Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Beyond Boundaries


This is a story of friendship and courage of two friends, one a Major in the Indian Army and the other, a Major in the Australian army who were together for a short time during a course in India. But their friendship even after years encourages one to help the other’s son, whose father was killed in action in Jammu & Kashmir. The story tells us there are no boundaries in love and friendship; it’s just the desire……

Major Mohit Whig & Major William Sowry 

This is a story of friendship between two army men, Major Mohit Whig of the Indian army and a young Major William Sowry in the Australian army deputed to spend a year at India’s prestigious Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, India

In 1994 Sowry was posted to the staff college to spend a year in the Nilgiri hills with his Indian army counterparts. Major Whig was appointed as his ‘sponsor’ to help him ease into the course. After which Sowry returned to Australia and Whig was on patrol when a land mine blew up, killing him and his three accompanying soldiers. Whig left behind his wife Tina and two young children, Zorawar and Fateh.

A couple of years ago, Sowry discovered Whig’s once again. ‘We lost touch but through the magic of Facebook, I was able to find her elder son Zorawar and made contact.’ It was then he learnt about the younger son Fateh, who was barely a year old when his father was killed. Fateh was born with spina sifida, a rare congenital spinal disorder that has left him disabled since birth.

A few months ago, he heard about the Whig family exploring a rehabilitative procedure that could help Fateh regain some degree of normalcy.  But the costs were steep and they needed to raise $25,000 to travel to Australia for the medical procedure. Now twenty years later, Sowry is a 52-year-old Brigadier, posted as a defence attaché in the United Kingdom, who has set a target of 14,600 pushups in 23 days to help raise funds for Whig’s disabled son.

William Sowry built a fund raising campaign he calls PUFF – Push Ups For Fateh, to help his old friend’s younger son. In the 23 days that the Tour De France takes place, he started doing 4 pushups for every kilometer he will do 14,642 pushups in 18 days. So far Sowry has already raised $9,000.

While Sowry wrote to several senior Indian Army officials and other government functionaries, he is yet to hear from them. He even met the minister of state and former army chief, General VK Singh, who promised to help him raise funds.

This is an inspiring story of friendship going beyond boundaries, of a true desire to help a friend’s son whose father is no longer alive. And an old friendship many years ago bonded them.



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Picture Post:

Panjim, the capital of Goa
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