There are many ways of raising awareness about issues pertinent to our well-being and two brave girls from Pune chose a way of mammoth proportions. These kids cycled from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to raise awareness about pollution and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Beti Padao, Beti Bachao’ campaign. Through the journey, the girls also paid homage to late off-road cyclist, Ajay Padval.
The girls, Pooja Tanaji Badhavale (19) and Sayli Milind Maharao (23), started their journey on November 30, 2017 and completed their journey on January 3, 2018, a mere 35 days! The duo covered a distance of 3, 868 kms, passing through 9 states.
Pooja told ANI, "We had an amazing experience. We were helped by various groups along the route. We reached Jammu on November 27 by train, started the journey on November 30."
During the journey, the girls bore the brunt of the chilly cold in Jammu and Kashmir, dense fog in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and UP. They also fought through the downpour caused by cyclone Ockhi in Rajasthan. The duo suffered skin-burning heat in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Both girls fell ill twice during the journey.
"Our motive was to spread the message of the dangers of pollution and 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao'. We had dedicated the journey to Ajay Padval, who was an off-road cyclist and passed away in Leh," said Sayli.
Ajay, who was one of India’s finest downhill riders, died after he crashed on the slopes of Khardung-La, the highest mountain pass in Ladakh on July 12, 2017. A burst tire was suspected to be the cause of the crash.