They carry a message of peace. And they’re pedalling across the country to spread it.
On Monday, two Fine Arts graduates from Gorakhpur Kalindi Varma (20) and Ranjit Bacchan (22) cycled into Kalyan, six years after they began their India tour for peace.
Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Commissioner Govind Rathod and Principal of Birla College Naresh Chandra welcomed the two who began their tour on February 4, 2002.
“I used to think women in my country were not safe,” said Varma. “Today, I say that the Indian woman needs to inculcate a sense of self-confidence.”
“Eight of us had started the tour, but six dropped out,” said Bacchan, adding, “We are very determined to complete this journey.”
After covering a distance of 1.20 lakh km, the duo has come a long way. “So far, we have changed 34 bicycles and 550 tyres and tyre tubes,” said Bacchan.
The young cyclists hope to a photo museum of the over-10,000 images of India’s idyllic landscape they have captured en route and also to pen their travelogue before riding into a few neighbouring countries.
“So far, people have welcomed us warmly, offering food and drink besides loads of affection,” said Varma.