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On a mission to fight social evils, Jalna man on all-India bicycle tour

Bhausaheb Bhawar from Jalna district.

Bhausaheb Bhawar from Jalna district.  

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Sixth awareness campaign begins from Mumbai today; first stop at Gujarat followed by Kashmir

Forty-eight-year-old Bhausaheb Bhawar from Hasnabad in Jalna district, who has been pedalling throughout the country for the last 26 years to spread awareness of social evils, will embark on his sixth bicycle tour from Mumbai on Thursday.

Mr. Bhawar will first travel to Gujarat where after covering major cities in two-three months he will be heading towards Kashmir. “Usually I take four-and-a-half years to complete touring the country. The roads are never decided and I change my route as I feel, which is the reason why my trips are always unplanned. I met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on December 23, and will start my trip on December 26,” he told The Hindu.

In 1993, when he was in a high school in Aurangabad, Mr. Bhawar had started his first countrywide tour to create awareness of the evils of dowry. About the incident that inspired him to take this journey, he said, “When I was in Class VIII, my elder sister’s to-be in-laws demanded ₹5,000 in dowry. That was a huge amount for my family at that time.” Interestingly, the bicycle he used for this tour was a gift from a local corporator in Aurangabad.

As time passed, he picked up more topics like addictions among youths, cleanliness, female foeticide, corruption, and eating habits. “I have seen there has been a drastic increase in addictions among youths. It is a matter of concern how youths are unaware of the Indian traditions, and waste their parents’ money. I think that the addiction, in one’s life, should be healthy and therefore I have chosen cycling.”

He thinks all these social issues are connected to dowry. “Female foeticide is practised so that people don’t have to pay at the time of their daughter’s wedding. Corruption is also related as a person will do any illegal work for the money to be paid at their daughter’s wedding.”

Mr. Bhawar has never returned home ever since he started cycling after leaving his education mid-way. During his tours, he delivers talks at schools or corporate houses and even at Army camps. He neither uses a mobile phone nor has a bank account. “Many companies, schools or Army camps felicitate me and donate money, which I use for basic expenditure. Even all the cycles that I ride have been mostly donated by the Army.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 1:33:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/on-a-mission-to-fight-social-evils-jalna-man-on-all-india-bicycle-tour/article30398782.ece

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