Wednesday, October 27, 2010
A unique journey to remember martyr's of 26/11
The father of 26/11 matyr Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan has embarked upon a unique journey. K Unnikrishnand along with a cycling enthusiast Hiralal have commenced their journey from the India Gate in New Delhi on a bi cycle and will reach the Gateway of India on November 26 2010.
This is not a ride for my son alone who lost his life two years back at the Taj Mahal Hotel. This is for all matyrs who lost their lives during that horrific attack in Mumbai two years back. I had said earlier too that not many remember the matyrs who lost their lives during the 1971 war. I don’t want the same thing happening in case of the 26/11 attacks too and this ride is just a way of telling people that the men who laid down their lives should never be forgotten.
After a small prayer in front of the India Gate in New Delhi, Unnikrishnan along with Hiralal commenced their ride. They cycle at least 6 to 7 hours a day and cover nearly 100 kilometres. We do not have any fixed schedule as such. We begin the day early at around 6 and cycle continuously till around 10. We then take a break and commence our journey at 3 PM and wind up by 7 pm. However these timings could vary if we feel we have fallen short of the distance covered.
Unnikrishna who will be reaching Agra tomorrow in the evening says they are not following any kind of special diet during the ride. We have carried along with us dry fruits and grapes. Rotis constitute my main diet and even while I am in Bangalore I followed the same diet. Water is the only problem for us and hence we have carried with us ample stock of mineral water.
My wife too is part of this exercise. She follows us on a four wheeler and she is a major source of strength for me. I would not say that I am tiring during the ride. Cycling has always been a passion for me and hence this is not new to me.
The idea to embark on such a journey was floated by Hiralal who hails from Kanyakumari. He had said that we should do something for the matyrs and I was keen to oblige. Hiralal is experienced in cycling and having him along side me has been a major help and inspiration to me.
This ride will have many other activities too. In a couple of days we will start interacting with school children and other people from the villages. We will tell them the importance of remembering our matyrs. As I mentioned last time the general feeling is that this country is going down the drain and we want to tell the people not to lose hope. We also plan on planting several saplings along the way.
We would like to have many interactive sessions with the people whom we meet along the way. There is a need to instill faith and confidence in the people about our country. However my aim is not to speak about my son or on joining the army. I believe that the decision to join the army should never be influenced upon someone. As regards to my son, I will speak about him only if someone asks me about him.
We will be reaching the Gateway of India on November 26 where we will end our journey. On November 27 I will be at the Taj Mahal hotel at the same spot where Sandeep laid down his life.