24 foreigners to travel to Goa from Chennai in 11 rickshaws

KAVITA KISHORE/THE HINDU, CHENNAI | 03 November 2014 23:03 IST

For most people travelling to Goa from Chennai, a flight, bus or train would be the options available.

A group of foreigners, however, has found a new way to get there — by autorickshaw.

The 24 persons from the U.K., Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong and Singapore will spend the next week travelling across the country in an autorickshaw as a way to raise funds for Madras Midtown Round Table 42.

The rally was flagged off from Chennai on Sunday morning, and their first destination was Vellore.

At the end of the first day, the group, which started out with 11 autorickshaws, had two breakdowns and wound up with nine autorickshaws by the time they reached Vellore.

“The day was unlike anything else we have experienced,” said Daniel Reynolds from Sydney.

For the locals as well, seeing a group of foreigners riding around town in customised autorickshaws was a source of entertainment.

 

People in Kancheepuram were a little shocked when a group of foreigners carrying a fake bazooka walked around town asking if someone would fix it, said Daniel.

Even in Chennai, where the group started off on Sunday morning, there was a lot of interest. “There was a lot of noise on the road as I was waiting at the stand for an autorickshaw. When I saw so many autorickshaws, I was surprised. Many of the foreigners rode as well as a trained driver,” said T. Kalai, an auto driver.

According to T. Nagar resident G. Surya, although he knew about the event, it was still very exciting for his entire family. “We watched as the group left. Both my children have been telling me all day to ride an autorickshaw like that,” he said.

The ‘ultimate autorickshaw challenge’ combines adventure tourism with charity. “The participants have raised close to US $60,000 to build classrooms for a Pallikaranai school,” said convener of the challenge, Sandeep Mall of Madras Midtown Round Table 42.

Original Report

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