Story of a Cricket philanthropist and ambassador ……

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Article Published by : Dr. Ved Tewari (Editor-in-Chief Avenewz News Australia & Singapore)

When someone of the stature of Sachin Tendulkar greets you on your birthday, you MUST be special. Very touching and heart-warming is the story of Manpreet (Manu) Singh. Born in Delhi and losing his father at a very young age, Manu moved to Sydney, Australia in 2009, when as a 20-year-old he went Down Under to pursue his academics.
The story of a young 20-year-old who move to further his personal interests and his journey for a decade now that encompasses enormous philanthropical pursuits at the highest level makes for fascinating and inspiring reading.
Cricket has been the engine that Manu Singh has used to drive his endeavours, and his contributions in an adapted country should inspire any migrant on how much can be achieved for the welfare of the needy.
As a champion and supporter of disabled and handicapped cricketers, Manu began working at the Cricket Connects Exhibition Ambassador at the Sydney Cricket Ground, one of the largest cricket exhibitions held worldwide. As part of this exhibition he had the opportunity to work with former Australian Prime Ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott.
A long-term volunteer with the McGrath Foundation, Manu has also helped Steve Waugh Foundation and Bradman Foundation and supports the Khalsa Aids charity events. He is currently working with The Returned and Services League, Australia (RSL) to honour the contribution of Indian troops in Gallipoli.Manu is also associated with NSW Police and works with them in improving their relationships with international students, and in helping the Police to reach out and engage with these students for their safety and well-being.

On behalf of McGrath Foundation, he presented NSW Acting Police Commissioner with a signed cricket bat and a written message on it to them, for their support of the McGrath Foundation and Cricket.
He has received two Awards of Appreciation from NSW Police for his community work and a Community Service Award from the National Sikh Council of Australia in recognition of his ongoing community services work. Appreciation from his home land was not to be missed out as well. Manu received an award of honour from the Government of India Ministry of Culture for his work as an Ambassador for Cricket Connects.
What did someone who loves cricket so much do with bat and ball? Manu played cricket and was undergoing coaching, returning home after long hours at the camps. Losing his father at age 13, and being the only child, he couldn’t bear to see his mother alone at home for long hours. Young Manu decided to finish school and be home on time, which limited his time for cricket on a personal front. And other highlights/key events of the Manu Singh journey, in the last three decades?
 Donated his celebrity signed cricket bats for auction at Khalsa Aid fundraising events is Sydney and Melbourne and raised AUD 250,000 for natural disasters in two days. The intent was to be a role model, and reach out to the worldwide community to make a difference by bringing the Australian and Indian communities together through cricket; to help spread Khalsa Aid’s message of recognising the whole human race as one; and in doing so motivate
and inspire the community to reach out and help the needy.

 Supported the Fight Against Domestic Violence Campaign by participating in the White Ribbon Walk to end domestic violence in Sydney
 Working alongside former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Manu has the PM sign a cricket bat with a message for Indian Prime Minister Shiri Narendra Modi to congratulate him on the Cricket Connects exhibition in Australia. This signed bat was on display during the exhibition.
 Presented former PM John Howard the book of “Cricket Connects India-Australia Cricket Relations” during a meeting at his office about Cricket Connects.
 As a McGrath Foundation volunteer, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball tweeted a picture of him and Manu at the 2017 Pink Day Test. The message was to demonstrate support for this great cause of McGrath Foundation, celebrating the lives of breast cancer patients, represent Sikhism positively to the world and demonstrate how multicultural communities contribute to the success of Australia.
 At every Pink Test he celebrates the occasion by wearing a pink turban and pink themed outfit. The Daily Telegraph published a picture of Manu in his pink turban with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball at the Pink Test. Manu hopes these will inspire other Indian migrants to get involved in cricket-based charities and support these great causes.
 Has donated a large painting of the Steve Waugh Foundation, a charity for children with rare diseases, to help them raise money for the charity.
 Was selected by Cricket Australia to be in a cricket commercial for the Australian Summer cricket season, which aired on TV and online. He was featured as an Australian supporter in a turban with the Australian flag. This same image was created into a one-page newspaper advertisement in Indian newspapers advertising the coming cricket season.
 Was conferred a Community Service Award from the National Sikh Council of Australia in recognition and appreciation of his ongoing community services work.
 Has participated in the Anzac Day Parade for the last four years, marching under the banner of the Sikh Regiments of WW1 and WW2 to commemorate those who served in the world wars The Sikh Regiment group. This is to remind the Australian community of the Indian Army’s contribution in the World Wars; it helped show a true bonding, mateship and respect between Australians, young and old, and the Sikhs; helped remember the Sikh Anzacs and to reflect on their courage and service for others; this was important because the Sikhs played a major role in Gallipoli alongside the Anzacs, but this is often forgotten.
 The above endeavour is especially important because turban wearing people were denied entry to The Returned and Services League, Australia (RSL) clubs in the 1980s and 1990s. and there was a greater need to spread information about the contributions of Indian and Sikh soldiers.
 Manu has been working with the RSL Secretary to honour the Sikh War heroes.

His favourite international cricketing moment? Manu Singh swapped his native Indian colours for something special in support of the mighty West Indies during their 2015 tour to Australia just before the World Cup. Joining the Windies during their practice session at the SCG as a net bowler, not only was it the team who he was showing his support to, but also a Caribbean legend of the game. Recalling, Manu says “I went to the SCG during their [West Indies] practice session with my best mate Scott Holda, and after the session, I went to shake hands with the Big Black Cat, Sir Clive Lloyd. After telling him that I am supporting the Windies, I asked him if I could tie a special red maroon turban, and explained the significance of it. As he was a role model of Indian cricket legend
Bishan Singh Bedi, Clive was delighted about the idea. I tied the turban and he said that he loved it. We then talked about cricket for about an hour. On this New Year’s Day, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

An eligible bachelor with a string of awesome achievements for someone so young, Manu spends time at this adopted country and also regularly visits India to be with his mother.

No wonder, “God” Tendulkar himself deemed it fit to wish the young achiever the very best on his 30 th birthday!! More strength to his wonderful human being who lives for the needy!!

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