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Embarking on a tough mission

PETLEE PETER
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cycle expedition: M. Gajendran, who proposes to travel from Kanyakumari to London . Photo: K. Pichumani
cycle expedition: M. Gajendran, who proposes to travel from Kanyakumari to London . Photo: K. Pichumani

Here is a 59-year-old man who is pedalling all the way from Kanyakumari to London with one goal – meet British Prime Minister David Cameron andrequest him to release a book.

M. Gajendran alias Long March Gajendran of Avadi in Chennai set-out on this mammoth cycle ride from Gandhi Mandapam in Kanyakumari on August 15 and plans to ride via several States, including Maharashtra , Delhi, Punjab and enter Pakistan. From there, he plans to pedal to Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq and enter Europe to end his journey in London.

Downtown caught up with the ‘Man on a mission' when he reached Chennai on the 38 {+t} {+h} day of his cycle journey.

Surprisingly, Gajendran is dressed formally, wears slippers, carries a small travel bag and is not geared enough for the big ride.

Gajendran is not new to adventure. In 1990, he set out on a journey from Chennai to Delhi on foot which he claims to be an attempt to study the resources of our country.

“I started the walk after Binny Mills in Chennai, where I was employed, was locked out due to labour problem. My journey lasted for 10 months and I walked through 12 different States to reach Delhi. It was a memorable experience as I met many people on the way and got to know a lot,” said Gajendran who also covered the distance between Delhi and Kahsmir on foot in the year 1993.

His tryst with the cycle came in April, 2005, when he pedalled from Avadi for an all India rally. His ride, aimed to create awareness on unifying the rivers of India, ended in Delhi in 2007 after he met the then Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam and gave a copy of book Marudhal Thevai (Need Reforms) which he had penned during the course of his two-year-long journey.

“I have written about how India will be in 2020 if our natural resources are utilised properly and channelised well. The book is the outcome of 20 years of research,” Gajendran said.

His latest cycle ride to London is aimed at getting his book released by David Cameron at 10, Downing Street. “I'm confident of getting this done when I reach London in 2012,” the cyclist added.

PETLEE PETER

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