Walking with Vic Briggs for Gurpuri Orphanage in Malaysia
By Dya Singh
Vikram Singh, formerly Vic Briggs of 60’s pop group ‘Animals’ reincarnation fame, is a British ‘gora’ Sikh who was inspired into Sikhi by Yogi Harbhajan Singh Ji. Most of my age will remember the group’s No.1 Hit – ‘House of the Rising Sun’. A melody which has always been in my ‘being’ from young more for its aggressive nature than anything else!
Vikram Singh Ji was the first ‘gora’ Sikh to do kirtan at Darbar Sahib in 1979/80 having studied the rudiments of the ‘raag’ system from the legendary Bhai Sahib Bhai Autar Singh Ji of Bangla Sahib. His rendition of Jaap Sahib in music is still one of the best cutting edge Jaap Sahib I have heard.
I have known Vikram Singh Ji for about 10 years now having first met him in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. We performed Asa Dhi Var together. In 2011 we met again in Malaysia and ‘walked’ 230 km. from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca performing kirtan at gurdwaras on the way. The ‘walk’ took us one week.A recent article ‘History of Western Sikh Jathas’ in the Sikhnet internet site started with his name but led to controversy as he was mentioned as no longer being with them (3HO). (I too got an honourable mention in the article!) Vikram Singh Ji replied through the Learning Zone chatline that he is still alive and well, even if he does not have anything to do with the American Sikh Organisations. I felt that I should add my two cents worth because Vikram Singh Ji is certainly alive and well and we are going to ‘walk’ again for charity. This time from Singapore (Silat Road Gurdwara) to Malacca Gurdwara Sahib.
The ‘walk’ is firstly to promote physical fitness amongst Sikhs as fitness is never talked about in gurdwaras and Sikh spiritual or religious circles except by those who do gatka. Vikram is also a yoga exponent and at almost 70 years, he is a picture of good health and fitness. I have not done too badly for a 65 year old and can keep up with him on these marathon walks.
The ‘walk’ is to coincide with the Barsi of Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji of Malaysia – a distance of about 275km. And joining us this time is Malaysia’s flamboyant Sikh radio dj – Rishi, the Flying Sikh. There could be others as the occasion gets nearer.
This walk is a ‘charity walk’ for the Gurpuri Foundation. (Just google Gurpuri for information.)
The ‘walk’ begins after an ardaas from Silat Road Gurdwara Sahib, Singapore at 5am. on Saturday 17th.May.
The ‘organisers’ have some complicated system of sponsoring us for a sum per kilometre walked and so on. I want to make it simple for friends on my network. JUST DIRECT DEBIT A DONATION TO THE BANK BELOW FOR GURPURI.
A couple of my good friends have already pledged generous sums and I now request all my friends to make your donations. Gurpuri is run by long time friend – Sukhdaiv (he is younger than me), who is now normally referred to as Giani Sukhdaiv and even Baba Sukhdaiv Singh Ji. All titles well deserved. He turned his back on a promising career as a highways engineer to be of service to the Guru. He chose sewa towards Sikh orphans and children from very poor Sikh families or families affected by drug problems. He has now reached out to poor Sikh widows and underprivileged housewives. Oldies like me have urged him to consider the aged as well!
The only way I can help is by requesting your financial assistence and Vikram Ji and I will ‘walk’ for Giani Sukhdaiv Singh Ji to highlight the great sewa that he is doing.
His latest venture is 17 acres in hinterland Malaysia about 40km. east of Kuala Lumpur on which he is building accommodation, a gurdwara, a school and other facilities for orphans, widows, single mums, handicapped children and the elderly. All such ventures depend on sangat generosity.
He has been at it for over 15 years and has proved that he is dedicated, sincere and well-intentioned. I vouch for that.
Giani Sukhdaiv Singh Ji’s Gurpuri is a worthy cause for your ‘daswandh’.
|BANK NAME||Public Bank|
|BANK ADDRESS||Public Bank Taman
262-265 Jalan Bandar 12 Taman Melawati
53100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
|BANK CODE (Swift)||PBBEMYKL|
|ACCOUNT NAME||Gurpuri Foundation|
The ‘walking jatha’ shall do kirtan at various gurdwaras on the way – namely Silat Road and Yishun in Singapore followed with Johore Bharu, Pontian, Muar and Batu Pahat on the route to Malacca culminating with kirtan at the Varsi in Malacca.
Please contact me directly preferably by email for any further information and also if you prefer to send your donation through me. I pledge that all monies will go directly to Gurpuri.
Guru Ji has been very kind to me all these years and has looked after my needs through some generous benefactors. My pledge to them is that I shall carry on doing sewa in my own way for the progress of Sikhi as long as I can. My own personal chosen ‘charity’ is Gurpuri and I request your generous contribution for Gurpuri.
Please get in touch.
Latest from my end is that I am in the process of setting up a small ‘retreat’ in ‘country’ Melbourne at which YOU will be welcome to spend time in tranquil environment and some naam simran, spiritual ‘walks’, simple yoga and good cups of cha… and of course, ‘Kaljug me kirtan perdhana’ – kirtan.
Love and affection to all … Our latest album – Sacred Chants of the Sikh Tradition – is available in music stores in north India.
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