After traversing 1,921 km across three states, 32 teams of autorickshaws wheeled into the city on Friday.
The 13-day CEAT Mumbai Xpress Autorickshaw Rally 2007 that started from Chennai passed through the rough terrains of Vellore, Bangalore, Hassan, Mangalore, Bhatkal, Karwar, Panaji, Malvan, Ratnagiri, Mahad and Alibaug before concluding in Mumbai.
The 70 participants from India, UK, USA, Hungary, Bosnia, Croatia, Ireland and Canada, were not professional drivers but from various fields ranging from teachers to Information Technology consultants and also Miss Hungary Tunde Kissmis.
The focus of the rally was to adopt a village where each team member was assigned a village to deliver supplies, medical aid and school books.
The participants consulted the community leaders of the villages months in advance to know what they required the most. The participants then contacted various firms to help raise funds for the supplies.
“It was the right mix of adventure and charity that helped us know about the country. It was a heartening experience to interact with the villagers,” said Matt Brain, a participant from the UK.
Ian and Rachel Bayles, a couple from UK, were awarded a memento. “It was an overwhelming experience participating in the rally and crossing all odds. It was tough to maintain the energy level at times and we are happy to emerge as one of the best teams,” said the Bayles.
Arnab Banerjee, vice-president (Sales & Marketing), Ceat Ltd, the co-sponsors of the rally, was happy with the successful completion of the rally. “The distance was challenging and I’m happy the participants completed the rally.”