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Rishiwant from UNITED SIKHS gets Star Golden Hearts Award 2016
Nov 24, 2016


PETALING JAYA: Rishiwant Singh Randhawa has faced many obstacles trying to help others with his humanitarian work, but he has never wavered in his faith. Whether it was problems with funding or criticism from his own friends, the United Sikhs Asia-Pacific Humanitarian Aid director found that his faith allowed him to soldier on.

"You can't let anything hold you back when you are helping others," he said.

When he was feeding Syrian refugees along the Macedonian-Serbian border during a harsh winter earlier this year, there were those close to him who accused him of feeding terrorists who would later create havoc in Europe.

"All I saw were just women and children who were hungry. At the end of the day, the human race is one," he said.

Rishiwant, 41, was among 10 individuals and groups who were given The Star Golden Hearts Awards 2016 by the Star Media Group at a special ceremony at Menara Star Thursday.

They were recognised for their role in building bridges between different communities, as well as in promoting racial harmony and unity.

The awards, handed out by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, were in recognition of their noble deeds and efforts to help others, regardless of race or background.

Besides Rishiwant, the other recipents were Marie Christie Robert, Kong Lan Lee, Shalini Yeap May Hwa and Afred Samuel Mariyas, Jerryson Abraham Gnanaraj Doss and Edna Sung Burongoh, Khairuddin Abd Aziz, Dr Rusaslina Idrus, Mohd Yusuf Rohani, Saari Mohd Nor and Low Kock Seong, and Tan Chin Leong.

Dr Rusaslina also won the Gamuda Inspiration Award and received RM50,000 for her work with Kedai Jalanan, an organisation that provides clothes and toiletries to the homeless and urban poor in Kuala Lumpur.

EcoWorld Foundation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who headed the judging panel of the Golden Hearts Awards, said that about 100 individuals and groups were nominated.

Also present at the awards ceremony were Star Media Group chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow, Star Media Group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, and Gamuda Engineering managing director Datuk Ubull Din Om.

The full list of award-winners:

> Marie Christie Robert: She donated her liver to her teacher Cikgu Cheong;

> Kong Lan Lee: Actively involved in helping special needs children through Persatuan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa Kajang (PKIK);

> Shalini Yeap May Hwa and Alfred Samuel Mariyan: Dedicated volunteers who help the less fortunate;

> Jerryson Abraham Gnanaraj Doss and Edna Sung Burongoh: They help the homeless and recovering addicts through special programmes;

> Khairuddin Abd Aziz: For his youth education and awareness programmes about the dangers of drugs through music and art;

> Dr Rusaslina Idrus: Provides clothes and toiletries to the homeless and urban poor in Kuala Lumpur through Kedai Jalanan;

> Rishiwant Singh Randhawa: Organised the Good Will Walk to raise awareness for humanitarian purposes;

> Mohd Yusuf Rohani: Cared for a childhood friend for 15 years;

> Saari Mohd Nor & Low Kock Seong: Rescued eight Royal Malaysian Air Force men from a plane crash; and

> Tan Chin Leong: For rescuing individuals who attempt to take their own lives.

They accused him of feeding “terrorists”, who they claimed would later create havoc in Europe, but Rishiwant did not let their accusations get to him.

“It is impossible to make everybody happy. At that time, all I saw were just women and children who were hungry.

“At the end of the day, the human race is one,” he said, adding that his faith was the only thing that kept him soldiering on.