Foot on the Pedal Head in Clouds!
Total Distance Covered: 280 kilometres
Route: Paraskheda, Fatehganj Paschimi, Mirganj, Dhamora, Dalpatpur, Gazhiyabad,
Preeti took a night halt in Bareilly. From there the distance to India Gate was showing 280 kilometres. The cycling group from Bareilly came to meet Preeti the night of the halt. On getting to know about Preeti’s mission and the cause for which she has been cycling… the group urged her to come to the village ( Preeti had taken a halt on the outskirts of the village) . The village was 15 kilometres from the place of halt. Having spent considerable time in the village at night, Preeti started her onward journey towards Delhi at around 6 in the morning (She usually starts between 4:30 to 5:00 in the morning)
Before she started towards Delhi, she got a call from Dattatray Maske the he has written something special for her.
एक तुफान चला है,
एक तुफान को हराने,
हवाओंका रुख बदलने,
सूरज का ताप नापने।
हौसला है समुंदर को पीने का,
बादलोंको छुने का ,
अंधेरे को चीरनेका,
बारिश की बुंदे गिननेका।
हौसला है वादीयोंमे झांकनेका,
पहाडोंकी उंचाई नापनेका,
चांद के साथ चलनेका,
सूरज से भी ज्यादा चमकनेका।
हौसला है देश की सीमाओंको जोडनेका,
आराम की जिंदगी छोडनेका,
संकटोंसे टकरानेका और
खुद से लढनेका।
एक तुफान चला है,
एक तुफान को हाराने का,
हाथ की लकिरे मिटानेका,
खुद का नसीब खुद लिखनेका ॥
हौसला है , हिंमत आप दो,
ताकद है, दुआ आप दो,
ठान लिया है कर लेगी और थोडा लढ लेगी,
हवाओंको मोड लेगी, धूप से भीड लेगी ।
चार रेकॉर्ड लाये है, पाँचवा भी छिन लेगी॥
This raised Preeti’s morale as she had her family’s blessing and a lot of best wishes from the well-wishers. Today she had decided that she is going to reach Delhi at any cost.
The cyclist group from Bareilly accompanied her on her way out of Bareilly. In the further 30 kilometres in various squares, people came to meet her and wished her the very best for her mission. Finally, at Jhumka Chowk the cyclists had breakfast wih Preeti, Clicked some photos and bit her farewell.
The day started amazing… the road was good. she could cycle maintain a good speed and by 1 noon she had already covered a distance of 125 kilometres. As per her calculations she would reach India Gate at 9 in the night. Accordingly she contacted the officers of BRO and stared to share her location as she reached Gazhiyabad.
Most of the things haven’t gone as planned for Preeti. The reasons may be varied. At times it is the road condition, at times it’s the bad weather, at times its losing the way…. This time it was thunder storms…. Around 1:30 its stared to rain and the force of the wind was such that Preeti had to wait at a point for almost a couple for hours. There was traffic congestion on the road, Preeti was soaked, at a few places there knee high water logging, her cycle and her bag were all covered in mud… yet Preeti went on… she wanted to reach India Gate as decided. Without talking a lunch break, just having water and juice on the way… Preeti kept moving ahead….
It was still 100 kilometres to India Gate. Now Preeti was tired. The wet clothes, the mud clad bag and cycle were bogging her down. She decided that she would cycle for another 50 kilometres and wait. But there wasn’t a decent place to halt at night on the highway. Going inside a village for 15-20 kilometres and walking back the same distance in the morning and then starting her journey again was really cumbersome. Her family and friends suggested she move on towards India Gate slowly…. And if she could reach there before midnight, the record would be mad a day earlier.
Preeti’s willpower won over all the odds and she reached India Gate at 11:45 in the night.
The officers from the BRO, Some officers from the Army, Officials from Organ India were waiting at India Gate when Preeti reached. They felicitated her. Preeti made this record in 10 days, 11 hours and 50 minutes.
At 12:30 in the night they took her to the hotel. The next day after resting for the night, there was a big felicitation ceremony planned in her honour. They clicked some more photographs as the ones clicked in the night weren’t very clear. Now she’s going to spend 2-3 day in Delhi and then go to Mumbai.
Preeti says: “this mission is her favourite and the most challenging one of all her missions. She was able to reach the people from small villages too and spread the awareness about Organ Donation. At many places people did not trust her and googled to ensure if she was telling the truth. Small tea stall owners did not charge her for the tea and snacks as and when they got to know about her intent behind the expedition. An auto rickshaw driver also shared his number and promised to help her in the next expedition.”
This mission and Preeti’s experiences are always going to have a special place in the readers mind. By the time you read this blog Preeti would have started her journey back to Pune.
Original Blog By : Kavita Pipada
English Translation By : Girija Shirurkar
NOTTO Felicitation –