Despite having no hands, he can still cycle across the country for charity: This is the inspiring tale of 25-year-old Jagwinder Singh who broke human barriers to cycle from Singapore to Malacca over two days to raise funds for the underprivileged.
The para-cyclist led a riding expedition, over the weekend, befittingly called, ‘Ride To Serve 2019’, organised by Paul Singh, in aid of Sikh Welfare Council and in collaboration with the Singapore Khalsa Association (SKA).
As I watched him expertly handle the racing bicycle, he instantly became a reminder
about how we can defy all kinds of odds to achieve a dream. No wonder then, that
his family, friends and fans call him “Super Singh”.
He bravely battled the elements, unpredictable terrain and physical exhaustion, over
the 250km cross-country course, simply to prove that the “elements of sharing and
giving, bonding and camaraderie” can be used for a value-added charity cause.
“I do not have both my hands since birth. So I did not have to deal with any
traumatic situation physically, as I did not even know how it feels to be a
person with hands,” says Jagwinder, who hails from Patran in Patiala district
of Punjab in north India.
His trip for the Sikh Welfare Council-charity-drive was sponsored as he is a role model for many, having overcome enormous physical handicaps and hostilities in life. From not getting into a good school to financial hardships, and without any support from the government, he even managed to win a Paralympic gold medal for India in cycling. He dreams of becoming a drawing professor someday.
The 25-year-old arts teacher said,”The people who see me every day, their mindset becomes very positive, thinking, “If he can do so much in spite of not having hands then we can do anything.” This is one of my biggest achievements.”
He suffers from a birth defect known as Amelia (birth defect) where a person may lack one or more limbs. It can also be the result of a shrunken or deformed limb. Having no arms from birth, he uses his feet to cook and eat his food, paint, and even work on his computer.
He says: “I don’t face any problems because of being handicapped. Whenever I feel
like doing some work I see how another person is doing this work and work out how
can I do it my own way.”
Jagwinder is truly an extraordinary man who wants to help the under-
privileged. He says: “If you wait till you can do everything for everybody, instead of
something for somebody, you will end up not doing nothing for nobody.”
His role-model and favourite cyclist is Canadian Joseph Veloce, a world-class biker. So,
what challenge will he take up next?
“Winning a gold medal in the Tokyo Paralympics is my next goal. I’m practising over
25km daily and will keep pushing to perform better and to be close to Joseph
He describes his tryst with art. “Despite a diploma in art, I ran from pillar to post
because no school or institution was ready to take me in. A wrongful perception led
people to not accept me easily. But with the concerted efforts of my parents, I kept
pushing to command self-respect,” says Jagwinder, who currently teaches art at
Nanaksar Academy in Patiala.
He says, “Despite seven decades of freedom, illiteracy is rampant in India and most
parts of south Asia. My top priority is to impart education to those who are deprived,
to widen their horizons and to discipline them.”
Singapore actor-businessman Ricky Sapuran Singh, who also cycled in the
Singapore-Malacca charity drive, praised Jagwinder for his “extraordinary and
exemplary courage and determination”.
“We want to encourage more spirited Singaporeans to level up to society by
reaching out to the less privileged. By using bicycles and going across the
Causeway, every year, we want to spread the message of international goodwill and
to raise funds so that others can continue and expand the welfare projects,” says the
57-year-old Sapuran Singh, a retired Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) major, who now
manages the biggest Bollywood entertainment arena, Moshi Moshi Bollywood, in
Koek Road, off Orchard Road.
“Believe me, it was very physical, very demanding and even for a pro-cyclist, some
of the terrain challenges would have been tough,” says Sapuran Singh, who has
been involved in charity and community work for 22 years. “Yet these are
extraordinary people, like arm-less Jagwinder, who makes the commitment to
perform such a daunting charity-driven task.
UNFAILINGLY HELPING CHARITY
“I commend all the cyclists, including two women, too. The hours and mileage each
cyclist has to put in are extensive. The obstacles our cyclists encountered cannot be
compared to the adversity many of the underprivileged go through every day. It is
heartening to witness our cyclists putting in the effort to help raise funds for a very
Sapuran Singh, who last year made his Bollywood acting debut in the Hindi
romantic-thriller, Pareshaan Parinda, as a Mafia don with outdoor scenes shot in
Sydney (Australia), passionately believes in “giving back to society and taking
ownership in the community I’m living in”.
He says: “I’m a patriotic Singaporean who has served the Singapore Armed Forces
for 27 years, and as a businessman and grassroots leader, doing continuous charity
work for over two decades.”
Sapuran Singh and property businesswoman-wife, Puran Kaur, will be hosting
a special charity-auction with Jagwinder Singh on Wednesday at 7.00pm at
Moshi Moshi Bollywood at Cuppage Plaza.
SKA Chairman (Membership) Major (Retired) Tarlok Singh saluted handicapped
Jagwinder for making ‘Ride To Serve 2019’ – in aid of Sikh Welfare Council – a
NOW FOR A BRIDE
“We’re Sikhs living in a multi-racial blend here and we invite Singaporeans to partake
in every SKA celebration and charity events in attempts to build and strengthen
community ties,” he said.
“Jagwinder from Punjab, armless but with the bravest personal spirits, (sic) showed we can achieve the impossible if we put our hearts and souls (sic) for charity. He’s truly an extraordinary Sikh global ambassador.”
The final word came from Jagwinder’s mother Amarjeet Kaur, 45, who told The Times of
India newspaper: “We need a good girl for him, who will support him and live her
whole life with him properly. As we hope for good (sic) for him, she should wish the
But despite his parents’ attempts at match-making, Jagwinder, the “Super Sikh” is more focused on cycling, training at the gym and helping the under-privileged.