For all those who think travelling alone is unsafe, think again. And for those who believe it more so for women, you could be entirely wrong. Jyothi Rongala, a 35-year-old young woman from East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, is on a cycling expedition to create a world record of longest distance bicycled within a country.
“There are two reasons I’ve embarked on this journey. One is to create a Guinness World Record and second it to prove that Indian roads are safe for everyone, especially women,” she says. Jyothi feels cycling is also the best way to explore any place, thanks to its pace and the independence it lends.
What began in January 2017 from Kanyakumari came to a halt in Delhi after covering 10,000 km and few states because of an injury. She began again from Delhi on January 8 this year and so far has covered 1,500 km. After visiting cities in Haryana and Punjab, including Chandigarh, her next stop will be North East. It’s not only been safe so far but each city has been very welcoming and supportive.
“I am travelling solo, unsupported and cashless. I eat and stay at gurdwaras or dharamshalas. Then at some places there are people who host me. My cycle, gadgets and equipment for camping and technical kit are all crowd funded and that’s when I never publicised about my plan. It’s all word of mouth and unknown people have come forward to help and put their faith in my idea of travelling alone,” she smiles.