| C. Passah flags off the rally in Shillong on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos |
Shillong, Sept. 8: Their charity meters started rolling again this morning as The Adventurists, a global ensemble of adventure seekers, began their Shillong-to-Jaisalmer run in multicoloured autorickshaws.
Matthew Dickens, the director of Rickshaw Run (India branch), said the teams have so far raised Rs 40 lakh for charity and are still on the job.
Riskshaw Run is one of the adventures offered by The Adventurists. Its website, theadventurists.com, says the organisation, run by The League of Adventurists International Ltd, a UK-based company, is “not just hell bent on fighting to make the world less boring but also raising massive buckets of cash for charities”.
The website says Rickshaw Run “is a 3,500km pan-Indian adventure in a 7horsepower glorified lawnmower” and anyone willing to add to the charity coffers and have loads of quirky “mindless” adventure is welcome to join the ride. The next run starts from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan on January 1, 2014, and will reach Cochin in Kerala on January 14.
This morning, the autorickshaws took off from the parking bay at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex at Polo here.
Meghalaya deputy director of information and public relations C. Passah and Shillong Press Club president David Laitphlang flagged off the adventure.
Over 230 people from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, the USA and Wales had converged in Shillong last week for the adventure. Their aim is to raise money for a charity group, Cool Earth, which is working to save the rainforests in the Amazon basin in South America.
The rickshaws were escorted out of the city by a Meghalaya police patrol team.
Speaking at the flagging-off ceremony, Passah said Meghalaya was happy to play host to the adventurers and hoped that the hospitality extended to them here would not fall short of their expectations. “Please go back to your countries and tell your friends and families that Meghalaya welcomes them all. The government will do whatever is possible to ensure that our beautiful state proves worthy of hosting visitors from across the world,” he said.
Laitphlang, while extending his best wishes to the brave men and women about to begin an arduous journey, said, “It is a long way from here and you will all make it, so that the cause you espouse will achieve its objectives.” Stating that the adventurers’ noble gesture was heartening, he exhorted them to consider contributing a little to charities in the state as well.
Praising the participants and the state’s hospitality, Dickens said, “These guys have worked hard to raise the money because they all believe in doing something for someone else and it is a great achievement for all of us. Meghalaya has been great in terms of support and assistance and we have a long list of people to thank, but so far, they have been the friendliest people on earth.”
Last morning, The Adventurists played a friendly soccer match with members of the Shillong Press Club at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex here. The press club members prevailed in the tie-breaker.