Ride for Hope 2 Save the Rhino
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Dec 31: Slogging his guts out Rakesh Banik, a rider with an amputated leg, is ringing out the old and ringing in the new as though to turn a new page on January 1, 2018, his 31st birthday. The cause which the birthday boy slogs his guts out for is bringing awareness against rhino poaching – noble aspirations for a noble cause!
Rakesh did get his leg amputated when he had lost his right leg in an accident in 2012. Sailing against the current, he started to script his life afresh by padding a bicycle defying all odds. After successful completion of a number of bicycle rides he engaged himself for the cause of awareness against rhino poaching. The ride he is currently in is a 25-day 3,500-km ride from Bangkok to Guwahati, covering 32 states in Thailand, Myanmar and India. The noble theme of the voyage is – Ride for Hope 2 Save the Rhino.
Talking to this reporter from khon Sawan in Thailand on Saturday, Rakesh said: “My dream and Herculean ride to South-East Asian countries started from Indian embassy in Bangkok on Sunday last. After covering just 80 km I was at Ayutthaya where I met some local people, and interacted with them. I’ll enter Indian territories through Morey border in Manipur before concluding the ride in Guwahati. During my sojourn, I’ll have to halt at various locations and distribute leaflets on awareness against rhino poaching.”
Sharing his experience of the ride, Rakesh said: “This is a difficult but valuable experience in life. The hilly terrains here are very difficult to negotiate. However, it gives me a totally different experience. On December 28 I met some personnel of Thailand Border Security Police and explained them the cause of my ride. They’re very curious to know everything about rhino poaching in Assam. They were all praise for the cause of the ride.”
“On December 29 I entered Myanmar with my team. I’ve a ten-day schedule to travel Myanmar taking my team along. Riding bicycle in the hilly terrain on the very first day was thrilling. On the first day I could travel 120 km. On December 30, I entered Kyaikh City, a bit hot with an earth-friendly weather in comparison to rest of the country. The local people there are very supportive. They made my ride much comfortable. I’ve crossed Kyaikh City successfully today (December 31),” Rakesh continued.
Rakesh’s birthday falls on January 1.