By Paban Bhattarai
KATHMANDU, June 7: Three women bikers of the group ‘Biking Queens’ have set out on their biking expedition carrying the message of ‘Women’s Pride’ across three continents.
Dr. Sarika Mehta, founder of the group, and her fellow riders, Jinal Shah and Rutali Patel, will ride 25,000 kilometers through 25 countries in 90 days and conclude their journey in London on August 26. They began their expedition from Vanarasi of India on Wednesday.
Minister of Youth and Sports Jagat Bahadur Bishwokarma wished the bikers ‘good luck’ and bid farewell during a press meet organized at the Reporters’ Club Nepal on Friday.
“I welcome them here in Nepal and wish them all the best for their courageous journey that carries the message of women empowerment. It is a matter of pride to the world,” said Bishwokarma.
Member of Parliament and Nepali Congress leader Puspa Bhusal and club President Rishi Dhamala and various other dignitaries had wished the trio all the best.
Dr. Mehta, who arrived in Nepal on Thursday, said that they are spreading a message of women empowerment during their journey.
“We have been riding carrying the message of women empowerment for four years. We have made the motorcycle our means of travel because the bike is associated with men’s dominion,” she said.
“Our message is that nothing is impossible for women as well. Thus, our society and family support us.”
“If we can, you can as well,” she said.
The trio–who will travel to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Austria, France, Morocco and other countries during their expedition–will cover 500 kilometers every day.
“We are ready to face all the challenges that occur on our expedition. We hope to return safely,” she said.
“We have been preparing for this journey for a year,” she added.
They will also be carrying the message of Indian Government’s campaign Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save the daughter, educate the daughter) aimed at generating awareness and improving the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls in India. The scheme has also been adopted by the Province 2 government in Nepal recently.
According to Mehta, they also rode to 10 countries with the message of women empowerment in 2016. They had started their journey in Indian and concluded in Sri Lanka.
“We had also come to Nepal. We were very much welcomed by the Nepali people.”