“When I realized, this mission is not for me but for my country, it was at that moment the spark in me lit up like fire. While the world was going through a tough time with the pandemic, I wanted to do something for our Covid warriors who were putting their lives on the line and also every individual who has contributed towards the fight against the deadly virus.
As my journey from Kanyakumari to Kashmir began, I aimed at educating children about the importance of building strong immunity as I believe they are the future of our nation. The materialistic life that we are living has made us forgot what it feels like to walk, to build yourself stronger and to save the environment. This was my goal. This is what made me walk 4000 kilometers from one end of the country to the other.
The wheel of life has evolved from the human race choosing only to walk in ancient times to us depending on a vehicle to travel from one place to another now. It has not only affected our health but has polluted the environment in a major way. This motivated me to make a plantation drive as part of my journey. I have planted 150 trees along the highways. I decided to do this also because during a long walk, taking a break is an important step. I would start walking and as the clock struck noon, the swollen sun would hit right on the head. The need for shade is quite important in times like these and it was heartwrenching to see that there was not a single tree on the highway that could provide some shade.
Walking 50 kilometers every day for three months is an experience that cannot be explained. I took every step in this journey to be a challenge I had set for myself. As the travel progressed, I started to question myself whether our country has any humanity left at all. I am saying this because I remember while I was walking on the highway, nobody ever asked me who I am or why I am doing this. I was prepared to face the challenges the journey had to throw at me. I have slept in petrol bunks, outside highway restaurants and even in dhabas at times. But what I was not prepared for is the blindsight we humans give each other in any situation.
Having said that, along with various reasons that made my heart smile, spending time with children was one of them. When I visited a dhaba after crossing Shiridi, Maharashtra, a kid walked up to me curiously with a lot of questions to ask. Reading “Kanyakumari to Kashmir” on my bag-pack, he wanted to know what my mission was about and why I was doing this. Listening to him ask questions inquisitively, I was in awe of the little boy.
Believe me when I say my first thought after reaching Kashmir was that I will be bored from now on. This was because after reaching my destination, I wouldn’t get to walk on the never-ending road anymore or meet children who are curious to know what my mission is all about.
As a man with a mission to do something for our nation, all that I can ask for is for you to say, “We are there for you and you can do this”.”
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