Kashmir to Kanyakumari: Valley youths on bike ride to campaign for drug-free India
Jammu, Jan 4: A group of four enthusiastic bikers from Kashmir has set out on a rally from Srinagar to Kanyakumari to campaign for “drugs free society” – a first of its kind initiative from the Valley since abrogation of Article 370 provisions on August 5.
bikers left Srinagar on Friday but had to spend the chilly night under a tent
on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway due to blocking of the only all-weather
road, linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, by a landslide at Digdole
in Ramban district, before getting green signal around 5 am the next day.
is sponsoring our trip…We have pooled our resources after getting a cool
response from the government to complete the dream ride,” 24-year-old
engineering student Muzamil Fayaz Bhat, the leader of the team hailing from
Tral township of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, told PTI.
along with Adil Ahmad Mir, Mohammad Zubair and Ubaid Javid Malik – all
residents of Srinagar, stayed overnight in Jammu to have some rest after going
through a nightmare on the highway and left for their second stop at Delhi en
route to Kanyakumari on Saturday morning.
group hopes to cover the 3806-km distance in a week.
are professional bikers and nature lovers, and have visited different parts of
the valley and Ladakh during the past over three years. We had decided to
undertake the long journey last year with a message against substance abuse,
which is growing with each passing day and claiming precious lives, but the
sudden developments caused the delay,” Bhat said.
Centre abrogated Article 370 provisions, which guaranteed special status to
Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5 last year and bifurcated the erstwhile state
into Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, which came into effect on
lost contact with each other due to restrictions and communication blockade.
When the restrictions were eased and mobile phones got restored, we came
together under the banner of team logo ”Battle on Roads” and approached the
authorities for necessary assistance for the first of its kind trip but got a
cold shoulder despite a senior officer immediately approving our
proposal,” Bhat said, blaming corruption for “misplacing of the
said they were expecting more bikers to join them in the trip after getting the
sponsorship as everyone cannot afford the required expenditure.
have seen the riders from different parts of India exploring Kashmir and Ladakh
under the full cooperation of their governments. We wish our government too
pays attention to encourage the local youth to take part in short and long
distance bike rallies, which will help them to overcome negativity and think
positively,” he said.
biker said they have made the “small beginning” and “we are
hopeful that more and more youth will join us in future”.
motto for this trip is to attract the attention of the youth to our banners and
placards which we are carrying to convey our message (no drugs). Even if one
person gets motivated and stays away from the drugs, it will be our
success,” he said.
said it is painful to see an increasing number of youth falling prey to the
our successful trip, we will launch a massive campaign in Kashmir and visit all
higher secondary schools, colleges and universities to share our experience
with the students…If we can stay away from drugs, why cannot everyone
else,” he said.
said the depression among the youth due to various reasons like growing
unemployment, the three-decade-long violence and hopeless future is driving
them to drugs.
was thankful to the road clearance agencies who worked round-the-clock to clear
the highway of the landslide debris.
we reached Digdole (on the highway), the road was completely blocked and we had
no other option but to stay in the open to wait for the clearance of the road.
The icy winds coupled with falling night temperature kept us awake throughout
the night even as we had put up a tent,” he said.
said they were given a passage around 5.30 am after hectic efforts by the men
who were on the job.
“It was nothing short of a nightmare and was also a signal for the challenges ahead. We braved this challenge and are hopeful to overcome whatever the situation to fulfill our long cherished dream to work as an inspiration for others,” he said.