'Snails on Wheels' on 'Road to Tokyo'
Ongole: They call themselves 'Snails on Wheels'. They are three--Dona Jacob, Clifin Francis and Haseeb Ahsan, who are undertaking a journey for eight months from December 2019 to July 2020.
They are going to cover eight countries including India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China and Japan. Attending one event--Olympics 2020 in Tokyo with only one mission—'Cheer India'.
Dona Jacob is a software engineer in Mumbai while Clifin Francis is a teacher settled in Kochi. Haseeb Ahsan works with Amazon India in Bengaluru. The three are classmates and natives of Kochi in Kerala.
They started their journey from Kochi in Kerala to Tokyo in Japan on December 15, 2019, and want to conclude their journey by July 24, 2020, by covering about 10,000 km in around 220 days. They will be crossing the sea between China and Japan in a ship to continue the tour. During their journey, they are gathering wishes for the Indian team participating in the Olympics and cheer for them.
Clifin has the experience of long-distance cycle rides and hitchhike through Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam in 2015. In 2018, he rode from Dubai to Russia to attend the football world cup in Moscow. Dona covered the Cuban villages and tobacco fields around 1000 km for 28 days on bicycle while she was working as the technical lead of an Indian software company in Mexico.
It is the maiden tour for Haseeb, who wants to revive his passion for physical activities. He believes that the regular exercise is connected to the mental make-up and it relaxes and calms the mind to help in bettering the individual performance. He will be rejoining the team from Vijayawada, after a short break due to office commitments.
In their journey, they are meeting officials and individuals all the way and inspiring children in schools by sharing their experiences in work and on-road.
Clifin and Dona had the opportunity to meet Prakasam district Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal. The SP, who loves to travel, appreciated the efforts of the team and wished them all the best. He shared a few tips and suggestions for keeping safe while cycling on the highways. The cyclists thanked the SP and left for Vijayawada from Ongole on Friday.
Sharing their plans, Dona and Clifin explained to 'The Hans India' here on Friday that they plan to associate themselves with the local NGOs so that they could visit more schools every week where they will spread awareness on the importance of a healthy mind. Dona hopes to inspire more women and girls to be independent and free and wants to promote the spirit of adventure among women through the expedition.
She said that she is encouraging the school dropped out girls to go back to school as education is important for empowerment. As they are on a tight budget, they want to reduce the expenditure as much as possible. Clifin said that they are cycling for five hours daily to cover 100 km a day, before sunset as they do not want to continue journey at night. He also said that though they have tents, they would not camp in the wilderness. He said that they would camp in the church compounds or in places where there are people around them.
The three cyclists are hoping to hold a photo exhibition with pictures of their journey at the Tokyo Olympics and make a documentary with the visuals they are recording.
The people can follow them @snails.on.wheels on Instagram and @roadtotokyo20 on Facebook for more updates on their tour.