The cycle of Amandeep Singh is a complete package. From gas-stove to groceries, laptop to camera, files to road maps, his mode of transport is facilitated with almost all the basic necessities to pursue his five-year old mission ‘Aman shanti cycle yatra’.
Deeply disturbed by the death of his maternal uncle due to alcohol abuse, Amandeep thought there is so much to life than getting caught in a web of bad habits. Initially, his family members were not impressed by his mission to reach out to the youth pedalling all over the country. But his determination to bring a change among people gave birth to his mission. “Habits can make or break a person. At times, we have to be harsh on ourselves and this little bit of sternness helps us stay away from bad habits in the long run,” Amandeep feels. He reached the city after pedalling all the way from Odisha. Everyday he intends to pedal around 150 km., cook his food with the groceries he carries and relax overnight in open places. Travelling almost 1,70,000 km. on his cycle covering 25 States such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Daman and Diu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and other places, the 53-year-old man wanted to reach as many people as possible and spread the message on the ill-effects of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse. He had so far visited 22,000 schools across the nation to spread the message. He explains, “I address schoolchildren studying from Class V , give lectures on the subject, give them a presentation with my laptop, show them pictures of those suffering from cancer and distribute pamphlets to stay away from all kinds of bad habits.”
With a budget of Rs.1 lakh out of his hard earned savings, Aman Shanti Cycle Yatra began on January 1, 2008 from Bengaluru. The last itinerary includes Vijayawada, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. “This I am planning to complete in the next 15 days. Once I reach home, I might visit the US as I was approached by the officials to get into Guinness World of Records.” Amandeep plans to compile a book in three languages narrating his yatra.
Explaining about the advantages of the social networks, Amandeep, says, “I think, facebook is the best way that connects you globally. It is helpful to trace out the likeminded people.”