Recently, a very interesting piece of news caught my attention; that of four Indian motorcyclists who biked around Asia in 40 days, covering 10 countries and 10,000 kilometres. While such biking expeditions are increasingly becoming a fad, what makes this particular journey very unique is that these motorcyclists happened to be women, and they undertook this arduous trip to spread awareness about female feticide.
The team consisted of Psychologist Sarika Mehta (40), travel agent Durriya Tapia (36), human resource personnel Khyati Desai (31) and interior designer Yugma Desai (27). These women belong a group called Biking Queens, which was founded by Sarika Mehta, for women interested in various social causes.
On this journey, the women visited various schools, universities and NGOs in Bhutan and Thailand, among other countries. There they explained their campaign and spoke about educating against gender bias. Dr Sarika said “While the problem of female feticide is huge in India, we believe it is a global issue and can happen anywhere”.
Their journey ended in Singapore, where they were received by a group of Singaporean motorcyclists, and later met the Indian High Commissioner in Singapore, Mr. Vijay Thakur Singh.
Pre-natal Sex Selection is an issue very close to our hearts, here at Centre for Social Research. We have been working against it for many years now, and have also been selected as the nodal agency by Ministry of Women and Child Development, for five districts in Haryana, for Prime Minister’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao program. We have been actively conducting various kinds of events in this regard, particular Kanya Janm Mahotsavs (to celebrate families which have daughters), a dialogue in Kurukshetra University, training of Panchayati Raj members, and others.
That is why it warms our heart to read the news of the Biking Queens from Surat, because we believe that the problem of pre natal sex selection is not limited to any one strata of society. It is equally rampant in low income and high income groups. Thus, such unique initiatives are very much the need of the hour, as they will capture the attention of people towards social causes.
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