A PUNE family successfully completed a cycling expedition from Kashmir to Kanyakumari over a period of 30 days. They have now applied in the India Book of Records and the Limca Book of Records, seeking the title of the first family to achieve the feat.
The three-member family, scientist-turned-entrepreneur Satilal Patil, his wife Jagruti Patil and daughter Saee, started their expedition from Jammu and Kashmir on October 15 and reached Kanyakumari on November 14. Covering a distance of 3,400 km, passing 13 states and Union Territories, the family cycled a minimum distance of 100 km everyday from 5.30 am to 5.30 pm.
Speaking at a press conference in Pune, the businessman said, “I had previously undertaken cycling and motorcycling expeditions from Pune to several places — Singapore, Ladakh and Kanyakumari. But I wanted my family to be as fit as I am. So, I asked them to join me. We called ourselves ‘LEAF- Life Enhancing Adventure Family’ and took on this cycling trip with multiple aims — health, family, community and environment. No family, as far as we know, has attempted such a trip earlier.”
The family started training for the trip in 2016 at a local gym and undertook an expedition to Goa as a preparatory trip, covering a distance of approximately 130 kms.
Ahead of the trip, Jagruti’s health deteriorated and she needed an operation, but she overcame her health issues and joined her family. Besides fitness, Patil said, establishing gender equality was another objective of the trip. “My wife and daughter were equal partners throughout the ride,” he said.
The family also propagated the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign along the way. “We told people we came across about what we were doing and what women can do, if given a chance. We encouraged young girls, especially those living in remote areas,” he added.
They faced several challenges on the road, such as no prior information on such family trips, lack of toilets for women, cultural differences, the heat and health issues. Saee said, “The trip has made me more confident…” “Besides, I enjoyed spending quality time with my family,” she added.