Day 13, July 27, Belgaum to Kolhapur
Distance – 140 kilometres
Duration – 11 hours
Little did Sunita know what a tumultuous day it would turn out to be as she left her hotel room at6:00am in the
morning after a good nights rest. The network of Rajasthani community who has been supporting Sunita ever since she entered Karnataka is strong and today again a steaming hot ‘idli sambar’ breakfast awaited her on her way coupled with good wishes for her mission. She was impressed by the alertness and support of the Highway Patrol when she reported a suspicious biker who had been following her. The patrol not only promised to deal with the miscreant but also assured her of her security as she cycled on the highway. But Sunita was not really prepared for what happened next. As she reached Nipani after cycling about 100 kilometres she discovered that she had lost her purse containing her voter, ATM card and all the cash she had. A little perplexed to begin with she soon took stock of the situation. She was touched by the support she received from the locals who helped her report the incident to the police station and also mustered up some money to meet her immediate expenses.
As she left Nipani ,she met another good samaritan an Armyman Sagar from the Adventure wing of the Indian army. He belonged to a village Kadal at a distance of 20 kilometres and requested her to spare some time and stop there. On her arrival there Sunita was overwhelmed to see more than 100 people including a local politician waiting to felicitate her. She was full of gratitude for these people who were strangers to her some time back but now were a part of her mission.
Her usual high spirits were back as she pushed the minor setback of the day to the back of her mind and she pedalled crossing the manmade boundaries from Karnataka to Maharastra. She found herself merrily singing one of her favourite songs. “Barbadiyon ka soz mananaaa fizool tha, Mein barbadiyon ka jashn manaataa chalaa gayaaaa………Har fikr ko dhoonven Mein udaataa chalaa gayaa”
Special thanks to the “Omni Sangha” NGO for supporting this noble mission.