Monday, August 15, 2016

Four Malaysians in two Land Rover Defenders will strike off to India via the old World War II road through Imphal, Myanmar


 What was just a dream has now become reality for a bunch of Land Rover enthusiasts from the Land Rover Owners Club of Malaysia (LROM). Four Malaysians in two Land Rover Defenders will embark on a historic 46-day overland journey to India via the old World War II Myanmar-India corridor through Tamu – Imphal – Dimapur.



Myanmar’s borders were closed to vehicles from other countries and the overland passage seemed a distant dream back when the chaps first dreamt about it. A good 30 years or so ago. Half a lifetime. But with the opening of Myanmar, economically and diplomatically, this is a culmination of a dream for them, especially
Rate de Silva, a veteran overlander and founder of Jungle Expedition & Explorer, to drive a Land Rover to India. 

De Silva, who is also known as Atek will drive a recently acquired Defender 2.4 stationwagon and his co-pilot is LROM Hon Secretary, Alyna Tai. The second Land Rover is commanded by Datuk Seri Dr S. Sharavanan, the Managing Director of Penang International Dental College (PIDC) and the Pro-Chancellor of Vinayaka Missions International University College (VMIUC), Malaysia. He will drive his 2012 Defender 2.4 stationwagon, nicknamed Bheema.

Datuk Seri Dr S Sharavanan, a Bangalore University trained radiologist, is a resident Malaysian by choice. His birthplace is Salem, near Chennai, South India where the family founded the Vinayaka Missions University, amongst the largest private educational organisations in India that owns and operates four medical colleges. Vinayaka Missions are the main sponsors of the event.

The flag-off ceremony was held this morning at the India House, teh residence of the Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia at Lorong Duta, Kuala Lumpur. The flag-off was officiated by the Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia , H.E. Mr. T.S.Tirumurti

De Silva with his Defender

With the plan intact of having a common set of Land Rover Defenders and engines so as to minimise the load of spare parts, Atek will pack a windscreen, alternator, starter motor, brake vacuum pump, one fan belt, bulbs, fuses and miscellaneous hardware.

Each Defender has a roof tent for the estimated 20 nights of camping supplies and two spare tyres (Maxxis 265x85 x16 for Atek’s standard suspension and taller/slimmer Maxxis 255 x 85 x 16 for 'Bheema's Old Man Emu lifted suspension). 

Land Rover and overland travel enthusiasts can also check out the "Vinayaka Missions ROAD TO INDIA" on www.xmen4x4.com, Sharavanan's Twitter @SALEMSHARAVANAN and www.motorme.my.


PRESS RELEASE

15 August 2016

Crossing the WWII Myanmar -India corridor of Tamu – Imphal –Dimapur in a Land Rover

Four Malaysians in two Land Rover Defenders will strike off to India via the old World

War II road through Imphal, Myanmar on August 15.

On that day, India’s 70th Independence Day, the Indian High Commissioner will flag

off the team on the 46-day event from India House in Lorong Duta in Kuala Lumpur.

There will be another ceremony in Penang on the afternoon of 15 August where

academic staff of the Penang International Dental College (PIDC) will be giving

another enthusiastic hurray to Dr Sharavanan, the founder of the PIDC.

For the team leader, Rate De Silva, it will be the culmination of one of his dreams –

to drive a Land Rover to India.

“In fact, that was the reason for the formation of the Land Rover Owners Club of

Malaysia (LROM) when six founding members met in the garage of our member’s

house in Taman Tun Dr Ismail 30 years ago,” said de Silva, LROM president.

“That night, we ratified our commitment to start the Land Rover Owners Club of

Malaysia with a view of organizing a trip to India via the WWII Myanmar -India

corridor of Tamu – Imphal – Dimapur. In those days, Myanmar’s borders were closed

to third country land transport and the overland passage seemed a distant dream.

“But not anymore. The land borders have started opening and it’s time to start what

we said we would do 30 years ago,” De Silva aka Atek said.

Atek will drive a recently acquired Defender 2.4 stationwagon and his co-pilot is

LROM Hon Secretary, Alyna Tai.

The second Land Rover is commanded by Datuk Seri Dr S. Sharavanan, the

Managing Director of Penang International Dental College (PIDC) and the Pro-

Chancellor of Vinayaka Missions International University College (VMIUC), Malaysia.

He will drive his 2012 Defender 2.4 stationwagon, nicknamed 'Bheema', on this

upcoming event, the "Vinayaka Missions ROAD TO INDIA".

Datuk Seri Dr S Sharavanan, a Bangalore University trained radiologist, is a resident

Malaysian by choice. His birthplace is Salem, near Chennai, South India where the

family founded the Vinayaka Missions University, amongst the largest private

educational organisations in India that owns and operates four medical colleges.

“I had many Malaysian friends when we were studying in Manipal and I visited

Malaysia often since 1989. I love the diversity and natural environment of Malaysia

and the genuine warmth of all races in Malaysia and decided to put my roots here. In

2003 I migrated to Malaysia with a business plan,” said Sharavanan.

“I set up the Penang International Dental College. While busy stabilising the

business operations I saw a picture of a Land Rover Defender in a motor magazine

one day. It suddenly struck a chord in me and stirred the adventurous side in me".

“I checked it out in the showroom and was surprised to note that this Defender cost a

lot more than modern 4X4s like Toyota Hilux and the Isuzu D’Max. That's when I

learnt about the pedigree and class of the Land Rover and I bought my first Defender

in 2011, a 110 Twin-Cab.

“I took part in some local 4x4 events and in 2012, I bought another 110 Defender,

this time the Stationwagon.

“For the past two years, I’ve been talking with Atek about the LROM’s dream trip to

India,” said Sharavanan.

“I said to myself, here is a gentleman who has the same dream of overlanding  to

India, my motherland; let's put in a bit of money, sponsor the event, and let’s

roll. That’s why this event is called the Vinayaka Missions ROAD TO INDIA".

"I had come from Salem with a young family in tow to Kuala Lumpur to venture out

on my own. It is emotionally and sentimentally significant for me personally as I'm

making a return trip in style from Kuala Lumpur to Salem by an overlanding

expedition".

"Vinayaka Missions is the name of the education group that my father Dr A

Shanmugasundaram founded in Salem in 1982. The word 'Missions' is because my

father believed that education is a social service, and medical education is a noble

service to humanity - he made that particular goal as our Mission", said Sharavanan.

With the plan intact of having a common set of Land Rover Defenders and engines

so as to minimise the load of spare parts, Atek will pack a windscreen, alternator,

starter motor, brake vacuum pump, one fan belt, bulbs, fuses and miscellaneous

hardware.

Each Defender has a roof tent for the estimated 20 nights of camping and two spare

tyres (Maxxis 265x85 x16 for Atek’s standard suspension and taller/slimmer Maxxis

255 x 85 x 16 for 'Bheema's Old Man Emu lifted suspension).

Land Rover and overland travel enthusiasts can also check out the "Vinayaka

Missions ROAD TO INDIA" on www.xmen4x4.com, Sharavanan's Twitter

@SALEMSHARAVANAN and www.motorme.my.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anyone is free to comment. Spam will be deleted almost immediately..., but remember this is not a democracy. It is my blog. Tough isn't it?

Links