A journey with a message par excellence.
By Suman Bajpai
Spreading the message against gender bias was what four women bikers of Surat’s Biking Queens Club set out to do along this 10,000-km journey over 10 nations.
Gone are the days when bikes were boys’ toys only, in fact, the women’s interest in two-wheeler riding has also grown to a greater extent. Whether it’s for adventure, freedom, self-confidence, or independence, women bikers are taking to motorcycles with an enhanced voracity.
Four women bikers – Dr Sarika Mehta, Dr Yugma Desai, Durriya Tapia and Khyati Desai – have completed a 10,000-km-long journey across 10 nations in July 2016. The team finished their road trip in 39 days. The ride was a part of the PM Modi’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. The countries they covered were Nepal, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore.
Anandiben Patel, then chief minister of Gujarat, flagged off the Biking Queens on their 10-nation tour on 4 June. It saw over 500 people wave chequered flags, and 15,000 bikers ride along them for 10 minutes. This gained the riders an entry in the Guinness Book of World Record for Most People Waving checkered flags.
The four women bikers went from nation to nation spreading the message “Save Girl Child”. They also educated people about issues such as female foeticide, girl child education, gender inequality and welfare and supportive measures for women’s empowerment.
Aim is to bring out hidden potential
Based out of Surat, Gujarat, the Biking Queens was founded by Dr Sarika Mehta in 2015. Dr Mehta was awarded the Mahila Ratna Award by the Gujarat government in 2015. Khyati Desai, who has one child, is the head of HR, lives in a joint family and rides a Harley Davidson in Surat. Durriya Tapia runs her own travel agency and has ridden nearly 30,000 km in her 20 years of biking. Yugma Desai, the unmarried babe of the team, is an architect and head interior designer who plays many sports and has participated in numerous biking expeditions across India.
This is one of those famous female riding groups that has made a significant impression in the women’s motorcycle riding groups in the nation. Sarika created this band of female riders to substantiate respect for the women biking and bring out the hidden potential of females in Surat. The group consists of 45 members who define their group in three words – viz. “Passion-Respect-Contribution”. The growing interest of ladies in biking led to the creation of Biking Queens. All the ladies from Surat who want to ride on two wheels