Mangaluru: Team Mangalorean members have been good Samaritans to people in distress or in needs by providing them shelter, food or medical care; and also to adventurists who are either travelling by vehicle or foot by providing them boarding and lodging during their stop in Mangaluru. In the past we had provided boarding and lodging through our sponsors/well-wishers to sandy Robson who had stopped in Mangaluru during her Kayaking expedition from Germany to Australia; to the team members of “Rickshaw Run” when they made a halt in Mangaluru on their way to Cochin; to bike-rider Mahesh who stopped in city on his all-India trip. And now we are proud to be the host for Cyclist Abhishek Kumar Sharma, who is on a nationwide cycle yatra promoting “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. On the outset on behalf of Team Mangalorean I would like to thank Monappa Bhandary and his BJP Team, Peter Nirmal-GM and staff of Hotel Taj Gateway, Managers and staff of Hotel Moti Mahal, Hotel Panch-Mahal, Hotel Ocean Pearl, various Rotary Clubs and other organizations for providing good hospitality to Abhishek during his stay in Kudla.
Inspired by PM Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Abhishek Kumar Sharma (27) from Fatehgarh, UP is on a cycle tour to India to spread awareness for the cause of cleanliness and sanitation. So far he has covered over 11,000 kms travelling through over a dozen states and Mangaluru being his 208th city. He started his cycling trip-“All-India Tour on Bicycle for Swachh Bharat and Toilet Mission” on 10th November 2014 after quitting his job an Environmentalist in Solid Waste management Company to promote cycling for better health and to save environment. A post graduate in MSc (Environmental Science) with MPhil from Kanpur University, during this “Swachh Bharat” awareness campaign he has visited various schools/colleges/organizations and delivered lectures on the awareness of cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation.
While on his journey, when he had reached Delhi, outside PM’s office that received the news of this victorious rally and called inside to meet the PM himself personally. Narendra Modi sat with him talking about his journey and feedback from people that he had met in his trip. Following PM’s footsteps, Abhishek planned to devote an entire year to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, taking a year leave from his workplace devoting towards creating awareness about cleanliness and sanitation in India.
Abhishek says he was inspired by the Prime Minister’s call for Swachh Bharat, to undertake such a journey to motivate people towards this cause. He says he will devote an entire year to the cause of Swachh Bharat. The Prime Minister had complimented him for his unique effort, and had wished him well for his future endeavours. Abhishek said that wherever he goes, he is welcomed whole heartedly by people who serve him food and a place to stay without any questions asked. In return he asks them to create posters, that he calls as ‘Magical Psychological Posters’ that can help change the psyche of people.
So far he has covered the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Haryana, Gujarat, Daman and Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, and presently touring Karnataka. He cycles roughly about 80-100kms daily depending on the weather, and quits for the day, and then tries to find a well-wisher/sponsor who would provide him food and lodging. And while he was pedalling through Falnir Road in front of Hotel Moti Mahal on Tuesday evening, I happen to run into him, where we introduced ourselves and became friends. Team mangalorean contacting some of our friends and sponsors, we were able to provide Abhishek with boarding and lodging until he stays in Mangaluru.
Abhishek says he is not a professional cyclist, but after he took up this yatra he loves cycling and wants to continue cycling as a full-time hobby- and his future plans are doing a Indo-American Bike Tour, for which he is raising funds during this trip. He carries a small donation box, and Abhishek says that people so far have been very generous in donating money for his upcoming American cycle tour. When asked about his health condition, Abhishek said that he does a medical check-up monthly, and by the grace of God he has been healthy without any illness so far. Naming this ride of his life as ‘Uncertain Journey’, he will travel until November or December 2015, reach Delhi covering parts of India and will meet PM, as well as the President of India. Mission Accomplished!
He says, “Earning is not the only aim of life. Modi changed my thinking with his campaign which I undertook for I believe in creating a clean and hygienic India. If I can sensitize even one person in each village or city that I travel to, I will think that my initiate has been successful.” Equipped with LED lights, his details and mission cause, Abhishek organizes talks in villages and conveys his message to elderly and youth effectively. Now being in Mangaluru, he has already given talks to students of Canara College, Sharada Vidyalaya, Vikas PU College, Besant Women’s College, and many other colleges-also given talks to members of some Rotary Clubs during their weekly meetings.
Abhishek had interaction with the members of BJP at the BJP Office, and he had also met Mayor Alfred Jacintha and other MCC officials during his visit to the MCC office. On Thursday morning, he along with the MCC engineer visiting the City solid waste management plant, Abhishek says that that MCC has a good waste management plant, but it could be effective if it is used properly and according to systems. Having travelled through many cities en route his yatra, Abhishek comments that many towns don’t have a proper scientific waste disposal system, which leads to hazardous environmental conditions.
Abhishek Sharma says “I have named my expedition an ‘Uncertain Journey’ because I am not sure what step I am taking next. I have no fixed travel routes for my journey, also I have no NGO connections. Every town that I land up I look for a good Samaritan, who would help me with food and accommodation. I am very grateful to Team mangalorean for making some connections with their friends in arranging my boarding, lodging and other needs. I am also thankful to the BJP team and management of hotels/restaurants for their kind hospitality. I am really inspired by the ‘Clean India’ movement initiated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and until now my journey has been smooth without any hassles ever since I began my yatra on 10 November 2014. I have been posting updates about my journey on the PM’s website and I was very fortunate to meet him in March after his office had called me. I have few more months to finish my journey, and with support and encouragement from public I think I will accomplish my mission”.
“Cycling is my medium, Cleanliness is my message. So far my journey has been ‘amazing’ covering almost 11,000 kms and covering 208 cities, and delivering nearly 2700 lectures. Due to some incessant rains in South part of Karnataka, my journey has been delayed a bit, other than that everything is cool. I click photos and document every minute of my yatra. I don’t carry much clothes, I have four shorts/pants and five T-shirts, and I get them laundered at the hotel. Apartment from clothes, I also carry a professional camera, laptop, LED lights and other accessories,” he added.
While concluding with our interview, Abhishek Sharma wanted to share his message on cycling with the readers of mangalorean.com, especially the youth, he said, ” Although I am cycling for a good cause to bring awareness about Clean India, Cycling is also a low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Regular cycling has many physical and mental health benefits. It is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems such as stroke, heart attack, some cancers, depression, diabetes, obesity and arthritis. To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle- It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment. A good muscle workout – cycling uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal”.
Team Mangalorean wishes Abhishek Kumar Sharma all success in his Cycle Yatra, while promoting “Swachh Bharat and Toilet Mission”.
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