Category: Community Published on Monday, 23 April 2012 03:46 Written by Rupesh Patel
UK’s Riskshawalas return home safely after 12 days of driving 3 auto-rickshaws through 1800 km of notorious Indian traffic, pot-hole ridden highways and crazy truck drivers, the Rickshawalas have completed a journey of a lifetime, where they aimed to change the lives of underprivileged children, but in turn changed their own lives forever.
A group of 9 individuals, 5 guys and 4 girls embarked on an adventure to take them through India, covering the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and ending in Himachal Pradesh. Travelling by a Rickshaw through five states, not only allowed them to experience the diverse range of cultures in India, but also see India for its true magnificence. This trip was undertaken in aid of a UK based charity, CAREducation Trust. The Rickshawalas started in Bhuj, Gujarat at the first CARE supported centre and ended in Manali, at the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural School (HBCS), which is where the funds raised are being donated.
The roads of India were in shock when they saw these adventurous guys driving the rickshaws themselves, even more so when the ladies took the control. In India, females rarely drive, especially in rural areas. If they do they are most likely to be seen behind the wheels of a scooter. What these daring 4 young ladies accomplished is by far an achievement to be envied by most, to have the confidence and the ability to successfully drive the rickshaw through the most unstructured streets of the world! The busy 4 lane state highways to the single lane mountain top, cliff edge winding dirt tracks, these girls did it all! Paving the way to an equilibrium of gender rights, these girls have started something special, to show the people of India that girls are no less capable or talented than their male counterparts. They have left the public in awe to see them competently controlling the rickshaw through situations of mania! The young girls at HBCS were inspired by them and vowed to use this enthusiasm to progress themselves, one even declaring to take driving lessons!
The Rickshawalas received excellent support from the press, being featured in the Times of India, Hindustan Times, Punjab News Express and Divya Bhasker, not to mention receiving a personal letter from Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, wishing them luck on this journey of a lifetime!
Now that they have completed the Rickshaw Run, their aim of raising £30,000 is now over halfway there, to help to increase the facilities at the HBCS, Manali.
‘For the first time in my life I feel like I have achieved something, and seeing the smiles on the children’s faces just made the whole trip worth it. A huge credit to an amazing multi-talented team and a life changing experience for us all’
Team Leader - Nirav Shah
The Rickshawalas journey was all captured on video that will be released as a documentary in due course.
Donations continue to be accepted through: www.justgiving.com/careyouth