Malaysian Sikh bikers ride to Pakistan for cancer awareness

Chosen by the National Cancer Society Malaysia, 17 Sikh members of the Santana Riderz Malaysia Club will set out to cover 16,000 kilometers to raise funds for pediatric cancer. The ride coincides with the birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism and concludes in the city of his birth, Nankana Sahib, Pakistan. Picture taken on April 26, 2018 (Photo Courtesy: Santana Riderz Malaysia Club Instagram)
Updated 21 September 2019

Malaysian Sikh bikers ride to Pakistan for cancer awareness

  • The ride coincides with the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism and ends in his birthplace, Nankana Sahib, in Pakistan
  • Santana Riderz want to raise awareness about pediatric cancer, generate funds to combat the disease

ISLAMABAD: A Malaysian motorcycle club, Santana Riderz, has decided to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer by planning a biking expedition to Pakistan in which its members will ride through a number of countries, said the association’s top official on Friday.
The 17 riders belong to the Sikh community and hope to conclude their journey in Pakistan’s eastern town of Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of the founder of their religion, Guru Nanak, whose 550th birth anniversary will be celebrated in November this year.
Pakistan’s Punjab province holds tremendous historic significance for Sikhism. Not only does it have the community’s holiest religious shrine but was also part of its empire in the early half of the 19th century and was governed by one of its most illustrious rulers, Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
The Sikh riders have embarked on their venture in collaboration with the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NSCM) and will cruise the roads of Thailand, Myanmar and India before finishing their trip in Pakistan.
According to details, six of them will kick off the run from Malaysia while others will ride into formation as the journey continues. The group will cover 16,000 kilometers in almost 40 days, and each rider will spend about Rs350,000 to meet their fuel, food and accommodation expenses.
46-year-old Jaspal Singh, who serves as president of the motorcycle club, maintains it is the largest bike ride of its kind since it aims to raise funds for children fighting cancer.
“Santana Riderz Malaysia Club is an organization that reaches out to help anyone in their means,” he told Arab News. “We are united by a common goal: To save and improve lives, especially young ones.”
“In Malaysia, the NCSM has always kept its door open to people who want to do voluntary work,” he added. “Children shouldn’t feel sick or lose their hair. They shouldn’t have to face long term effects like hearing loss or the ability to ever walk. These are some of the driving factors that compelled us to connect with the NCSM.”
Under the theme “Sarbat Da Bhala” – or “blessings for everyone” – funds raised through the ride will go to children and their families, regardless of race or creed. According to Singh, this was also one reason why the NCSM chose the club’s charitable ride.
Established in 1979, Santana Riderz has 46 members. The non-profit has been an active philanthropic force in Malaysia since it has previously organized a number of initiatives to help communities across that country by raising money on wheels.
On coming to Pakistan, Singh said a few of his group members had traveled to the country before, but “a journey to a place of such significance” was always worth repeating.
“Just like anyone who has faith in God, going to a place of sanctuary is most satisfying to the soul and mind. This sanctuary is a sacred place for us, set apart from the profane, ordinary world,” he added. “This kind of phenomenon is beyond emotional and indescribable. We have gratitude and feel most connected to God.”

Karachi braces for weekend rains as billions lost to drenches this week

Updated 26 August 2020

Karachi braces for weekend rains as billions lost to drenches this week

  • Losses from Tuesday's flooding estimated at Rs5 billion ($30 million), Karachi traders say
  • Met agency says floodwater in Karachi must be drained immediately to prevent further flooding on Saturday

KARACHI: Another spell of heavy rain is expected to lash the port city of Karachi on Saturday, Pakistan's meteorological department warned, as it called on the city's authorities to drain water from flooded neighborhoods to avoid further damage and casualties.

Rain-related incidents in the past few days killed dozens of people in the coastal metropolis of Sindh province, while streets, homes and factories were flooded with sewage water, causing losses of billions of rupees in the city where the drainage and sewage systems are outdated.

"There will be a gap of two days (in rains). If it is not utilized to drain out the water from the affected areas, a light to moderate spell on Saturday will drown them again," Sardar Sarfraz, chief metrological officer of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, told Arab News.

On Tuesday, he said, a record 345 millimeters of rainfall flooded most of the city.

As flooding brought operations at the city's industrial zones to a standstill, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan said the government should declare the rains a national disaster to allow people to be compensated.

Shaikh Umar Rehan, president of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) told Arab News that work has been heavily disrupted at the city's factories which normally operate non-stop.

“The factories work round the clock, but on Tuesday, even one shift couldn’t be completed,” he said.



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According to Atiq Mir, president of the Karachi Traders Association, losses from damages to the markets in the old city area alone are estimated to be Rs1 billion.

"As trade volume is Rs4 billion per day, both direct and indirect losses make it Rs5 billion ($30 million). On Wednesday, as the markets could not open completely, the (trade) community will have to bear another Rs2.5 billion losses."

The Sindh government and the military say teams are on the ground to drain the water and rescue the affected.

“It has broken an 89-year record and it was continuously raining for eight hours but as soon as the rain stopped teams were on ground to clear the areas. Most of the city’s thoroughfares were cleared by the Tuesday evening. The entire Sindh government was in the field to supervise the relief work,” Sindh Labor Minister Saeed Ghani told Arab News.

He added that the problem will not be resolved within days.

The military's media wing said in a statement that relief and rescue efforts were underway in the heavily flooded Malir Nadi, Kohi Goth and Dur Muhammad Goth areas of the city.