This Rickshaw Run’s Team Has A Woman On Board
- IWB Post
- April 6, 2015
The Rickshaw Run has begun today and it is heading to Jaipur! Three travelers and professional bloggers, Ryan Brown, Derek Freal and Rutavi Mehta form a team called ‘Teen Romanchak Yaar’ (Hindi translation for “Three Adventurous Friends”) have kick-started their journey today at 11 am from Jaisalmer.
About 100 teams are a part of this race and is organized by a UK-based group ‘The Adventurists’. The mission is that each team must raise a minimum of £1000 ($1550 USD) for charities helping out local communities in India.
We met Ryan, Derek and Rutavi last week on a sunny afternoon in Jaipur after they came back from some rickshaw-shopping.
JWB – The Rajasthan’s summer seems to have no effect on you.
Ryan – We are more charged up!
JWB – Tell us about the actions behind the scenes.
Rutavi – We have been given a rotten rickshaw that is to be custom-designed in order to travel this long route. On the way we will be creating many short documentaries showing the world the diversity of India while taking them through many untraveled roads of the country.
JWB – Rutavi, you are the 1st and till now the only Indian woman participating in the race. Tell us more about this achievement.
Rutavi – I belong to Mumbai and have been a part of many such adventurous activities like hiking to Everest Base Camp and living in uninhabited Lakshadweep Island. When I got to know about rickshaw race, I contacted Ryan and Derek via Twitter and showed my interest. And that was it.
JWB – So it means, you have never known Ryan and Derek before the show!?
Rutavi – This meeting in Jaipur is our first.
JWB – How did your family react when you told them about your decision?
Rutavi – They didn’t react in a negative manner. Even my fiancé is cool about it.
JWB – Impressed. This is how girls rule the world.
Rutavi (chuckles) – Yes!
JWB – We are sure many people want to know if you were ever bothered about living and traveling with 2 complete strangers.
Rutavi – Not at all, it is a part of every traveler’s life irrespective of the gender. All three of us kept interacting via social media and in no time, became good friends. Right, boys?
Derek – Oh, she is a nice girl.
JWB – Is that all? Only nice?
Derek (laughs) – She controls both of us.
Ryan – It’s just been a week that we have met one another and the kind of bonding that we share is amazing, which is an important part of this race.
JWB – You guys will be traveling through unknown roads of Rajasthan reaching all the way to Shillong. What are your go-to plans?
Derek – Smile to every stranger we meet and try to ignite a conversation. This helps understand the place better. We won’t let language become a barrier. Also, to trust the locals is one vice I personally follow.
Ryan – Earlier I was scared of what people say and think about me. Today I don’t waste my energy on that. Not every person we meet knows who we are and what our mission in life is and hence, their feedback or thoughts about us are not important. I have learnt to follow my heart without any hesitation.
Rutavi – My plan is to be a woman and not act like a man. Staying as powerful as a woman, keeping the spirits up and learning many things about the life is my plan. These men are good with graphics and I am good with Indian roads and the language, of course. Together, we will apply each other’s strengths to win the race.
JWB – Our wishes are with you. Do you have any tips for road safety?
Rutavi – We will have night halts. We will be carrying rods and pepper spray for safety, which, by the way none of us have done before.
JWB – As a women-blog, we want to know what mission do you personally carry in Rickshaw Run?
Photographer – Shashank Tyagi