Siba Prasad Dash of Berhampur started off on a long journey across the country on cycle on occasion of the Republic Day on Thursday.
Cycling is the only aim and passion of this 51-year-old man who has even forgotten to build up a family for his love towards it. It is his sixth long journey on his cycle. This time he has decided to travel to all the State capitals of the country. He expects to complete the travel in two years. According to him his first major destination would be Sri Jagananth temple in Puri and from there he would start off to West Bengal. From West Bengal he would enter the north eastern States.
“Through this cycle journey I want to propagate the simple message ‘be good and do good' among the common mass living in remote areas,” he said.
It may be noted that in May 2011, he had completed his fifth long cycle journey. It was a journey through Maoist-affected areas. Through this journey he tried to disseminate message of peace . He had started from Berhampur in May 2010 and had travelled across remote Maoist-affected areas of Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. His nine-year long journey across all districts of the country had ended on August 15, 2009. Prior to that he took up cycle yatra to travel to all the 314 blocks of Odisha in 1989.
Mr. Dash says he had started his long cycle yatra in 1981 with an aim to visit all corners of Odisha. In 42 days he had travelled to all the 13 districts that existed in Odisha during that time. Rather than getting satisfied by this travel, his passion for long cycle journeys got strengthened by it. In 1982 he decided to explore the socio-cultural heritage of Odisha through a three-year-long journey through all rural pockets of the State.
Mr. Dash has surely sacrificed much due to his passion for long cycle journeys. Although he is the eldest son of his family he says he has not been able to give what a family expects from an eldest son. “But Mr. Mishra denotes the strength of personal will power to do something at one's own level for the society,” said his friend Raju Padhi. His father died while he was on a nine-year-long journey across the country.
His family could not contact him and he came to know about his father's death when he returned home in 2009.
Siba Prasad Dash of the city launches cycle yatra on Republic Day