Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 20:
As a thanksgiving exercise after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India, a group of 10 Odias in the textile town of Surat in Gujarat set off on a 1700-km long bike journey to the Jagannath Temple in Odisha on Tuesday.
The group, led by Surat Odia Welfare Association vice president Bhagirathi Behera, had vowed three months ago to make a votive offering to Lord Jagannath if Modi became Prime Minister.
“We propose to traverse 200 km in a day on an average and hope to reach Puri in eight days. We would have covered nearly half the distance by the time Modiji takes oath,” Behera said.
Modi is set to be sworn in as Prime Minister on May 26.
Interestingly, no one in the group is a professional biker nor has any of them undertaken such a long journey before. The 10 bikers would embark on their journey on five bikes with all of them taking turns at driving.
“So far, we have travelled to Odisha only in trains. We know that it is not going to be an easy journey by road because we will be passing through Naxalite-infested jungles between Chhattisgarh and Odisha,” Behera said.
But the bikers are not daunted by the risks involved in this treacherous journey. “We are doing this for our beloved Modiji. We are ready to face all the challenges on our way to Jagganath Temple,”said Mukesh Patel, a member of the group.