BENGALURU: The second edition of Garlanding India, a road trip undertaken along the Indian coasts throughout the country to raise awareness for sports and sports academies kick-started yesterday. Two bikers began their journey from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIIMB). The duo will be met my two more riders from Chennai and Goa.
The journey has been named ‘Southern Spin’ and will cover South India by December 30. There are three other zones; north, east and west which will be covered in January, February and March, respectively. There are four riders for each zones, all of whom are are targeting to raise `2 crore collectively.
The fund will be raised for four academies namely PT Usha’s School of Athletics, Mary Kom’s Regional Boxing Foundation, Yogeshwar Dutt’s Wrestling Akhara and Olympic Gold Quest of Geet Sethi and Prakash Padukone.
A fifth beneficiary is added to the list because of Uday’s sheer love for children- an NGO called Ekjut that caters to malnutrition of infants and mothers.The idea was conceptualised in 2014, when Uday Damodaran, a finance professor in Jamshedpur started journeying along the coast from Kanyakumari to Jammu Kashmir and from Gujarat to the Northeast, in his car.He completed the journey in 60 days. Though he started solely for the love of the road, he was astounded by the reach of his solo drive. He decided to drive for a cause and raise awareness on the need for NGOs in the country and raised `11 lakh.
“During my 60-day journey, I did not have to stay in a hotel. I kept getting messages from mutual acquaintances in the region I was travelling in who were more than happy to accommodate me,” shares the 58 year old.
Although Uday won’t be participating for the second edition of Garlanding India, the mantle has now been taken by his students. “I just initiated this and now it seems to self-sustaining,” says Uday.
He adds, “I want people to know the backdrop of sports academies and how intense the training is. We are hoping PT Usha will also ride a short distance with the bikers,” says Uday. He also clarified that sports academics selected for the fundraiser will be those other than cricket academies that are already popular.
Participation of people and IITs
This edition of fundraising also includes IITs and IIMs, who will hosts the riders on their journey. Uday also suggests his students stop at stranger’s home, just like he did. The next edition of Garlanding India, is not yet fixed but is likely to cross the borders of India with more participation from his ex-students, one of whom wants to cover the distance with a bicycle.