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Bicentenary Special: Rickshaw Run 2015 in Guwahati


By Fr. Bivan Mukhim
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Guwahati, Apr. 18. A team comprising of four Americans, five Germans and one French citizen, is on a mission called ''Rickshaw Run 2015'' to spread the message of peace and harmony among the different ethnic groups of north east India and create awareness about the land, people, culture and beauty of the region, as well as  to build bridges across communities. The method by which they have planned to achieve their objective is mobilizing youth to challenge themselves and take up adventure activities. Through their ''Rickshaw Run'' they also raise awareness regarding challenges faced by deprived children and mobilize resources for their education. Their involvement with the Salesians of the North East has turned the event also into a part of the bicentenary celebrations of Don Bosco's birth.
With nothing more than motorized Rickshaws the team is set to drive more than 2700 kilometeres (1677 miles)through India in an epic journey. Their adventure mission got kick-started on 6 April in Jaisalmer, in the North Indian state of Rajasthan where a 10 member Catan Team set out on their trek across the beautiful and historic northern India. Travelling in four motorized rickshaws, the team has planned to drive for two weeks through Jaipur, Agra, Kanpur, Varanasi, Patna, Siliguri and Guwahati en route to its destination in Shillong.

The team entered Assam on 15 April and had a halt at Gossaigaon and proceed to Kokrajhar. On 16 April they visited some Don Bosco centres and interacted with the students who were being supported by ChildAid Network, Germany. On 17 April the team visited Damra, Boko, and Maligaon, and stayed at Don Bosco Institute, Kharghuli where there was a reception held for them. On 18 April the team was felicitated at Don Bosco School, Panbazar and left for the ''Scotland of the East'', Shillong. As they treked to Shillong, they were accompanied by thousands of young people on cycles and motor-cycles.

The Catan Rickshaw Run 2015 supports two great causes: ''Childaid Network'' and ''Cool Earth!'' Childaid Network is doing valuable work in the northeastern part of India, supporting projects for displaced children and street children, as well as setting up schools for children in need. The Plan of the Team is to visit the North East region and show some of the less-traveled areas of India, far from the usual tourist spots.

''The Catan Rickshaw Run'' is promoted by   CATAN , a board and electronic games concern. On their official website this what they have stated: ''Held three times a year, the Rickshaw Run is one of the last adventures you can find in the world. It has a starting point and a finishing line and how you do between is up to you. With nothing more than a motorized Rickshaw the teams try to drive more than 2.700 km through India.''
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