Four women gear up for a road trip to London to spread awareness
What would you carry along if you were heading out on a 70-day road trip spanning 24 nations? Meenakshi Arvind and fellow car-mates on the XPD 2470 might have just the answer for you.
Challenging stereotypes about an all-women pack taking on the road together, this four-member team is on an international literacy mission backed by the Rotary to ‘Educate and Empower’. “It saddens me to see the way India is portrayed to the world. We still continue to be thought of as a country of poverty, slums and cattle. It is time we take a stand to change these perceptions,” says 45-year-old Meenakshi Arvind, who is also a textile owner.
Spanning eight time zones, 24 countries and 24,000 km, the 70-day trip will also commemorate the 70th year of Independence. Being flagged off on March 27 by Kiran Bedi, the governor of Puducherry, from SNR ground. Meenakshi will be accompanied by Mookambika Rathinam (33) from Pollachi, Priya Rajpal (55) from Mumbai and city-based Rukmani V (49) in a TATA Hexa.
While her love for the road comes as no surprise given her family ties to ace-racer Narain Karthikeyan, Meenakshi admits that previous experiences on the road always come in handy.With the trip budgeted at Rs 60 lakh, the group has armed themselves with knowledge on how to fix glitches and change flats to save themselves major car troubles and expenses.
En route, the group will honour women achievers including Kiran Bedi, singer Usha Uthup and Olympian Mary Kom. On finishing the mission at the Indian High commission in London, the team hopes to meet Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, before heading back.
So back to the question, what would you take along on such a roadtrip? Pat comes Meenakshi’s answer, “Wiper blades and an extra set of wheels.”