Tragedies kill. They also change lives. Garment seller Amit Lall was at his Mumbai home when the city of dreams tuned into a nightmare on 26 November 2008.
“I live near Taj Hotel and the CST railway station and I felt helpless. I wrote a letter to Ratan Tata telling him about a nationwide trip I planned to take to encourage people to unite against terror. He decided to sponsor a part of my trip,” Lall said.
Lall started from Mumbai on a 120-day-long journey to cover 20,000 kms across India.
His trip has taken him to Goa, Kanyakumari, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Nathula (in Sikkim), Shillong, Patna, Srinagar and the Wagah Border. He reached Delhi on Sunday.
The journey on several occasions has been fraught with danger. “I was captured by an insurgency group in Manipur. They let me off when I convinced them that all I wanted was peace and development of the area,” he said.
He felt development would be a solution.
“Kashmir and the Northeast are not developed. In the Northeast, I found orchids being sold for Re 1. I buy one for Rs 80 in Mumbai. When we get these things in our country, why do we still have to import them?” he asked.
Lall, who as we mentioned before is a businessman when he is not driving cars, says he’d be interested in investing in areas like the Northeast and Kashmir provided there were lesser obstacles.,
“The government does not allow mainland Indians to own land in these places,” he complained before driving off.