"My grandfather was a dedicated freedom fighter, spending years in British prison from 1932 to 1945. He was a dedicated follower of Mahatma Gandhi till his last breath. My uncle received the Veer chakra after his death for his bravery in the Battle of Siramaony in Bangladesh in the liberation war in 1971. He was involved in training of civilian soldiers in Muktivahini. Hence I have always felt the presence of Bapu and Bangabandhu in my DNA."
Dr Girish Kulkarni
We need to work together for making the making India and Bangladesh dreamed by Bapu and Bangabandhu.Following on from our 2021 Sadbhavana Cycle Rally where unfortunately only 10 members of the cycle team were able to cross the border into Bangladesh, we are once again inviting cyclists to join us on a ride to Noakhali in Bangladesh. Do you have what it takes to cover just over 1,000km in 16 days? Are you passionate about spreading social awareness? Then saddle up to join our founder, Dr Girish Kulkarni and team on the ride of a lifetime!
We are inviting cyclists to tackle the beautiful terrain between Kolkata and Noakhali in September. You will be part of a team of Snehalaya staff and beneficiaries and youths from Ahmednagar and other points en route. We will arrange all facilities along the way but international participants are requested to manage their own visa applications and help us cover their expenses through a fundraising campaign.
Considering the growing social divisions of our current times, our youth cyclists will follow in Gandhi’s footsteps, encouraging goodwill to bridge the hearts of people from all the regions and states they pass through and experiencing their different geographies, religions, traditions, languages, social customs and values. They will also learn about the great history, social progress and culture of Bangladesh while instilling values such as nationalism, democracy, secularism, non-violence, equality and humanity along the way. Messages from the freedom movements of India and Bangladesh will also be shared with the younger generations in both countries. This will be done through street plays, songs of social harmony, selected bhajans, distribution of literature and displays of cultural values.
Snehalaya is committed to sharing best practice and our experiences of developing projects that empower women and children. Many of our former youth volunteers have been inspired and supported by us to create their own social initiatives. By talking with youths, students, rural women, farmers, slum dwellers, tribal communities including Dalit and nomads and other minorities, cyclists will enjoy a unique experience and gain real insights into the real, on-the-ground issues affecting people in tough circumstances. Our hope is they too will be inspired to be the change they wish to see.
The Sadbhavana Bicycle Yatra (Goodwill Bicycle Rally) aims to raise awareness about the contributions, thoughts and the ideas of nation-building both fathers of India and Bangladesh, Gandhi and Bangbandhu inspire. The 1,009km bicycle ride will start in Kolkata, West Bengal and end in Noakhali, Bangladesh, where in 1946, Gandhi spent four months on his mission to restore peace and communal harmony.
Our Sadabhavana Bicycle Yatra will start on 12 September from the historical Mahatma Gandhi Bhavan. Cyclists will stay in temples, mosques, gurdwaras and a range of social institutions during their expedition, which will provide a greater understanding of secular values. The plan is to cross the border at Malda and reach Noakhali by 28 September where cyclists will join a youth camp until 2 October (The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi).
Cyclists will spread the work and models of Snehalaya's 20+ projects to like-minded people, communities and organisations on their 1,000km journey, reaching some of the most remote communities. The aim is to forge connections that inspire and support people to start their own projects to support and protect those most vulnerable to exploitation. Our cycle crosses one of the busiest trafficking routes and we will be raising awareness of the plights of those forced into labour, sex work and other forms of modern slavery to help them identify and connect with agencies who can rescue those affected.
If you would like to join our cycle rally please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we get in touch to discuss further details with you.