Grand celebrations for Syedna's 100th birthday | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Grand celebrations for Syedna's 100th birthday

mumbai Updated: Feb 23, 2011 01:56 IST
Aarefa Johari

A seven-city car rally, an attempt to preserve the environment through a Guinness World Record, a marathon, health camps, a documentary film - these are some of the events that have captured the imagination of the city's Dawoodi Bohra Muslims.

The community is preparing for what is perhaps the biggest moment in its history - the 100th birthday of their spiritual leader, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, on March 25.

Celebrations will officially begin on February 27 with a unique 2152 km car rally to promote safe driving.

The seven-day "race", for which 200 teams have already signed up, will involve driving at a fixed speed of 40 km/hr within a fixed period of time.

The rally will be flagged off from Burhanpur, a Bohri pilgrimage site in Madhya Pradesh, and pass through other pilgrim cities such as Ujjain, Ahmedabad and Surat before finishing in Mumbai on March 5.

"Driving at a rational speed is not only safe but also saves fuel," said Murtaza Bootwala, chief organiser and founder of the Saifi Burhani Car Rally Trust, a new organisation set up for the rally that will work towards funding higher education after the event.

"The rally is a platform for expressing our emotions for Syedna," said Mustafa Plumber, 44, a civil engineer who will drive his decorated WagonR in the rally.

The Burhani Foundation India (BFI), an environment and medical aid organisation, plans to conserve the sparrow population.

"People are unaware of the importance of sparrows," said Nooruddin Sevwallah, chief co-ordinator of the Save Our Sparrows project.