To turn the authorities’ attention towards the rising pollution level affecting the youth of our country, 67-year-old civil engineer Jugal Kishore Sharma along with 48-year-old marine engineer Rajesh Sharma and 42-year-old cycling professional Raj Mhatre started their cycling expedition from Wagah Border Amritsar on Tuesday.
Interacting with the media in the city, they shared their mission in which they would be crossing a number of states covering a distance of around 2,100 kms to finally reach Mumbai.
“This expedition is to awaken the authorities who have been sleeping and not taking concrete steps against the increasing pollution level in their areas. How unfortunate is it when we see kids wearing face and mouth masks to protect their lungs,” said the trio.
Rajesh, who is on his first expedition said, “Through this expedition, we are trying to encourage the youth, middle aged and senior citizens to cycle more. Cycling not only would keep them fit but also reduce dependence on petroleum products which boosts carbon footprints.”
The three added that cycling can only be promoted if cities and governments come up with safe and well-equipped cycle tracks.
“We hope our mission creates awareness and builds a pressure on the authorities to provide dedicate corridors or lanes for cyclists which would keep them safe on the roads. Only this can get more number of people to cycle,” they said.
Elaborating on their journey, Jugal said, “It is not my first time on this route. In April 2016, I was on an expedition which started from Mumbai and concluded in Amritsar, the journey was so good because of the warm hospitality of people that I encouraged others to join me.” The three also said that the trip expenses are being borne by them only and no there is no sponsor.
“We chose Amritsar to start our expedition because people here are hospitable and make us feel special. Then at Wagah, we have people coming from various states who can carry home the message we are trying to spread,” they added.