The Wonder School in Pune and the Co-founder of an outdoor adventure company “Get Beyond Limits”, cyclist and entrepreneur Salwat Hamrah have formed a coalition to help look after children in need with their education and athletic aspirations.
The heroic and selfless Salwat Hamrah has undertaken a Pan-India cycling tour to raise money for talented unprivileged children in Pune. His exciting journey began from Kashmir, travelling to Kanyakumari fulfilling his mission in raising money for education and sports training for a group of high potential and talented minors coming from lower economic backgrounds. This journey was arranged as Salwat Hamrah tied hands with The Wonder School to help transform the lives of the children in Pune.
As the tarnishing and uncertainty determined no bright future from the pandemic, it left a number of students at The Wonder School and their parents hopeless, leaving them unaware of how the children would pursue their athletic dreams.
Soon after Salwat Hamrah became aware of the personal struggles that the underprivileged children faced at home, where some of the children’s families had been struck by the disadvantages of the pandemic as they had lost their jobs to taking positions that only offered minimum pay. Salwat Hamrah did not hesitate to announce that the funds from his trip would be dedicated and donated for the children's education and sports training. Despite the gratuitous and self-willing decision to begin this journey, Hamrah was in full belief that his mission was nothing out of the ordinary. As a matter of fact, he was pleased to be able to help the children.
The journey had led Salwat to successfully cycling 4,523 km and covering 10 Indian states and 2 Union Territories - Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, New Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Daman, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. His aim was to raise Rs 3,000 for every kilometre he completed which would later he would donate his entire proceeds to the college education, professional training, and sports equipment for these children.
Commenting on his adventure, Salwat says, “I just wanted to have fun and experience our country, its people, and cultures in a whole new light. I have always loved to test my endurance. So, I decided to cycle from Kashmir to Kanyakumari through the west coast. The whole adventure carried on a whole new meaning when I took the responsibility to raise funds for the education of very talented underprivileged children at The Wonder School, Pune”.
Hope Monk - K2K is a cycling expedition undertaken by Salwat Hamrah, an entrepreneur from Srinagar and co-founder of Bangalore-based outdoor adventure company 'Get Beyond Limits.' He is a yoga teacher and an endurance athlete who passionately believes that cycling is key to ensuring a life of sustainability, abundance, and excellence. His objective behind 'Hope Monk - K2K' is to live the pure joy of cycling while pushing his mental and physical limits and giving back to society.
As Salwat started his deed, he was unaware of the sudden tackle that would be caused by the second wave of the pandemic. During the last week of March, Hamrah was determined to continue with his mission as cities that he had crossed such as Gujarat had begun to imply their measures. Although the initiative and the plan were set to help the children, Salwat’s determination was often challenged due to the pandemic. As he reached Kolhapur, it was informed that he had Covid symptoms which led him to be tested positive. Till this point in time, Salwat has already successfully achieved covering over 2,500 km.
Aside from catching Covid, Salwat was forced to undertake physiotherapy after not being able to walk, leaving him to limp on the very first day as he had travelled through a tough mountainous area in Banihal.
Although the barriers and restrictions didn’t create the smoothest journey for Salwat, he still managed to fulfill his incredible and self-fulfilling journey, the Hope Monk K2K journey is far from passing the finish line as donations are still encouraged to help reach the Rs 20 lakhs mark.
As the journey concluded, one must appreciate those who supported this act of kindness and joined Salwat on the fabulous and inspirational cross country journey as he has tested his own boundaries, overcame injuries, and tackled Covid to help support the future of the children’s lives and the future of the next major athletes in India.
Salwat embarked on the cycle expedition from Kashmir to Kanyakumari on March 1st. This journey was his first one. He says it was intended “to push his mental and physical limits”.
As soon as this cycling enthusiast started his adventure, he did not fathom that the second wave of the pandemic would rage suddenly. However, as Salwat approached Gujarat in the last week of March, the cyclist realised that Covid-19 would grow as major cities in Gujarat had begun Covid control measures. Determined to continue with his mission, Salwat peddled on.
“ When I reached Pune, Covid cases were rising exponentially and there was a weekend lockdown in Pune. We had planned a media interaction and I also wanted to spend some time with the children. However, I had to cancel that plan and carry on with the journey” says Salwat.
In Maharashtra’s Kolhapur, Salwat had symptoms and he decided to take a pause in Goa and planned to cycle further. However, he tested positive for Covid-19. Unwillingly, he suspended the expedition mid-way. However, Hamrah had already covered 2500 km and got valuable experience.
Commenting on the starting of his expedition, Salwat narrates another experience calling it ‘magical’ and ‘miraculous’. He says on the very first day of his expedition he had to travel to Banihal from Srinagar, a 110-km distance. However, cycling was tough due to the mountainous area. “After a 25 kilometers of a steep road, my knees were in pain. As soon as I reached Banihal, I could not cycle. I was limping and visited a physician. I underwent physiotherapy and got medicines but pain persisted. I received a call from my friend who is a Reiki master and she offered to help with Reiki. This help at that point in time was quite welcome. I decided to give it a try and we connected with each other on a video call in the evening. The next morning, my knee pain disappeared,” said Salwat.