Life is full of surprises and in the most unpredictable ways. When Harsha Mishra, a Patna girl, ran away to Delhi from home at the age of 15, she didn't know that two years later, she would be back in the capital on a different mission.
Harsha had fought with her parents and gone to Delhi with no hope or money in pocket. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan found her wondering around Anand Vihar station and bought train tickets for her return to her Patna home.
Today, Harsha is back in Delhi, but in a different avatar. She is an inspiration every teenage girl can look up to.
17-year-old Harsha rode a bicycle, along with a friend, 21-year-old Savitri Murmu of Jharkhand. They travelled 24,000 km across India to spread the message of 'Unity in Diversity and Women's Empowerment'
Explaining her journey to TOI, Harsha said, "In June, I met a cyclist who had travelled 12,000 km though not across the entire country. I thought maybe I could achieve what she hadn't."
The girls' squad started the journey in November. So far, they have traversed 4,000 km through Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The duo reached Delhi on Sunday (Dec 10). On Thursday (Dec 14), they resumed the expedition from Delhi.
When asked what hurdles they faced before beginning the cycling tour, Harsha explained how hard it was to convince their parents. The NCC cadet's father was finally persuaded after the village priest and the additional director general of NCC, Bihar-Jharkhand region, paid him a visit. The ADG also advised Harsha not to attempt the ride alone. That's when Harsha contacted Savitri for the trip. She met the adivasi girl whom she had met several times at NCC camps.
The two girls arranged funds for the expedition together and finally got Rodic, a consultant firm, to fully finance their trip on condition that the company would not be held liable in case of accidents.
"I was often egged on by friends to shove Savitri while playing because she was good at almost every sport," confessed Harsha. "But now we are fast friends, though I get angry if she ignores me and talks to other girls."
"There is no electricity or even a road in my tiny village of just 13 houses. And yet here I am, travelling across India," Savitri, a hosteler, said. "My life has changed because of Harsha, we surely share something special."
However, the expedition has to end some day. So, Savitri has already started planning for their next adventure. Harsha, on the other hand, aspires to become an IPS officer
The duo's bold and motivating voyage shows that instead just sitting at home, studying and playing, girls need to take other routes to explore life.
We need more such girls on the road like Harsha and Savitri. Keep motivating, girls!
Also Read: Have You Met India’s Biker-Babes?
Feature Image Credit: TOI