Pune duo to take women on a road trip that crosses borders and breaks boundaries  

The road trip from Guwahati to Bangkok will cover around 2,800km.

pune Updated: Apr 25, 2018 20:36 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,road trip,women empowerment
Medha Joseph, one of the co-founders of Embarq. (HT PHOTO)

Finance professionals Medha Joseph and Sujal Patwardhan admit to having a gypsy mind.

Medha conceptualised and planned a self-drive expedition covering 15 countries in 57 days from India to Morocco via China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe with five other friends. Sujal undertook a massive intercontinental journey covering 23,000km, along with five other friends. Together, the two, stricken by wanderlust, have conceptualised an All Indian Women’s drive from India to Thailand.

“We have been touring and travelling across the world and have experienced several amazing things. This initiative is to help people experience the wonders of the world. We have come together with Western India Automobile Association to celebrate the fact that women today are breaking barriers,” said Medha.

“There are lot of women who like to drive and want to go on road trips. The thrill and joy of crossing India’s border in your own vehicle is a unique experience. However, these road trips require quite a lot of know-how and paperwork, which is time consuming. A lot of people shy away from the challenge or don’t know where to begin and how to go about it,” added Sujal.

Having completed the route from Guwahati to Thailand multiple times, the duo wanted to provide an opportunity where women could sign-up without any hesitation and without having to worry about the paperwork. Every concern regarding safety and security are also completely taken care off. This not only puts the women at ease but their families as well. The duo, under their company Embarq, is welcoming amateurs too

The preparation

“In a trip like this one will experience different terrains, climates and geographies. Anybody who can drive or ride well and has the willpower can participate in the drive,” said Sujal.

The road trip will follow the convoy format where there will be a lead car with a local team to navigate and guide the convoy and a sweeper to ensure that no vehicle is left behind. The cars and motorcycles will have separate convoys with full support teams to take care of any contingencies. They ensure that they set a pace that is reasonable. Guides also ensure that everyone is briefed about the dangers or the experiences that one must expect on the road.

Building bonds

Before the drive there will be briefing sessions. Once a participant signs-up they will be provided with all the material required for the trip including, driving instructions, a road book, instructions on how to prepare, detailed travel advisory and all the assistance necessary for the arduous journey.

“The journey starts well before a vehicle has even moved. It starts with the briefing, which begins with a session about the necessary documents and paperwork to cross the border. Then comes details regarding each member of the team followed by the a session on what to do and what not to do during the journey. We make sure that everyone is prepared for the smallest of issues,” said Medha.

Before the journey starts, the participants will also spend a day getting to know each other.

A road trip though, is as much an individualistic experience as a communal one, according to Medha. People spend a significant amount of time reflecting about themselves while on the road. The journey acts as a space for people to get to know like-minded people while also spending a considerable time on self-reflection.

First Published: Apr 22, 2018 14:41 IST