By Impuri Ngayawon:
Photos by Daniel Mung and Tiatemjen Jamir
On 9th October 2015, 10 individuals united by their love for riding bikes took on a challenge to achieve a milestone – nutrition for every child in India. To spread awareness, and learn something themselves, they took part in a bike rally from Delhi to Baran in Rajasthan. They were all seasoned bikers, but none had been a Famine Fighter before and hardly knew what it takes to be one.
World Vision India’s ‘kNOw Hunger Ride‘ bike rally was organised as part of the NGO’s national 24 Hour Famine campaign to spread awareness on hunger and malnutrition. The 24 Hour Famine is targeted at addressing issues of hunger and malnutrition that severely impact the lives of children, especially those under the age of 5. Conducted in 21 cities across the nation, the 24 Hour Famine consists of events from art exhibitions to literary and cultural competitions driven by local communities, school children as well as civil and public officials to drive home the message. It hopes to engage the public and youth from ages of 13–30 on the problems faced by children due to malnourishment. The bike rally was jointly organized by World Vision India and the Delhi Bikers Breakfast Run (DBBR). “Know Hunger Ride is about 10 bikers on a mission to learn what it’s like to not have access to nutritious food. Delhi Bikers Breakfast Run is a group that cannot ride without eating. So it is apt that such a group should partake in this awareness campaign,” shared Joshua John, one of the bikers from Delhi Bikers Breakfast Run.
Here are some photos that follow these 10 bikers’ journey of learning about famine and hunger in the country.
On their way to Baran, Rajasthan the convoy stopped at Jaipur and Tonk on day one. The bikers interacted with children and families from communities supported by World Vision India’s Area Development Programme to understand the ground realities of living with malnutrition in Jaipur.
The younger members of the community also organized a nutrition exhibition, which showcased their daily diet in comparison to the ideal consumption to maintain a healthy diet.
Reaching Bundi was easy; the highway was smooth and wide. The booming sound of the bikes raised much curiosity and at every stop they were talking of the issues that they want the nation to give its attention and bring a change.
The latest annual hunger report of the United Nations states that India is home to the largest malnourished and hungry population of 194 million, surpassing China. By this measure, India holds quarter of the undernourished population across the globe, with 44% of the country’s children under 5 years being underweight.
The excited bikers were given a hand drawn map to Bamendah village which is around 70 KMs from the Baran city. Joshua, the group leader explained the map and each of the bikers gave suggestions as to how they can find this village. The first easiest way they thought was GPS, but they could not find a single trace of the village on the GPS. Defeated by technology, the bikers then decided to use their road tracking sense and find the village no matter what it takes for a biker to do.
After getting lost twice, the bikers finally reached Bamandeh village where another challenge awaited them.
The task facing the bikers was to find five households whose details were given to them and collect food ingredients to cook a meal. Their riding skills were of little or no help to them. It was time to put on the chef cap and think food. Many shared how difficult it was for them to enter a stranger’s house and asked for food ingredients. But when the community people opened their houses and welcomed them, they realized how little they have yet how happy they are to share it with them. They finally collected whatever they could – dal, rice, oil, turmeric powder, salt, garlic and onion and cooked khichdi.
The challenge finally ended and all the bikers were successful. But the happily ever after story of the ride starts now – 10 bikers united by their love for bike riding stands united in their fight against malnutrition and hunger.
Presenting to you all the 10 Famine Fighters. With their bikes from left to right – Pankaj Kumar Das, Pallavi Fauzdar, Joshua John, Tarique Afaque, Jasjyot Singh, Prem Arora, Amit Minocha, Sanjeev Arora, Manu vashistha and Harkaran Singh.