Carrying the message of ‘Swasth Bharat’, Vadodara’s Pinal Parlekar became one of the first women to cycle the Northeast state capitals in 20 days to spread the noble message.
Recognizing the feat, Indian Achiever Book of Records announced that Parlekar became the first woman to cover the capitals of seven-sister states by cycling in 20 days with the slogan ‘Swasth Bharat’. She braved the challenges after being deserted by the teammates to complete the expedition – ‘Mission 7sisters on Wheels’ – in January this year.
“It was satisfactory and I am extremely happy to have accomplished it. Prior to my expedition, I just heard about Northeast India as very beautiful unexplored beauty, a place of rich culture and diversity and less polluted. So, we wanted to connect the region to rest part of India with ‘One India One Nation’ theme and to explore the region, meet the people besides to inspire youth by this expedition with the goal of Swasth Bharat,” an elated Parlekar told The News Mill.
Parlekar, along with her six-member team, started on December 15, 2018 from Assam State Zoo, Guwahati and finished the expedition on January 3, 2019 at the same venue covering a distance of 2104.5 kilometres across the seven Northeast states.
The route she took was Guwahati, Shillong, Agartala, Aizawl, Imphal, Kohima, Itanagar and finally Guwahati.
Apart from the terrain, Parlekar had to face tremendous difficulties starting from witnessing a fellow rider meeting with an accident to senior members deserting her in the middle of the expedition.
Initially there were four cyclists and two supporting members but on the day 15, the team leader and the other teammate left her at Bokajan forcing her to ride the route from Bokajan via Biswanath Charilai to Guwahati alone. On the last day, she rode 237.9 kilometre to reach Guwahati.
“It was terrible. On the 2nd day itself, one of the riders in the team got seriously injured. But we kept cool and composed to continue our journey. Everything seemed to be as per the plan but on day 15, the route was misjudged by two of my teammates which created an argument. Finally, on the next morning they left me at Bokajan. They even took all the cycles and the supporting vehicle. But I didn’t lose my passion and courage and even for a single moment didn’t think of giving up as it was my dream to complete it in anyway,” Parlekar said.
Then she started her ride alone and reached Guwahati in four days via Majuli and Biswanath.
“The experience of this cycling expedition taught me to be strong and determined in every situation,” added Parlekar.
After this successful expedition, the 29-year old Master of Engineering in Digital Communication wants to continue motivating people especially the girls and women to participate in adventure sports. “I think adventure sports are very important for personal growth,” she signed off.