Multilingual, mighty helpful

WITH his skilfulness at languages and his penchant for helping people, it is no surprise that Mr Tariam Singh was singled out by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the recent National Day Rally.

The 70-year-old is an active ambassador with NTUC U Live, a community of the NTUC that engages seniors to stay relevant and productive in their employment or to lead a purposeful retirement. A whiz at languages and IT, Mr Singh is also a Silver InfoComm Wellness Ambassador (SIWA) who teaches fellow seniors how to use gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. The polyglot (one who can speak many languages) even converses with his peers in Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, Punjabi or Hokkien, depending on their preferred language or dialect!

It all started in 2015 when he attended U Live’s Active 55+ leadership programme, which empowers participants to take charge of their lives and embark on a journey of positive change and personal empowerment.

Mr Singh, who retired in 2010 after working 46 years as a human resource professional in the civil service, said of the programme: “It opened my eyes and ears, and I wanted to keep being involved and give back after learning so much.

“Now, I co-facilitate a variety of workshops as I strongly believe in the importance of leading a happy and healthy lifestyle. I want to help others be prepared for and manage old age. I guide participants when they cannot follow the instructor, and also ensure that they enjoy themselves and benefit from the programme,” he added with a smile.

Other than co-facilitating workshops, Mr Singh has also been serving as a member of the U Live Symposium organising committee since 2015. The symposium is U Live’s signature annual event for active seniors aged 50 and above. It features talks and activities on keeping healthy and staying updated on trends in areas such as re-employment.

Mr Singh said: “I don’t set limits to the time I dedicate to volunteering. As long as there’s something to be done, I will do it, regardless of how long it takes.”

When he isn’t busy volunteering, the father of two enjoys exercising to keep fit, which is why he looks young!

“Age hasn’t slowed me down… I jog three-and-a-half kilometres every morning at 6.30am and make use of the fitness facilities along the Alexandra Canal park connector network. I make sure I sweat it out every day,” he said before breaking into a hearty laugh.

Mr Singh also loves bonding with his wife, sons and four-year-old grandson.

“My grandson is very active! When he’s at my place, we play together and I take him to the park to enjoy the slide. He also takes pictures of me using my smartphone. Kids are so tech-savvy these days.

“Thankfully, I am IT-savvy too!” he said with a laugh.

To find out more about U Live, visit

To learn more about what it takes to be a Silver Infocomm Wellness Ambassador (SIWA), visit

Article published on: 6/9/2017