What does youngster usually do with a month of free time he gets at the end of a successful academic career? Yes, you guessed it right. The time is either spent hanging outs with buddies, or sitting glued to the computer making new friends on social media sites, or at the most going out on treks with friends.
But Ujjawal’s is a different story. A final year student of Ocean Engineering from IIT Kharagpur with a fairly smart job in Singapur in his belt once the final exam is cleared, Ujjawal decides to give his one month break a more profound meaning. An avid adventure-lover and an accomplished photographer in his own rights, Ujjawal Chauhan grabs his bicycle and is just about to start a 2500 kilometer long marathon ride to champion a social cause.
To cut the long story short, Ujjawal is about to travel all the way from Kolkata to Mumbai on his bicycle, to spread the message of child rights. This month-long cycle trip, named #Ride4ChildRights is a precursor to the larger pan-India annual photography campaign, Click Rights 2014, organized by CRY – Child Rights and You, a leading child rights organization working for the underprivileged children in India.
Eminent Tollywood actor Prosenjit Chatterjee and sports icons like Chuni Goswami, Jose Ramirez Barreto and Mehtab Hossain were present at the flag off event held at Kolkata Press Club, to encourage the young man. With the flutters and waves of yellow CRY flags, Ujjawal pushed at his pedals, as some cycling enthusiasts joined him for the first few kilometers to support the cause.
After spending the first night at Kolaghat, Ujjawal will be soloing all the way through Sambalpur in Odisha and Raipur in Chhattisgarh, and finally via Nagpur, Akola, Aurangabad and Pune in Maharashtra to reach Mumbai on 30th June.
Keeping true to the central theme of this year’s Click Rights campaign – Ujjawal will also be using this initiative to raise funds to fight child labour, across CRY intervention areas in India. .
Explaining his motivation in undertaking the journey, a visibly excited Ujjawal said, “I’ve been associated with CRY for my belief in strengthening child rights. I’d been lucky enough to have had a fulfilling childhood and ample opportunities. However, in India, millions of children do lack the same means and I intend to dedicate my journey to each one of them. With CRY’s support, I want to bring their voices to the fore.”
At the flag off event, many eminent personalities of Kolkata did stand for the cause. The centre of attraction was indeed the illustrious Prosenjit Chatterjee, Kolkata’s very own and very special Bumba da and the Numero Uno of the Tollygunge Tinsel Town. He appreciated CRY for the initiative and encouraged Ujjawal for his spirit. The sports icons like Jose Ramirez Barreto, Mehtab Hossain and the veteran Chuni Goswami also saluted the spirit of volunteering, and extended their valued support to the cause.