Australian riders raise funds for Indian kids

New Delhi: In a bid to raise funds to support disadvantaged children and the education of young girls, four Australian adventurers are covering 5,500 km on their bikes from Srinagar to India’s southernmost tip as part of the Great Indian Ride.
They have so far raised Australian dollars 2,000 for the cause. The money would be donated to NGO Plan India.
One of the riders, Rhys Puddicombe, who is also a former diplomat, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being positive but he believed “Kashmir is still a controversial issue”.
“I haven’t seen much of Modi but everything of him is positive. He is being very well received everywhere. Kashmir is a bit controversial but I don’t want to get involved in Indian politics,” said Puddicombe.
Starting from Srinagar, the group spent the first week travelling through the Himalayas on Indian-made Royal Enfield motorbikes, including Khardung-la Pass and Leh. Before reaching New Delhi, the group visited Dharamsala and Rishikesh.
From Delhi, they will be heading towards Agra to see the Taj Mahal, then to Jhansi, Kanha National Park, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Hampi, Bangalore and then to Ooty.
After a month of riding, the group will arrive at Cape Comorin, India’s southern tip on Oct 14. Their final destination is Kochi.
The Great Indian Ride is the brainchild of Australian Stuart Ball. In the past five years, Ball has led small groups on motorbike rides across Australia.
These annual rides have so far raised over $180,000 for SIDS & Kids, an Australian charity that educates Australian parents on how to avoid childhood mortality and to help parents coping with the loss of a child.