Chandigarh: Fragile-looking and innocent-faced Raavi Kaur Badesha is all of eight years. But her determination is fierce. To spread the slogan of Beti Bachao Beti padhao, this Patiala girl is cycling all the way from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. For company, she has her father, Simarjeet Singh a constable in the Punjab Police who also cycles alongside her on a separate bike.
This is not the first time she has undertaken such an arduous journey. She was initiated into cycling by her father when they did a round trip from Patiala to Kasauli which is about 400 kms. Later, the father-daughter duo undertook another trip from Shimla to Ladakh. This was a total of 800 km.
Paramjit Singh Sachdeva, the president of Fit Bikers’ Club in Hoshiarpur said,”When we came to know about this little girl, we couldn’t hold ourselves back so we organised a lunch in her honour. She cycles on a bicycle that has small wheels. At slightly more than three feet it is her sheer grit that she is traversing such a huge distance. It will be a total of 4,500 km journey and may take about two months.”
Raavi began her journey from Lal Chowk in Srinagar on November 10. Then she reached Jammu and later entered Punjab. On November 16, she reached Hoshiarpur via Mukerian, Dasuan, Garhshankar, and Balachaur. And on November 18 she reached Chandigarh. From here the father-daughter duo will head towards Ambala, Delhi, Jaipur, Hazur Sahib, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kochi, and finally reached the southern tip of India – Kanya Kumari.
Her father Simarjeet Singh says, ”We are doing 100 km every day. But as we progress, we may have to do less and less.” He adds, he got into cycling in 2015. “Later, I introduced my daughter to cycling at the age of four. Ever since she has been at it.”
Before they begin their day, Raavi has to be on a video call with her mom without fail to complete her homework. She has been granted a two-month leave by the school. To keep her agile and fit, she has an extra diet of eggs and chicken, says her father who adds that once she is 12 she will also start participating in cycling competitions.