• Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Total Cases 31,293,062
Today's Fatalities 483
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Pakistan Corona Update 
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Bangladesh Corona Update 
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UK Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 418,480
Total Cases 31,216,337
Today's Fatalities 3,998
Today's Cases 42,015
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 419,470
Total Cases 31,293,062
Today's Fatalities 483
Today's Cases 35,342

Comment

Palaces on Wheels ride puts UK charity efforts for south Asia on track

Rohit Chadha (centre) with Prince Charles

By: Eastern Eye Staff

By Rohit Chadha 

A FEW years ago, as my 50th birthday approached, I reflected on the incredible hardships and sacrifices made by my parents and others in their generation to provide a better life for their children.

They emigrated from their south Asia homes and left behind the social and emotional safety net of fam­ily in the selfless hope of better opportunities for the next generation.

I realised how truly privi­leged and fortunate my generation is as a direct re­sult of the decisions taken by them a few decades ear­lier. It made me want to al­so take advantage of my privileged position in the world and give back to have a transformational impact on others who are much less fortunate.

Conscious of the level of injustice and poverty across the world, I decided to focus my efforts on south Asia, my “natural, spiritual home”, where people strug­gle to live on less than $2 (about £1.42) a day.

These vulnerable people are deprived of life’s basic necessities that we take for granted, such as clean wa­ter, food, education and safety from domestic vio­lence and human traffick­ing. Sadly, the needs of the most underprivileged have only been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The common theme with all these causes is education. By providing education and support in a safe and secure environment, we can pro­vide a long-lasting solution to lift the most vulnerable out of the spiral of poverty for generations to come, and instead help them be­come net contributors to their local community and economy.

I believe in the transfor­mational impact of diaspora-led fundraising and becom­ing a “living bridge” between the UK and south Asia.

My commitment to rally the British Asian community for stronger philanthropic efforts and diaspora-led charity work led to the launch of the Most Exotic Challenge in 2016. Every year, we arrange cycle rides in ‘exotic’ locations, with the aim of making fundrais­ing fun and exotic.

In previous years, the riders cycled through India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Tanzania. To date (not in­cluding the 2021 ride that has just been completed) we have raised just shy of £1 million, thanks to an in­credible team of donors and riders. This is immense, given that just £100 per child per annum can trans­form their education and pave a way out of poverty.

This year, the ride has come home to the UK. The 2021 ‘Palaces on Wheels’ annual charity cycle ride has crossed £1m in funds raised since 2016 – and hopefully by a big margin as we seek continued dona­tions. The ride supports the vital work done by the Brit­ish Asian Trust in south Asia. Launched by the royal founding patron of the Brit­ish Asian Trust (BAT), the Prince of Wales, Palaces on Wheels (PoW) was a four-day, 450km ride that saw more than 30 people cycle across England, stopping off at royal residences on the way from Highgrove in Gloucestershire to San­dringham in Norfolk. The highlight was the Prince of Wales starting us off riding a bike, an event that has captured the attention of everyone nationally and amazingly, globally as well.

The British Asian com­munity, especially my gen­eration, owe it to those who emigrated to the UK and suffered hardships. We should be doing a lot more in philanthropic efforts to ease the suffering in south Asia as our second genera­tion are the result of the ex­act same efforts by our par­ents and their sacrifices. I encourage you to get in­volved and influence others to join the cause.

You can donate at www. justgiving.com/crowdfund­ing/palaces-on-wheels

BAT PoW webpage: www. britishasiantrust.org/sup­port-us/fundraise-for-us/ palaces-on-wheels-2021/

Rohit Chadha is the man­aging director of Luxlo and a supporter of the British Asian Trust.

Eastern Eye

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