8:41 pm - Wednesday November 4, 2015

14,000 Push-Ups to Raise 25,000 Pounds for Indian Soldier’s Family

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LONDON: 20 years ago, Australian army’s Brigadier Bill Sowry, then a Major, was training at the Staff College in India where he became friends with Major Mohit Whig. The two men and their families grew close to each other.

Some years later, Major Whig was killed while he was posted in Kashmir, and left behind a young family – two sons and his wife.

Brigadier Sowry, who had gone back to Australia, slowly lost contact with Major Whig’s family after learning of his death.

Many years later, the Whigs – who now live in Chandigarh – saw a message pop up on Facebook.

Bill Sowry, by now a Brigadier in the Australian Army and the defence attache in London, looked up Major Sowry’s family on Facebook and found them. “I thought I’d do a search for her son Zorawar, where he would be on it (Facebook) and of course I was lucky enough to find him,” he said.

When Brigadier Sowry found that Major Whig’s younger son Fateh had a condition called Spina Bifida, he wanted to help.

He set up Push Ups For Fateh or PUFF – a challenge where he’s raising money for his treatment in Australia.

He says that surgical care in India is good, but he wanted the family to fly down to Australia so they could receive rehabilitative care.

“My target is 25,000 pounds. We are doing it to get Fateh some specialist care, rehab care, that he can self-administer, look after his own personal needs as he goes into adulthood. He’s got some mobility issues, so he needs to be given special skills,” Brigadier Sowry said.

But how would he raise money? He decided to do push-ups every single day. But how many? He decided he would do four times the number of push-ups there are kilometres covered in the Tour De France race. The race track is over 3500 kilometers so that meant the Brigadier set himself for a challenge of doing over 14,000 pushups in about three weeks.

He does this every day and maintains a chart too that is signed off by the local gym.

Brigadier Sowry didn’t need an excuse to show NDTV how he does his daily exercise routine, sometimes listening to the song Jai Ho. Brigadier Sowry’s own family has been very supportive, his daughter even edited a video of him doing these pushups.

Fateh’s mother didn’t want to be interviewed but issued a statement.

“The initiative taken by Bill speaks volumes about him and displays a quality of earnestness rarely seen today. I cannot thank him enough… The human response has been overwhelming and heart-warming,” she said.

The brigadier has already raised over 10,000 pounds.

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