‘Rickshaw Run’, the adventure ride across India in auto-rickshaws, has resumed after an interval of two years caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest trip began from Fort Kochi in Kerala on Monday and was flagged off by the Fort Kochi councillor of the Kochi City Corporation Advocate Antony Kureethara. The destination is Shillong in Meghalaya.
Organised by the UK-based firm ‘The Adventurists’, 46 specially decorated auto-rickshaws are taking part in this edition and there are 120 riders, including several women, belonging to 18 countries. Each vehicle has two-three riders who take turns to drive.
Incidentally, no arrangements have been made for stay and halt along the route from Fort Kochi to Shillong and riders are expected to utilize public facilities. According to The Adventurists, the ride offers a great opportunity to explore rural India. After arriving in Shillong, the riders will fly back to their homes and another set of drivers will take over the auto-rickshaws for the trip back to Fort Kochi.
Before the start of the trip, the riders had camped at Fort Kochi for a week for the preparations. Each of the participants was given training in not only riding the auto-rickshaws, but also in basic repairs in order to rectify likely mechanical problems that could crop along the route. All riders had to possess an international driving licence and most of them were driving an auto-rickshaw for the first time.