The famous Indian cyclist – Abhishek Sharma – who is on a six-year mission to bike around the world covering some 90 countries, has reached New Zealand shores and is aiming to cover the country in 35 days.
Abhishek, 29, began his world tour four years and one month ago on November 10, 2014, with a desire for creating global awareness against climate change, global warming, and calling for world peace.
“I am going around the world, motivating and educating people about the impacts of global warming and climate change and calling for peace,” Abhishek said.
“I am also spreading the message about India – our people, our culture, values and heritage – and spreading the message of world peace,” Abhishek added.
The Consulate of India hosted Mr Sharma to a community reception at an event in Quadrant Hotel, Auckland CBD, on Wednesday, December 12, acknowledging the daunting spirit, motivation, passion and commitment behind his endeavour.
Speaking to The Indian Weekender, Hon. Consul of India, Bhav Dhillon said, “It is a great endeavour by this young man who is out on a mission since the last four years promoting brand India among other key messages of awareness around climate change.
“We welcome him here in New Zealand and wish him all the best while he remains here in world’s most beautiful country,” Mr Dhillon said.
The only plan is no plan
Revealing his modus operandi of selecting a country and then pursuing tour on his cycle], Abhishek said, “The only plan is that I have no plan.”
“I have no corporate sponsor supporting my endeavour.
“I am purely relying on the love and support of the people that I continue to meet on a daily basis to continue my journey,” Abhishek said.
“I reach the country check Google it if possible and then talk to people in communities and plan my journey ahead.
“Now I plan to bike to Hamilton, Tauranga, Taupo, Palmerston North, and Wellington in the North Island.
“Once I manage to cross over to South Island by ferry then I will go from Picton to Christchurch to Dunedin and then back to Queenstown,” Abhishek said.
“Everything depends on multiple factors including weather, road conditions, and most importantly the kind of support I can get from people,” Abhishek added.
Meeting people, connecting communities
Abhishek is relying purely on generous support from members of communities, both Indian diaspora and broader community in this magical journey.
The moment Abhishek disclosed this in the event on Wednesday, several enthusiastic members of the Indian diaspora started counting their resources all around the country who can be reined in to support his journey.
Speaking on the occasion Jeet Suchdev of Bhartiya Samaj said, “One thing we can assure you here in New Zealand is full support from our community. We have a vibrant Kiwi-Indian community all around the country.”
Bhikhu Bhana, President of New Zealand Indian Central Association announced that their organisation will support Abhishek by facilitating ferry transfer from Wellington to Picton and return, much to the delight of everyone.
Similarly, Sunny Kaushal, another community leader, who is coordinating all efforts within the community from Auckland for supporting Abhishek told The Indian Weekender, “We are confident that our community members would be able to pull in support for this young boy ranging from food, accommodation and logistic support.”
“I encourage anyone keen to help this young Indian man to get in touch with us. Every help is welcome,” Mr Kaushal said.
“I am also thankful to members of our Indian diaspora who have come out today to extend their support for Mr Sharma’s endeavours here in New Zealand.