Two young cyclists 26-year-old Sumeet Paringe and 22-year-old old Prisiliya Madan, from Mumbai have been cycling across India armed with a mission. The duo, who started their journey from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and will end it at Khardung-la in Jammu and Kashmir, have undertaken this expedition for a cause they care strongly about-girl child education.
This 'Cyclists for Change journey' will see them crossing 11 states, covering a distance of 4,400 kilometres in a span of 70 days. Though Paringe and Madan have both paddled on this route before, this is their first trip together.
While they travel across the length of India, raising awareness on girl child education, an online campaign on crowd funding platform Fuel A Dream is raising funds to educate girls. They aim to raise Rs 50 lakh to support education of 1500 girls for one year.
"Education is the key to empower women and girls, which helps bring about social equality. When you educate a girl, you educate a family", said Paringe as he started the journey. Madan, on the other hand is of the belief that every girl should be given the opportunity to pursue education.
The ride is rather unique given that the cyclists are travelling on bamboo bikes specially designed and manufactured for them by Godrej. This is the first time in India that any cyclist will ride this route and distance on bamboo bikes, which are eco-friendly and light.
"Our previous rides were purely out of our passion for cycling. But this time, when we were approached to ride for girl child education, we happily agreed. I am cycling because I am passionate about it and I believe every girl should drive towards her passion. Education will help this and thus we undertook this journey," said Paringe who is a passionate mountaineer and cyclist.
They cycle for approximately eight hours a day followed by rest and refreshments and are looking to complete their journey by the end of September.
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