Tuk-tuk from Shillong to Jaisalmer for clean water

September 9th, 2012 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Sep 9 (IANS) Call it an “intentionally-ridiculous race” or a “travel phenomenon” but a 3,500 km auto-rickshaw aka ‘tuk-tuk’ race on the 3,500-km stretch is definitely a challenge which the racers will take up here to raise money for a charity, providing drinking water to rural India.

Sixty-seven teams, including 30 women from 20 countries embarked on a journey Sunday hopping inside their 150 cc powered mean machines — auto-rickshaws from Meghalaya’s capital Shillong to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. The event is dubbed as ‘Rickshaw Run’.

Breaking the sound barrier would definitely be a bonus for the participants, as they would be raising 100,000 pounds for a wide range of charities, though most of the money will be going to Britain-based NGO Frank Water which works to provide clean drinking water in rural villages in India.

The ‘tuk-tuk’ race is organised by Britain-based group ‘The Adventurists’. The rally is an initiative by the not-for-profit social enterprise Frank Water.

Frank Water projects provides sustainable, affordable, clean water solution for communities around the world, including India.

The team intends to ‘tuk-tuk’ its way to the finishing line at Jaisalmer sometimes Sep 22. In the process, they would endure 3,500 km of notorious Indian traffic, unrelenting heat and muck and of course a fatigued self-discovery.

“The ‘Rickshaw Run’ is possibility the most exciting one yet. Our teams have veritable behemoth of an adventure before them,” Mathew Dickens, the event manager, told IANS.

“We are hoping that all our teams manage to cope with all that India has to throw at them and they have a fantastic experience, they certainly deserve it after raising so much money for the Indian charities,” Dickens added.

The annual event, organised by Britain-based group ‘The Adventurists’, has generated immense interest among amateur adventurers around the world, who wish to seek ‘nirvana’ (liberation of soul) but not through “easy and boring” journeys of life.

The organisers believe that adventurers need to “flush their guide books down the toilets” and join the battle against an “increasingly boring and sanitised world”.

The “mighty three-wheeled race” would have live updates from the teams, including a position tracking system, SMS from the road, photos, videos and blogs on its website http://www. rickshawrun.theadventurists.com, during the back-breaking journey.

The ‘Rickshaw Run’ has no prize waiting at the end of the finishing line, but lots of back-slapping, champagne and, yes, take-home tales to bore grandchildren.

“(This) intentionally ridiculous and hugely popular adventure designed to raise money for charities in India and guarantee the very tallest of tales to bore your grandchildren with,” Tom Morgan, Adventurists and ‘Rickshaw Race’ founder said.

“The finish line doesn’t have a clock to mark the teams’ arrival, it has cucumber sandwiches, much back-slapping and a huge party,” Morgan said.

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