ANANTAPUR: Sairaj Vamsikar, a resident of Ranga Reddy district in Telangana has taken up a Padayatra from Kashmir to Kanyakumari with the slogan ‘Fit India’. The aim of his walkathon is to create awareness about fitness and see the healthy youth of India contribute to the progress of the nation.The 33-year-old, who was in Anantapur on the 58th day of his Padayatra, spoke to TNIE and said, he was inspired by Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav and took up the 75-day Padayatra to commemorate 75 years of Independence.
“I commenced my Padayatra from Lal Chowk in Srinagar on September 16 and today after covering around 2,600 km, I am in Anantapur. Every day I walk 40 km on an average depending on the climatic conditions. My aim is to complete the 3,800 km -long Padayatra in 75 days and dedicate the achievement to the freedom fighters, without whose efforts, the country might not have freed itdelf from the shackles of slavery,” he said.
A business administration graduate, Sairaj is also a certified mountaineer. He treks with a bag weighing 19 kgs and carries the national flag in his hands during the padyatra. He stays in temples and eats Anna Prasad in whichever place he camps. In case that’s not possibile, he eats at roadside dhabas for minimal expenses.
He has been in the field of adventure since 2017 and is a gold medalist in waterfall rafting. He was also a part of the world record feat at Katiki Waterfalls in Araku. Besides rafting, Sairaj excels in parasailing and rappelling. He has completed his basic and advanced mountaineering as well as winter alpine skills campaign.
“When the country was celebrating Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav, I thought of celebrating it too in a unique manner. So, following the footsteps of our ancestors, I started my journey on foot from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. I believe in fitness and during my yatra, I have been propagating the benefits of staying fit by pursuing outdoor activities like sports. Besides, I am also emphasizing on the patriotic spirit among people, so the country can advance forward,” he said.
During his journey, Sairaj interacted with different people, especially youngsters and shared his thoughts on various aspects, more so about fitness, development of the country and patriotism. “In the last 58 days, I have had varied experiences, which has broadened my mind. Many patted my back and encouraged me to continue, while they were some who were critical.”
Sharing one of his best experiences, Sairaj said, “I has posted a picture of completing 1,500 km of the Padayatra. On noticing that my shoes had worn out, Venkatesh, my senior in high school who is currently working in Assam, sent me a pair of new shoes. I was very happy and touched. It was an unforgettable experience. One of my worst experiences happened in Delhi. I found my mobile stolen at 3 am. When I sought help to call my parents to inform them while going to the police station to lodge a complaint, no one helped.”
Sairaj describes his best experience as a miracle on Vijaya Dasami day. After his mobile was stolen, he was short of funds and with what little he had, he went to a dhaba and ordered four rotis. At the same time, an old lady looked at him and he shared his roti with her. When she said she was still hungry, he wanted to get more rotis, but was short of money. Dhaba owner gave me one roti for free. Observing it, the old lady asked him to have it. When he wanted to share half of it with her, she was not there.
“After I left the Dhaba and walked some 2-3 km, one person came to me, gave me Rs 1,000 without disclosing his details and left. After completing his walkathon, Sairaj wishes to conduct mountaineering camping programmes for youths.
HE TREKS WITH 19 KG SACK, STAYS IN TEMPLES
A business administration graduate, Sairaj is also a certified mountaineer. He treks with a bag weighing 19 kgs and carries the national flag in his hands during the padyatra. He stays in temples and eats Anna Prasad in whichever place he camps. In case that’s not possible, he eats at roadside dhabas for minimal expenses.