:: The Star online | Biker on a mission ::

Biker on a mission

By MICHAEL CHEANG

What started out as a motorcycle trip to visit friends outside Malaysia has turned into a mission to help the deaf. 

IN 2005, Rosman Noordin decided to hop on his motorcycle and visit his friends in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. 

The 42-day trip was more than a holiday. A volunteer with the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf, Rosman, 44, was prompted to forge closer ties with the deaf communities in neighbouring countries. 

After the trip – termed the Asian Tour 2005 – word spread to other countries about this Malaysian who was biking around Asia to visit deaf communities. Soon, Rosman began getting e-mails from people in countries like Pakistan and India, asking how they could get involved in his “programme”. 

“I told them it was not an official project, and that I did it on my own initiative,” he said. “They then wrote back and asked me to visit them, anyway.”

That spurred Rosman to embark on another trip – the Ride 4 the Deaf 2007 tour (R4TD 2007) – during which he and his trusty BMW R80 motorcycle will visit Pakistan, India, Nepal, Iran and Turkey over a five-month period. The tour kicks off on Friday.

How much can one man on a bike do? After all, Rosman was a mere volunteer with the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf, with no mandate to make any decisions for the deaf community in Malaysia.

“The mission (of the trip) is very broad but the main objective is to increase networking among the countries’ deaf communities,” he explained.

“I may not be able to make decisions for the Federation, but I can at least make contact with all the organisations for the deaf in these countries, and then act as a liaison person and centre for information and communication between the communities.”   Continue

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