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Gujarati college girl embarked on solo bike trip across India for paraplegic soldiers


(G.N.S) Dt. 17

New Delhi

“The youth of today get frustrated and feel like giving up over the smallest of things. This is why I want to make them aware of the brave paraplegic soldiers who, even after being injured, continue to serve the nation,” said Gujarat resident Mitsu Chavda, who embarked on a solo bike trip across India to raise awareness about soldiers who have suffered serious physical injuries while on duty.

A second-year BA English (Hons) student, Ms. Chavda has covered over 11,000 km while travelling across the country in a bid to raise awareness about the heroes who are “less spoken about”. She aims to travel a total of 17,000 km by Republic Day.

“It was my 28-year-old friend, who is wheelchair-bound and an Army Major, who moved me. His positivity can kill depression. When I saw him I thought, what next? It was then that I started reading more about the Army and decided to raise awareness about paraplegic soldiers,” she added.

“If you ask any youngster about Virat Kohli or M. S. Dhoni or Saina Nehwal, they know everything about these personalities. However, you will not find the same awareness in the case of para Olympics where most of the participants are from the Armed forces,” said Ms. Chavda, who arrived in the Capital on Sunday.

Having started her journey from Surat, Gujarat, on November 26, Ms. Chavda has travelled across India and has covered several States including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Meghalaya. During her trip, she visited schools and colleges and gave lectures on the sacrifices of paraplegic soldiers.

The biker now plans to head to Jaipur and end the journey in her home town by January 26.

Talking about young jawans who suffer injuries while on duty, Ms. Chavda said: “Despite suffering serious physical injuries, theses young jawans don’t give up. Rather they excel in studies and sports, and go on to represent India at various national and international levels.”

“I want to spread the message among youngsters that when these soldiers were on their feet, they served the nation, and even when they are now wheelchair-bound, they are still making the country proud by representing it at various competitions,” she added.

“There are paraplegic soldiers who have conquered depression with their positivity. On the other hand, there are youngsters who commit suicide over an argument with their parents. There should be awareness and respect for these soldiers, rather than the general pity that people feel for them,” said Ms. Chavda.

The biker has also donated ₹2 lakh, which she collected through crowd funding, to the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre in Pune.

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