Bikers spread awareness about afforestation

Bikers spread awareness about afforestation

Three bikers hold placards highlighting the importance of afforestation prior to the start of their journey from the office of the Mangaluru Commissioner of Police on Thursday.

The flood waters have receded long ago but the images of the largescale devastation in the flood ravaged areas in Kodagu and Kerala, attributed to deforestation, had stayed in the minds of three bikers.

Shanu Kallangadi, Saheer Kumble and Sudheer Kudlu, members of Mangalore Bulls Motorcycle Club (MBMC), not keen on being just spectators have embarked on a grueling journey to create awareness on how the massive floods in the two regions could be prevented by planting more trees, on Thursday.

The 12,000 km and plus ride through 15 states and two countries (Nepal and Bhutan), lasting for 30 days, is the first long distance ride for these three motorcycle enthusiasts from neighbouring Kasargod district in Kerala. “This ride breaks all previous records in long distance rides created by members of the MBMC,” said Ashwith, a member of the MBMC.

“Despite awareness about deforestation and its negative impact on environment, trees continued to be felled indiscriminately,” lamented Shanu who is an entrepreneur. Besides delivering talks at programmes organised by JCI (youth are also members of JCI), they will distribute 2,000 wrist-bands with a message, ”Plant Trees, Prevent Floods.”

The men had begun preparations for the trip two months ago. Their Royal Enfield bikes were retrofitted with two additional five-litre tanks. “Intercom are fitted to the cellphones to ensure that we all stay together,’’ said Saheer Kumble, a techie. The entire journey is  expected to cost each rider about Rs two lakh, he added.

Sudheer Kudlu, an electrical contractor, says in order to minimise expenditure they would set up tents wherever possible. “This is a journey to deliver a message, so comfort, luxury takes a backseat,’’ he added with a smile.

Mangaluru Commissioner of Police T R Suresh flagged of the unique bike tour on the premises of commissioner’s office. The bikers from Mangaluru will travel to Goa, Mumbai, Gujarat, New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Kolkata, Chennai, flood-ravaged areas in Thrissur and Waynad (Kerala), Kodagu and back to Mangaluru. Ashwith says such long distance rides are part of the club’s outreach programme.