WALK FOR VALUES – BE A BUDDY
Ipoh, 25 August 2019 – The Sathya Sai International Organisation of Malaysia (SSIOM) – Perak Chapter recently organised a Walk for Values with a special theme “Be A Buddy, Not a Bully to Mankind, Animal & Nature”, aimed at raising awareness and curbing the culture of bullying and violence, especially among children and youths.
The event, held on 25 August 2019 in collaboration with the Ipoh City Council and Ipoh Car Free Day Team, was launched and flagged-off by Yang Berhormat Dr. Abdul Aziz Bari, the Perak State Executive Councillor for Education, Environment, Green Technology and Information, and attracted about 1,000 multi-racial, multi-ethnic participants.
This is second Walk for Values for the State of Perak. The first was held in 2010 with the theme “Go Green”. This second Walk for Values was initiated in 2017 after the painful demise of Malaysian Youth Nhaveen due to unwarranted torture and bullying by his peers.
“Be A Buddy” was led by two dynamic leaders from SSIOM Perak namely Bro Ajit Arujunan and Bro Ruvanesh Aravind Vejayan whom were supported by 6 Wings under SSIOM ie Service Wing including Global Community, Education Wing including Outreach, Ladies Wing, Young Adults Wing, Spiritual Wing and also Media Wing. Each individual contributed some way or rather towards the success of the event.
“Nhaveen’s death had triggered a public outcry. We wanted to do something for people like Nhaveen, Zulfarhan, Thaqif and many more who have been victims of bully. It is important for the society to intervene and fight against such uncivil acts. We want to send a clear messaging that bullying, discrimination and violence of any sort is an act of crime and they are not to be encouraged,” said Bro Ajit Arujunan, the organising chairperson of the event.
“Bully culture seemed to be subtly ingrained in the community and it is apparent from the acts of gangsterism, and peer pressure that leads to physical, mental and emotional abuse. Interestingly, it can also materialise in the form of animal abuse, destruction of nature and irresponsible behaviour that inconveniences others. This is the reason why we chose the theme Be A Buddy, Not a Bully to Mankind, Animal & Nature,” said co-organising chairperson Bro Ruvanesh Aravind Vejayan.
The event started with singing of National Anthem, Negaraku and followed by intro of the event by the emcee, Bro Dr Kanichelvan. Then there was a 10 minutes warm up session with aerobics. The Guest of Honour, Yang Berhormat Dr. Abdul Aziz Bari, the Perak State Executive Councillor for Education, Environment, Green Technology and Information, said in his speech that he is impressed with the theme and the effort taken by SSIOM to spread positivity. He applauded SSIOM for an event which brought Malaysians together. He then officiated the event, with the entourage of Perak State Coordinator, Bro Ramakershinan Nalliah, all centre Chairman and their respective wing coordinators.
Apart from walking along the designated path around Ipoh City, various performances were organised and executed meticulously by the Young Adults of SSIOM led by Sis Dr Sevita Sharma. The performance includes a flash mob session which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The children from Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) and Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) classes also demonstrated their keen interest in doing their bit as a ‘Buddy’. They walked with placards displaying various messages according to the theme, and some even dressed up in creative costumes made from 3R materials. A grand float displaying the five essentials human values (i.e. Love, Truth, Peace, Non-Violence and Righteousness), and a special performance by the youths in conjunction with Merdeka Day.
A booth was also set up to garner pledges from participants to be a buddy and about 170 participants had their hands stamped with different colours representing each of five essential human values. The majority opted for the colour green, which represented the value of Peace, indirectly sending a message that peaceful thoughts and acts are the best way to counter bullying and violence.
During the walk, the 1,000-people entourage led by Perak State Coordinator, Mr. Ramakershinan Nalliah, centre Chairpersons and their respective wing coordinators received a pleasant surprise as Perak State Menteri Besar (Head of State Government), Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu and Datuk Bandar Ipoh (Mayor), Yang Berhormat Dato’ Ahmad Suaidi Abdul Rahim made a surprise appearance to acknowledge the initiative.
The event concluded with a beat box session by 2 talented Young Adults, Bro Sunil and Bro Sudeshan, and a sing along session belting out Jalur Gemilang and KeranaMu as part of the National Day celebration. The organisers and participants ensured that the event premises were thoroughly cleaned up by picking up all the rubbishes and discarding it properly to live up to the theme.
The organising committee spent 4 months of strategic planning to ensure the success of the event. SSIOM hope to continue creating awareness on Bully culture by promoting “Be A Buddy” nationwide in time to come.