Seven Delhi University students plan to cycle to Islamabad
: A group of seven youngsters have embarked on a mission to spread the message of peace. The seven students from Delhi University have set out on their bicycles on a 90-day mission from Kanyakumari to Islamabad in Pakistan.
Praveen Kumar Singh, Vikas, Deshpal and Harsh from Uttar Pradesh; Ram from Madhya Pradesh; Narayan from Uttarakhand; and Radheshyam from Haryana have boundless energy. “We are prepared to brave freezing cold or blazing summer to achieve our mission,” said Mr. Singh. They started the sojourn on June 1 from Kanyakumari, which was flagged off in Thiruvananthapuram by the former Chief Minister V.S. Achutanandan.
Mr. Singh said the group was moved by the huge amount of allocation in the defence budget by the Government of India. Peace should be the ‘mantra’ for humanity, not war, he said, adding that this was the motive behind the mission. Forty per cent of the country’s population lived below the poverty the line and the government could not afford to allocate so much for the defence budget. “Let us have more educational institutions and good hospitals,” he said.
The ‘bicycle caravan’ has covered its designated routes in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and is now in Karnataka. The youngsters will go through Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and reach the Wagah border. From there they will proceed to Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
They had proposed to cover a minimum of 50 km a day but heavy rainfall and inclement weather hampered their plans in Kerala, Mr. Singh said. “We have lost about five days. In view of this, we now plan to cover between 80 to 100 km a day to reach our goal,” he said.
The Pakistan High Commission in Delhi had been informed of the expedition, and their friends are in constant touch with it in New Delhi. The issue has been brought to the notice of External Affairs Minster Salman Khurshid as well, he said. “Our mission has the blessings of the President,” he adds.
Students from Lahore University, whom they met in Delhi on May 18, are expected to receive them at the Wagah border.