases at St Mark’s Hospital, Harrow, a hospital unique in the U.K. [link]

This isn’t the first time Bobby Grewal has walked to raise large sums of money for medical research.

In 2001, he ran the London Marathon in just over five hours, and in 2004-5 (aged 68), he completed a walk covering 2,500 miles across India from the North-West frontier to the deep South…The walk raised 100,000 pounds for research into cancer and AIDS. [link]

Do you think Bobby Grewal is in the same class as the legendary Fauja Singh?

Leadership Training by Sikh RI

Few programs exist that provide an in-depth study of Sikhi. Fewer exist in the United States. While there are other ventures, such as the Jakara Movement that attempt to allow entry and inspiration, Sikh Research Institute’s (San Antonio, TX) Sidak provides

distinctive learning program for young adults seeking to increase their commitment towards the Sikh faith. This intensive two-week educational experience is a unique program consisting of instructional seminars on various facets of bani (scripture), tvarikh (history), and rahit (discipline). Sessions on leadership development and community building also serve as key foundations for Sidak. [link]

From Harinder Singh‘s esteemed pedagogy, to various learned guest-speakers, and the culmination in a final project, Sidak is an amazing educational and spiritual experience. This year Sidak is being held on 13 26 July, 2008. For more information visit www.sikhri.org

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Try a bike

Adding onto prior posts concerned about the environment, it’s interesting that the Transport Minister of Punjab made a statement today by riding his bike to work.parrot_on_a_bike.jpg

In a rare display of a public official and a cabinet minister and that too the transport minister of a state at its austere best, Master Mohan Lal, Transport Minister of Punjab on Thursday chose a rather conventional mode of transportation to reach his office at Civil Secretariat, here… Master rode a bicycle from his official residence in Sector 39 to attend his office. [link]

His one day bicycle ride was in response to increasing oil prices. Like Earth Hour, statements such as these are beneficial, but ultimately ineffective unless backed up by real, sustained efforts to change peoples’ actions on a daily basis. So – great statement Mohan Lal ji, but is it just a show?

In Solidarity

Through various posts on this blog, we have discussed the idea of activism (and even lacktivism) within the Sikh community. Recently I have been thinking about what activism meant to our parents’ and grandparents’ generation and in what form they expressed their personal and political thoughts. Twenty four years later, as we remember the events of 1984, we are reminded of how much these events raised Sikh consciousness. It is also a historic event in another sense. The response to the events of 1984 allowed for our parents and grandparents to stand in solidarity with other Sikhs and in doing so, mark their place in Sikh history on both a personal and political sense.

During those days and weeks following the invasion of the Darbar Sahib, hundreds and thousands of Sikhs took part in protests. I remember hearing about these stories from my Dad who ardently took part in these protests in London and Liverpool. However, what was more striking to me, was the role my Mum Mom played in these protests. I remember visiting a museum whilst on a school trip (a few years after 1984) and seeing pictures of the protests on display. I was caught off-guard as I saw a picture of my mother with her fist in the air protesting alongside other Sikh men and women. That image has stayed with me – essentially the activism that has always existed and remains to exist within our community. I wasn’t able to find much press about these protests, but did come across this clip.

Please share your thoughts/memories.

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