An incredible journey
As a part of the Rickshaw Challenge-Mumbai Xpress 2011, an initiative to create awareness on a variety of social causes, 14 autorickshaws which are being driven on a 2000 kilometre coastal route across the country recently stopped at Bangalore.
This adventure rally is going along the route from Mumbai to Chennai, and has been launched with the intent to raise funds for some of the projects of ‘Freedom through Education’, a Round Table India initiative.
The autos, each manned by two or three drivers who took turns, stopped in Bangalore to spend the night here. They had begun their journey in Mumbai on July 30, and then drove on to Alibaug, Pune, Mahabaleshwar, Panaji, Mangalore and Mysore, before reaching the City. They plan to reach Chennai on August 12.
Andrew, the driver of one of the autorickshaws, said that the experience so far
has been exhausting, but all in all one worth remembering. “The journey from Mysore to this City especially has been eventful. India is full of crazy drivers, and the roads are terrible and all filled with potholes. Each of us drive for one hour, and that’s quite enough for us, really. The journey’s been incredibly tiring,” he said.
He added that the overall excitement of the trip was enhanced because they had no maps to follow.Andrew’s auto held a three-man team, including him, and his friends Reece and Georgia. This is his first visit to India. “I read about this autorickshaw challenge on the Internet, and thought it sounded quite interesting,” he said.
Reece, who has been to the country once before, added that he had been
looking forward to the trip immensely because he has always been fond of adventure holidays.
“The minute I read about it, I knew I wanted to do it. What made it even more
special was the fact that we were going through all of this to raise awareness about a social cause,” he said, proudly.
The autorickshaw challenge includes 14 autorickshaws, and 31 international drivers, who hail from diverse countries like New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Chile and Australia. Each auto is painted in bright colours, like orange and silver, and decked with patterns, tassels and beads.
As soon as they came to a halt at the Bangalore stop of the journey, several of the
riders hopped out of their autorickshaws and began to add more painted dots and tassels to them.