Vinay Maurya, a Communications Consultant from Mumbai, known as The Indian Motorcyclist on Social Media handles has been riding motorcycle for over a decade. He has done several long distance trips in India. But the idea of riding across India for a cause became strong when he saw data from the Government of India which revealed that around 400 deaths happened every day and 1 death every 17 minutes on our roads. He truly believes that if proper safety precautions are taken then a lot of serious accidents can be prevented.
When Sachin Tendulkar uploaded a video where he was telling people to wear a helmet, it became a popular meme on the Internet but he saw the serious side of the video and understood the real reason. He got inspired by this and decided to ride across India and try to spread this safety message. He had been working on his India trip for almost 6 months and is now running the campaign called #HelmetDaalo on Instagram and Facebook. The kind of response that he has received is very encouraging.
Before his India Ride, he wanted to do a small test ride to learn and see how people would respond to the campaign. He recently completed his test ride across Maharashtra and Gujarat where he traveled around 2500kms in a span of 5 days on 2012 Royal Enfield Thunderbird. He has taken notes and made changes to the India ride based on the experiences of this trip. The response he received was overwhelming. When cyclone Ochki was to hit Ahmedabad, he was riding on the highway and was completely drenched. The windblast was really strong and it became a huge task to keep the bike stable. There were Gujarat elections happening at the same time, and it became difficult to find rooms in small towns as they were occupied by the campaigners. However, he had his own share of small victories as well. Just before reaching Ahmedabad, he saw a bike with a helmetless rider and a pillion. He pulled up besides them, gave them a sticker, signaled them to start using a helmet for safety. After few kilometers, he realized they were chasing him. He slowed down to check the matter and they came next to him showing that the rider was now wearing a helmet, who was on the handlebar.
Another memorable instance was when a senior gentleman approached him on the road out of curiosity. He saw the Indian flag fluttering on his motorcycle and asked what was he doing. After a 10 minutes talk, the man called up his son and asked him to come outside the building. He took his son to the helmet shop just to buy new helmet and made a promise to never ride without a helmet. He took advice from a local rider in Bhuj and decided to skip the tourist spot of Rann of Kutch and traveled 120 kms into the unknown, only to discover an unexplored, untouched and the virgin white desert. He spent an hour there without a single sign of human existence for miles.
He is all set to ride across India in 45 days and cover close to 11,000 kms. His target is to meet at least 10,000 people during the trip. The idea is to reach out to more people and leave an impact in a more efficient way. He is also connecting with riding groups across the country and iconic bikers in each city so that all of us as a community can achieve the mission #HelmetDaalo. After his pilot ride and interaction with over 1000+ people, he has realized that the problem of careless riding is much bigger and needs a collective effort. He feels that more prominent personalities need to start talking about it and brands need to come forward to address the issue and we should all take it as our social responsibility.
Throttle Biking, being a firm supporter of Safe Biking supports this noble cause and wishes him good luck!