Our intrepid messengers of goodwill have covered 1,600km, visiting 100 villages, 80 NGOs and meeting over 400 activists. There is still some way to go to their final destination in Naokhali, Bangladesh but they are currently enjoying the culture and sites of Orissa and will soon reach thr fourth state they will pass through, Jharkhand. The cyclists have been so warmly welcomed and supported everywhere they have been in Maharashtra, Chattisgarh and Orissa since departing from Ahmednagar Fort on 2 October.
It’s been an amazing journey for our team who range in age from 10 to 80! From being waved off by senior social activist, Anna Hazare and Gandhian leader, the Late Dr SN Subbarao. Our cyclists are just as enthusiastic as they were on Day 1 and are proving to be great ambassadors for friendship and goodwill between India and Bangladesh. When they aren’t pedaling, they are spreading messages of harmony and unity through street plays and songs in rallies with the locals they are meeting.
Every day is a highlight but stand out moments so far include meeting with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari (Nagpur), Anandvanat Vikas and Kaustubh Amte (Anandwan), Dr Sanjeev Mittal (Vice Chancellor of Sambalpur University, Orissa). We are grateful to the MLAs and government officials welcoming our cycle yatra in their home towns and districts.
Most recently, passing through Chhattisgarh, Orissa, has rewarded cyclists with beautiful routes through dense forests, passing by waterfalls and colourful temples. On October 28, the cyclists faced their longest day yet, covering 140km in one day (nearly twice their ususal who travel about 70 to 80km). Fortunately, the support of so many people such as Meherpremi, Padmashali community activists, Rotary Club, Nehru Youth Foundation is boosting their energy. Shri Nitin Thade has also provided invaluable support and motivation.
After Jharkhand and West Bengal, the cycle rally will enter Bangladesh from the border town of Petrapol. Various dignitaries have appealed to the Government of India to cooperate for this initiative. If you can help in our mission to reach Bangladesh, please do get in touch...