10 bikers, 15 cities: A fundraiser ride across India in support of girls’ education

The riders, hailing from different cities, distributed bags, books, cycles and scholarships to girl students all through their route.
10 bikers, 15 cities: A fundraiser ride across India in support of girls’ education
10 bikers, 15 cities: A fundraiser ride across India in support of girls’ education
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For retired Col M Sudarshan, the journey of close to 8,000 km began with a simple resolution – to educate hundreds of girl children across the country. The 62-year-old joined Bernard Lazar who rode from Kochi to Hyderabad on September 21 and the two continued from there on to Nagpur to join Anurag Srivatsav on his 1,029 km ride to Delhi.

The three riders reached Delhi on September 25, from where their golden quadrilateral fundraiser ride was to begin, and joining them in Delhi were Harsh Vardhan, Niladri Shah and Shefali.

Col Sudarshan shares that the brains behind their fundraiser – Wheels of Change – were Anurag and Niladri. “The Golden Quadrilateral Fundraiser Ride was conceived in June 2018 for a noble cause. All through our route, we distributed bags, books, cycles and scholarships for girl students,” says the retired colonel who now works at DBS, Hyderabad.

True to their cause, the riders distributed bags, reading and writing material to support girl students in their education. On September 25, they distributed 50 tables, bags and books at a local girls’ school in New Delhi. “It was a very memorable encounter in Delhi. The girls have high aspirations, some wanted to become pilots. I’ve got a daughter myself. I was very happy to have signed up for this ride,” Sudarshan gushes.

From Delhi, the team rode on to Jaisalmer via Jodhpur on the 26th. Here they were joined by Roshni Misbah, famous as the ‘Hijab Rider’ who goes by the name Dark Horse, and Tulasi from xBHP.

From Jaisalmer the ride continued to Ahmedabad where they met and interacted with children with disabilities. “It was again a memorable stop. The children rode with us on our bikes. The joy on their faces is something that will stay with me for long!” he recounts.

The children at Ahmedabad were also given scholarships from Lovely University. The group was able to gather support in all the cities they visited. The Riders Connect, an exclusive group for Indian motorcycle owners, was instrumental in organising this ride, Sudarshan tells us.

Of the 10 riders who rode out from Delhi, Col Sudarshan was the oldest at 62. This fundraiser ride that began on September 22 ended on October 15 after visiting Surat, Mumbai, Pune, Hubli, Bangalore, Chennai, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Bodh Gaya and Lucknow, in that order.

When the riders reached Lucknow, they gifted 25 bicycles to girl children who were up until then walking close to 10 km every day to reach their school.

Sudarshan shares that the group was also joined by riders from different cities who rode with them briefly at certain points. “We had the most number of riders join us at Hubli and Dharwad. Also from Bengaluru to Hosur we had about 70 riders join us,” he shares.

What was their most interesting stretch? “Our ride from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata was when we rode with cyclone Titli close on our heels. We cruised through 940 km in heavy rain. It was quite the challenge,” he reveals.

The Wheels of Change campaign that was flagged off from Kochi was supported by Pankaj Gupta, CEO of Polaris India. Riding about 120 to 130 km every day, the group, including two women riders, completed the golden quadrilateral route in just about three weeks, sowing the seeds of education for hundreds of girl children all through their way.

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