A GROUP of walkers is on a noble journey walking from Perlis to Malacca to raise 200 tonnes of food and RM3.6mil to help the needy.
For the first 5km of their 750km Good Will Walk mission, the Raja Puan Muda of Perlis Tuanku Hajah Lailatul Shahreen Akashah Khalil accompanied them.
Leading the pack was Muha- mmad Zhariff Afandi, one of the 14 Youth Icons announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the One Million Youth Gathering on National Youth Day 2011.
The 34-year-old man, born without arms, started the journey with other walkers at Kampung Wang Kelian in Perlis on Sunday. He aims to arrive in Malacca on May 23.
He said the 35-day walk was aimed at creating unity and raising funds and food for the new Malaysia Foodbank Organisation.
“This walk exemplifies the spirit of 1Malaysia. All races including the orang asli, the Sikhs and a foreigner are taking part,” he told the press after reaching Alor Setar on Tuesday evening from Perlis.
“The support shown by the public during our walk has been amazing.
“We hope people will donate either cash or foodstuff to our food bank project.
“This food bank will be the centre for all who need food in times of disasters.”
The Youth Icon is also the chief executive officer of Zhariff Initiative, a company that undertakes youth development projects.
He said the main challenge during the walk was the unpredictable weather, especially lightning and rain.
The walkers were greeted by Kedah Local Government, Water Supply, Water Resources, Energy, Housing and Human Capital Committee chairman Datuk Badrol Hisham Hashim at Masjid Alor Merah.
Badrol Hisham then walked with them for some 500m to Seri Mentaloon, the Mentri Besar’s official residence.
Badrol Hisham, representing Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mulhriz Mahathir, then hosted a hi-tea reception for the group.
Muhammad Zhariff and former television and radio presenter Rishiwant Singh, 41, are Malaysia Foodbank Organisation directors.
Rishiwant said the team had 10 walkers but said others were welcomed to join them.
“We will stop at landmarks, markets and anywhere appropriate to tell the public what this project is all about.
“We’ve met very generous Malaysians who bought food for us while others donated cash,” he said.
The walkers, accompanied by five crew members in three cars and a truck, are expected to reach Penang island tomorrow.
Good Will Walk is organised by United Nations-affiliated non- governmental organisation United Sikhs and has raised RM5,000.
Donations can be sent to Malay-sia Foodbank Organisation through its CIMB account 800-746-9872.
For more details, log on to http://goodwillwalk.com.my or go to its Facebook page Good Will Walk.