Cyclist on tour of India arrives in Dimapur
Shares positive experience of visiting Nagaland
DIMAPUR — A world peace and anti-pollution activist, Madhai Paul, who is on a bicycle tour of the country, arrived in Dimapur on Friday. Paul, a driving instructor turned tourist guide, plans to visit Bangladesh too.
Speaking to Eastern Mirror on Saturday at Shri Shri Ram Thakur Sevashram, Netaji Colony, Paul (30) said that this is only the second phase of his tour, which began in November of last year in Balurghat, West Bengal.
Previously, he toured the country in its entirety, with the exception of the Lakshadweep Islands and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, beginning in December 2020 in Siliguri and ending on October 30, 2022, in Balurghat. In his first tour, he campaigned for road safety.
He shared that when he was in Nagaland last time, he cycled through Mokokchung, Wokha, Kohima, and Dimapur. In Mokokchung, he stayed at the residence of the GB of a village, while in Kohima, his stay was at a police station.
Sharing his experience in the state from his earlier visit, he said that until he visited the state, he heard a lot of misconceptions about it but his experience with the people here was quite the opposite and very positive.
Paul shared that the only difficulty he faced while in the state was communication, which was nevertheless manageable.
Besides propagating the message of world peace and anti-pollution through his ongoing tour, he said that he also wants to connect with the people from the Bengali community spread in different regions and this is also a reason why he intends to visit Bangladesh as part of the tour.
According to his estimate, it would take him three months to crisscross Bangladesh on his cycle and he intends to apply for a visa once he reaches Tripura in the next few weeks.
Sharing what inspired him to undertake the tours initially, Paul said that he was fascinated by the diversity of the country and wanted to experience it firsthand by meeting and interacting with the people and learning about their lifestyles and languages. He found no better way to do it than to tour the country on a bicycle.
Paul said he realised that a bicycle would offer him the flexibility to visit places he would like unlike hiring a car as it would cost him nothing and not contribute to pollution. He now carries on his bicycle a tent, his clothes and other necessary items.
Paul said that in his tour, he depends on the support extended by the locals by way of providing food and a place to spend the night among others. He, being a vegetarian, was never a hindrance and would always find people to help him out throughout his journey.
He, however, prefers to spend the nights in his tent by the roadside or a good spot whenever he finds no shelter.
On how he creates awareness on the issues of peace and pollution, Paul shared that he visits schools, colleges and other educational institutes and interact with the students and people from different organisations during the journey.
In Dimapur, he stayed at Bharat Sevashram Sangha on Friday and Shri Shri Ram Thakur Sevashram on Saturday. He will resume his journey to Diphu from Dimapur on Sunday.
Paul, the younger of the two siblings and unmarried, is also documenting his journey on his YouTube channel and other social media platforms under the name “Cycle Pagal.” He can be reached at email@example.com.
People who want to be associated with him on his journey and extend support can contact him at 9732892912.