Two girls cyclists on a mission for the safety of women: La Tribune India

Subhash Rajta

Tribune press service

Shimla, February 21

Women’s safety, empowerment, and environmental protection are issues that most people sympathize with. Unfortunately, few people follow up on their concerns with concrete actions to effect meaningful change.

But two young girls – one from Bihar and the other from Uttarakhand – are sufficiently moved by these problems to undertake more than 5,000 km of trans-Himalayan journey by bicycle to raise awareness of these problems. They started the journey from the Attari border on February 2 and hope to complete it by the end of April at the Chinese border in Arunachal Pradesh after passing through eight states and Nepal.

“I am often asked how our cycling trip will make women safer and more independent? “Says Sabita Mahto (24) from Chhapra, Bihar, adding that” My response is that when young girls and women notice us cycling through the hills and forests on our own, they will have the confidence to to do their thing. When they see two girls from faraway places on the road for nearly three months, they will be less afraid of leaving their homes and even moving to new places to continue their education and find employment opportunities.

The symbolic meaning of their trip aside, the two also step in directly to get their message home. “Along the way, wherever we see schools and colleges, we interact with students to share our message and concerns with them,” Sabita said.

While Sabita cares about women, Shruti Rawat (20) is more inclined towards environmental issues. “I’m from Uttarakashi, so the environment is very important to me,” said Shruti, who runs an NGO and has represented Uttarakhand at cricket in the North Zone.

“During our trip, we urge people to at least refrain from throwing plastic. We hope that people will stop using the car for short distances and start cycling or walking when they see us cycling over 5,000 km, ”said Shruti. Almost 20 days on the road now, the two are happy to have taken this initiative. “We have had a fantastic trip so far. We have interacted with students at a few colleges across the state over the past two days, ”Sabita said.

Mara R. Wilmoth