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Drishti Bodhraj Premprakashi

JWB Blogger

JWB Pedals Through Cyclist Prisiliya’s 4400 KM- Journey To Support Girls Education

  • JWB Post
  •  August 9, 2016


In all honesty, I have no idea how to balance myself on a cycle. The only cycles I can ride are the ones at the gym or tricycles. Yes, go ahead, laugh all you want.

But The protagonist of today’s interview is an amazing cyclist.

What’s interesting this time is that this is not a story about just a woman. This is a story of dedication to a cause, a story of passion and romance. A girl is peddling through an array of terrains in the country with the man she loves to raise money for a cause that she is dedicated to while doing something she loves. Her name is from Navi Mumbai, and she is on a journey to raise awareness for educating girls.

How is she raising awareness, you may ask? Well, Prisiliya and her partner Sumeet Paringe are going cycling on a 4400 km trip from Kanyakumari to Khardung La. The initiative is taken up by Godrej and an NGO called IIMPACT. The plan is to raise Rs. 50 Lakhs for the same and so far they have managed to raise 12 lakhs with about a month and a half left to go.

Prisiliya agreed to a phone interview with us, and I called her up later in the evening. Even though she’d cycled for 120 kms the whole day and the tiredness being audible in her voice, her spirit and enthusiasm came to us through the line. 

Where are you at the moment?

We’ve just reached Paratwada, Maharashtra.

 What do you do when you’re not biking?

I finished my Masters in Computer Science recently, and I enjoy art, and I am a trained classical dancer. I am also a trekker.  

Can you tell us about how you decided to go for this journey?

Well, I’ve cycled many times. The first time I went cycling to Khardung La from Manali. The second time it was from Mumbai to Konark, and finally, I took a solo biking trip to Kanyakumari from Panvel. This was covered by the media, and I was called by Godrej with my cycling partner Sumeet and my father who is also a well-known cyclist and trekker. Godrej made bamboo cycles and called us to review it. Finally, we agreed to take a trip to Khardung La for Fuel a Dream with IIMPACT NGO.

Is this your first time cycling for a social initiative?

Yes, I’ve been cycling solo or in groups but this is the first time I’m taking part in such an initiative.

How do you promote this initiative?

Well, we visit schools and colleges and talk to them about our campaign. But our funds come from people who are interested in promoting education for girls. The programme accepts both national and international funds through online transactions.

What’s the most interesting stop you’ve ever made?

Khardung La

What is your daily routine like?

We cycle for 10-12 hours daily, not continuously, though. We start at 7 or 8 in the morning, and then we stop after two hours for breakfast and then for lunch. We usually finish by 7 in the evening. So far we’ve crossed about 1700 kms.

How do you manage your food?

We stop at any restaurant we find. There’s nothing special in our diets. But we do avoid oily and junk food.

 What’s the best café you visited so far?

We haven’t visited many cafés. We went to Café Coffee Day last in Bangalore, lol. But there is one café in Manali, that Sumeet and I want to visit because we both love coffee. I can’t remember its name, though. 

What was the most interesting meeting you had?

It was today actually. We stopped at a school and spoke to the 11th and 12th graders there about our project, and it was a very interesting meeting. The kids were very curious to know our story, and it was overwhelming to see their sincere reactions.

 Did you feel safe in this journey?

Yes. Very much.

 How do people react to you cycling?

Till now we’ve been cycling in the south. We made it to Maharashtra about two days ago. People ask a lot of questions about the project and what we’re doing. I love their curiosity and warmth.

 What have you discovered about yourself?

I feel very independent and can take my own decisions now.

One travel-worthy place that you’ve discovered and would like to revisit?


As in the historical site?

Yes! It is huge and beautiful!

Describe your cycle in three sentences or phrases.

She’s my best friend.

With her, I meet new people and explore new cultures.

I feel independent with her.

Have you noticed how her bicycle is a girl? Her bicycle is free spirited and unstoppable like us, girls. 

Have you ever third wheeled with someone?

*Laughs * Not till date. I mostly hang out with my boyfriend and am cycling with him on this journey.

Hold up! Your cycling partner, Sumeet is your boyfriend?!

*Laughs * Yes!

Aww! You guys! This is so cute.

Prisiliya was a little shy mentioning this, but their pictures are so beautiful! You guys are relationship goals.

 How do you manage in the monsoons?

We just go for it. We’ve been used to cycling in the rains.

What message do you have printed on the back of your shirt?

We have the logo for Fuel For Dream and Godrej. There’s a slogan that says- ‘Cycle for Change’ and another line that says- ‘An Expedition For Girl Education.’  

Do you have a message for young girls?

Study hard, be independent and share your thoughts with your parents and maintain a friendly relationship with them.

Her journey is a story worth writing and reading. I wonder what she has in her travel diaries and all the adventures she’s been a part of.

With about 2700 more kilometers to go, I wish her and Sumeet all the luck for this expedition and hope that they will go beyond their target.

You can contribute to the mission here.

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