Assam: Bipul Kalita on cycle tour across India to promote awareness on Poverty

When Bipul set out from his home in Noonmati, Guwahati, on an avowed mission to tour all of India, he had just about Rs.2,000 in his purse!

NEW DELHI-  Bipul Kalita, A 42-year-old man hailing from Assam, who is on a pan-India mission to spread awareness on poverty reached New Delhi on Thursday.

Standing for the noble initiative of creating awareness on hungry poor people who feed on rotten leftovers in garbage bins and children who fall prey to addiction and desiring to induce a change, a driver by profession has been on a long and arduous journey on his bicycle traversing the length and breadth of the country covering a distance of over 10,000 km. Enduring severe climates, travelling on rugged roads and undulating terrains, Bipul Kalita began his journey from Guwahati on April  2.

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Covering West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, 42-year-old Bipul reached New Delhi on Thursday en route to cover the southern, western, central, northern and north western parts of the country.

When Bipul set out from his home in Noonmati, Guwahati, on an avowed mission to tour all of India, he had just about Rs.2,000 in his purse!

Undeterred, he started cycling, getting help from good Samaritans on the way. “I have had Rs.2,000 in my pocket when I started the journey. I am mentally prepared that in the event I run out of money I will start selling tea by the wayside or sing Bhupen Hazaraika’s soulful songs to meet my expenses. Now into my Delhi leg of the tour – it’s been more than 42 days since he set out on his journey – I got help from good Samaritans, even elderly women.”

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However, Bipul had to encounter difficulties as someone stole his mobile handset at a place in Bihar following which he has been keeping touch with his family members by requesting passers-by to use their phones.

The overhaul of the old, rickety cycle of his son took up quite some money as he built a front carraige to carry utsensils, stove and equipment for repairing and a hood made of bamboo structure with tarpaulin on the top to protect him from heat and rain. What was left was a paltry amount with which he set out.

In all this, his family – wife, son and daughter – has been his biggest support base, says Bipul.

Armed with the required dresses, tea-making paraphernalia, utensils and equipment, he cycled out.

Close to a month and a half into his travel this is what he has to say. He’s up and cycling by the crack of dawn, covers a 50-60 km a day and calls it a day when darkness descends. By night, he finds mostly refuge in temple premises. He’s off again before daybreak.

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The young man’s spirit of adventure is amazing as he doesn’t have neither a helmet nor a pair of gloves for personal safety. Even his bicycle doesn’t have a break! “I manoeuvre my bicycle without break with my legs. I lost two pair of slippers in the process,” says Bipul.

Without any GPS enabled device to guide him, sometimes he loses his way but finds help from passersby to hit the proper route.

Bipul has been able to keep his legs from getting swollen, as constant cycling generally causes. Come what may, Bipul is on a mission. “Where there’s a will, nothing can deter you”, says he.


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