Trans-Himalayan solo cycling to raise awareness for child education
Kolkata, July 8: Child Rights and You (CRY), an NGO that works on children's rights to childhood, on Thursday launched a national campaign named 'School of Spark' to address issues related to children's education.
The campaign, which will be spread over three phases, will focus on the challenges faced by the children in getting an access to their basic right, i.e., to education.
The campaign will begin on July 15 (Friday) with a 5,000-kilometre-long Trans-Himalayan solo cycle ride from Srinagar to Walong in Arunachal Pradesh undertaken by professional mountaineering and cyclist Sudipto Pal. He will start from Srinagar on that day and reach the destination in November.
Scott Sports India Private Limited, a leading manufacturer of mountain bikes has extended support as the equipment partner to Pal's journey, which will continue for fourth months.
Pal will cover some of the most treacherous trails in the Himalayas---including several high passes, narrow strips of roads laced with deep gorges, torrential streams and dense forests. En route, he will also attempt to scale a virgin peak.
In the last leg of his journey, Pal will cross the high valleys of Assam along the course of Brahmaputra to reach the virgin forests of Arunachal Pradesh.
The journey of Pal, who has dedicated this entire journey to the CRY initiative, will impact the lives of over 2.5 lakh minors aged between six and 18.
The first phase of the campaign will ensure that 79,744 children in the age group of 11 to 14 years do not drop out of school and get a chance to recognise, channelise and develop their abilities.
What people said
Briefing what CRY aims to achieve through the campaign, Atindra Nath Das, Regional Director, East, CRY, said: "Thousands of children in India lack access to education and can't even write their names. Moreover, children between the ages of 11 to 14 years are hugely vulnerable to dropping out of schools. When a child is able to go to school, it sets off a cycle of positive change."
"An educated child stays away from an early marriage and is empowered to stand up against exploitation. As children grow, they are able to make better choices for themselves and influence the communities they live in. This transforms their present life and ensures a secure future for them."
Praising Pal for his effort, Anita Bala Sharad, Director, Resource Mobilisation, CRY, said: "Young people like Sudipto are inspirational examples of how passionately the Indian youth can engage with the cause of child rights."
What is the man who is undertaking the challenging mission for a noble cause himself saying?
"My experience in mountaineering and high altitude rescue operations over the last 15 years has brought me close to the local people, and has taught me that it is the children are the most vulnerable when it comes to accessing opportunities and entitlements. I have interacted with hundreds of them, who, given a chance to access education and other facility, could have grown to their full potential," Pal said.
Acclaimed cricketer and sports entrepreneur Arun Lal graced the occasion and flagged off the journey. He also appreciated the campaign School the Spark. "I wish Sudipto and CRY all the best for this endeavour," Lal said.