Preaching peace to world, cyclist returns to 'violent' hometown
Having spent four years on the road preaching peace to the world, Pravesh Masih, 64, finds no taker for his message at home. On Wednesday, he returned home on his trusted old bicycle that helped him fulfil his childhood dream of serving the country.punjab Updated: Sep 23, 2013 00:50 IST
Having spent four years on the road preaching peace to the world, Pravesh Masih, 64, finds no taker for his message at home.
On Wednesday, he returned home on his trusted old bicycle that helped him fulfil his childhood dream of serving the country. This was his second world peace tour after 1998, which took his across India and a few neighbouring countries. Masih, who started his mission from the Attari border, now plans to go across to Pakistan with the message of brotherhood.
Pained by increasing crime rate
Back in hometown, he sees a city more selfish, self-centric and violent than before, which does not at all care for his sermon of peace. "After four years, I come back to a city ravaged by snatching, theft, rape, murder and clash over property. I wonder when will people learn to live in peace," he said. Masih recalls being robbed once while on his peace mission.
Pedalling for peace since 2009
An illiterate labourer from Tungbala village, Masih embarked on his Indian subcontinent journey in 2009, and visited neighbouring countries Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan. "Since childhood I had a strong desire to serve the motherland but could not fulfil it for want of education and resources. Being uneducated, this is the least I could do," said the cyclist.
Looking at his spirit, his family of wife, two sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren allowed him to make his solo journey on bicycle.
Across India and abroad
The new journey started on January 20, 2009, from Attari. Going from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Masih covered Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Leh-Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan as well, besides Tibet, Myanmar and Nepal, cycling at least 50 kilometres a day.
The family supported him whenever he ran out of money. "The dear ones were only telephone call away and supplied money for all my needs," he said. Wherever he went, Masih received warm welcome from general public, public servants and politicians, and the certificates he has collected during his journey testify it.