Srinagar: Cyclist Bhausaheb Bhawar, who educates people on social evils in society, was felicitated by the Indian Army in the Kashmir valley.
The 50-year-old Bhawar, who hails from a small place called Hasnabad in Jalna district and whose only aim is to educate people on social evils, recently travelled to Srinagar on an expedition.
“It has been approximately three decades that I have been cycling across the length and breadth of the country with my mission—eradicating social evils like dowry and foeticide and spreading the message of national integration and communal harmony,” he said while talking to Maj Gen PBS Lamba, GOC 31 Sub Area, a defence spokesman said.
Bhausaheb ‘s recent visit to Srinagar, during which he addressed the students of an Army public school and motivated them to become good citizens, stay away from social evils such as drugs, and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
“I also talk to youths about drug addiction, cleanliness, corruption, and eating habits. I have no home, no mobile number, and no bank account. Wherever my cycle stops, that is my residence for that day,” he said.
He also added that he was 16-year-old when his elder sister and his family suffered due to dowry harassment from her in-laws.
“Our parents gave her gifts for the wedding. But her in-laws started harassing her, demanding more dowry,” Bhawar said, adding “that it was a traumatic experience for the family back then”.
Realising that awareness was the key to end the social evil, Bhausaheb started cycling from 1993.
According to Bhawar, dowry was the reason for female feticide, as parents were afraid of getting their daughters married and putting them through the sufferings. During his expeditions, he also holds awareness programmes in educational institutions.
Bhausaheb does not carry money or a mobile phone, but pedals 50 to 60 km a day from as early as 4 am, sleeps in churches, temples, gurudwaras, or mosques, is a vegetarian, and ensures that a major part of his diet is liquid.
He carries a foldable chair to rest on and is taking on his bicycle. The man has documents weighing over 30 kgs such as photographs he took with important personalities and newspaper clippings in various languages on his expedition.
Unlike most awareness drives from Kashmir to Kanyakumari that start and end on one national highway, he has pedalled to every district.
His first three expeditions lasted from 1993 to 2006. He did not have time to think of getting married or even attend his father’s funeral.
“I would have lost several days of the mission had I gone for the funeral,” he said. He talks to his mother, Kala Bai, over the phone once in a while.
When asked about his job and what he does to survive, Bhawar said, “It is His (the almighty) duty to take care of me. If you have a pure heart and a conscious mind, you will always get good people around you who’ll take care of your requirements,” he said being philosophical.
The cyclist is never in a hurry and has never been involved in any untoward incident since he took his first ride in 1993.