Chennai

Driving change on the ground: a cycling expedition across India

Anahita Sriprasad plans to cycle from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to raise awareness of women's safety. —Photo: Special arrangement  

You are a girl travelling alone? That’s not safe. These are the words that inspired 21-year-old Anahita Sriprasad to prove a point about women’s safety.

Starting October 5, she will cycle from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to raise awareness of women's safety.

“I have travelled alone to different parts of the country, and I have always been told it was unsafe for a woman to travel alone. I am hoping my cycle journey will help break that stereotype, and help more women get out of the house,” Anahita says.

For the past three months, she has been training intensively to deal with the different climates and terrain she will face. “When I was in Kashmir, I met a man who was cycling from there to Kanyakumari, and that inspired me to take this up. I make sure I cycle at least 400 km every week to make sure I am ready for the trip,” she said. She is headed to Bengaluru over the weekend to get used to cycling in a slightly cooler weather. “I will also be training in Yelagiri and Nandhi Hills to train on a mountainous terrain,” she added.

As she cycles 3,500 km across the country, she will also be shooting a documentary titled ‘On two wheels: 3,200 miles towards women’s safety’ and also blogging the experience. Anahita will travel to Leh on September 26, and after she acclimatizes for a couple of days, she will begin her journey on October 5. “I plan to cycle around 100 km a day, and plan to finish the ride within two months. I am still waiting for the funding though,” she said.

To help fund the campaign, the freelance graphic designer has been looking to crowdfunding. She has registered on Indiegogo.

“I need around Rs.2 lakh for my trip because I do not have a gear bike and have been training on a borrowed cycle,” she said.

Her first crowdfunding campaign helped her raise 25 per cent of the amount, and she has now started a second campaign, https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/ride-across-india-to-promote-women-s-safety/x/10478952.

“I am hoping that when people see me cycling alone across the country, they will rethink the stereotypes of women. If it inspires one family to send their girl child to school, or even to send them on a trip, I will believe my journey was a success,” Anahita says.



I am hoping that when people see me cycling alone across the country, they will rethink the stereotypes of women



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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 4:52:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/driving-change-on-the-ground-a-cycling-expedition-across-india/article7614595.ece

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