They travel approximately 60 km every day; plan to cover nine States in 123 days;

M. Karuppaiah (43) from T. Vadipatti in Madurai district and his wife K. Chitra (45), both Congress functionaries, who are on an all-India bicycle expedition, arrived in the city on Thursday.

The expedition aims to create awareness among the people of the achievements of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre, and the welfare and the development schemes being implemented by it.

The couple set out on their expedition on July 19. “We plan to cover nine States in 123 days and will be travelling approximately 6,000 km by cycle and on foot,” said Mr. Karuppaiah, founder, Gandhian National Integration Social Work Movement. Each day, they travel for approximately 60 km on foot and by cycle.

The States and Union Territories that will be covered in the trip are Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi. “The schemes implemented by the UPA regime have immensely benefited the poor and the downtrodden. The UPA government has made remarkable achievements in the field of information technology, education, food production, tourism promotion, infrastructure, and in checking anti-social activities. We explain to the people en route on these achievements and seek their support for the continuation of the regime,” said Mr. Karuppaiah.

The party has provided raincoats to the couple in case of contingency and members of the party in different districts have met and appreciated the couple’s efforts during their visit to each district. Vasantha Kumar of Vasanth TV has sponsored a new cycle worth Rs. 6,500, according to Mr. Karuppaiah.

It is noteworthy that the couple have undertaken six country-wide trips and three State-wide trips, and 50,000 walks and cycle trips earlier. The locations they covered include Kashmir to Kanyakumari, and Madurai to Chennai. They hold diplomas in Gandhian thoughts. The couple reached Tiruchi on Wednesday night and were honoured by Congress members at Arunachala Madram, the district headquarters of the party, on Thursday morning. They addressed people at Gandhi market and Central Bus Stand among other prime areas.

The couple were seen off at a function by local leader Subha Somu, president of Tiruchi south district unit of the party, Sujatha, former mayor, and leaders and volunteers of the various units of the party.