Thaneite to cycle across 11 countries for a cause
Rajesh Khandekar is on a mission. The Thane resident is set to embark on a nine-month journey across 11 countries to spread awareness about global warming on a bicycle.mumbai Updated: Dec 22, 2014 18:29 IST
Rajesh Khandekar is on a mission. The Thane resident is set to embark on a nine-month journey across 11 countries to spread awareness about global warming on a bicycle.
The 42-year-old, who flagged of his 21,000- km journey from Vartak Nagar, Thane, on Sunday, said, “Global warming is an issue that affects every single person on this planet. The sad part is that not too many people are aware of it. My motto is to spread awareness about global war ming across the world.”
And what best way to spread the message to protect the environment than to do it riding a bicycle. “I want people to understand the importance of riding bicycles. It is a pollution-free mode of transport and it also keeps you fit. My message to the world is simple – start riding bicycles,” he said.
Khandekar aims to reach Kolkata and from there head to Bangladesh, his first foreign destination during this trip. “From Bangladesh, I’ ll head to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. I will then cycle back to Thailand and then proceed to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. I plan to end my journey by September next year.”
Cycling for 35 to 40 kilometers daily has given him the confidence to embark upon this ambitious mission, said Khandekar. “I started cycling in 1993. In 2000, I visited Kargil with friends on cycle to pay tribute to the Indian soldiers. From there, I went to Khardung La in Ladakh, the highest motorable road in the country,” he said.
Though Khandekar does not have anyone documenting his journey, he will go to the Indian embassy in each of these countries to get a certificate of recognition. He will carry the essentials for his journey on his cycle. “The trip will cost me around Rs 12 lakh. I am planning to cut my expenses to minimum by cooking my meals and living in a tent,” he said.
When asked what he considers to be a major barrier, he said it’s not the language but the weather. “It rains throughout the year in some of the places I will cycle through. But nothing will deter me from completing my journey.”
First Published: Dec 22, 2014 18:27 IST