Lonely teenager cycles through India with ‘Save Soil’ message

Sahil Jha, 17, cycled across India to raise awareness of the ‘Save Soil’ movement. Starting from Kolkata (West Bengal), he traveled through eight states (West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka) before joining Canacona in Goa.

Sahil Jha with the Margao cycling club.

Inspired by the books and the Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev who started the “Save Soil” movement across the world, 17-year-old Sahil Jha cycled across India to spread the same message and end hunger crises. Leaving from Kolkata (West Bengal), he traveled through eight states (West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka) before joining Canacona in Goa. Currently in Margao, Sahil will travel to Vasco, Panaji and Mapusa before entering his 10th state – Maharashtra and his journey through the 28 states of India will take another 18 months.

Two cycling clubs in Margao, “Xaxti Riders” and “Propedalerz”, welcomed Sahil to the heritage building of the municipality of Margao on Monday and about 25 cyclists accompanied him for a bike ride to Colva beach and back. “We organized this special ride to welcome this enterprising teenager and encourage him in his efforts,” said a member of Xaxti Riders.

Speaking to The Goan about this lonely road trip he aims to complete in two years, the teenager shared that it has been almost five months since he left home and family in Kolkata, and that he had been alone all this time. Greeted by people, politicians, social clubs and NGOs everywhere he travels, Sahil talks about his mission and the importance of saving soils and stopping hunger crises.

“I have spoken in over 130 educational institutions, met YouTubers, influencers and participated in several events, including some with the police, municipalities, hospitals and all kinds of people in society,” Sahil said. who met with the Governors of three United States, Kerala, Odisha and Karnataka, and the Ministers of Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Revenue, IT and Science and Technology.

Carrying a few gadgets like a laptop, cell phone, gopro and power bank apart from the clothes, Sahil, a wanderer with a mission, admits he can sleep anywhere, eat whatever is available and start his journey the next morning with a refreshing smile. Coming from a common family background, this boy from Madhubani in Bihar now settled in Kolkata loves to read books and autobiographies which ultimately inspired him to embark on this journey. “Alchemist, Wings of Fire, Death – An inside story, 1984, Animal Farm are some of the books I’m fond of,” says the teenager. Calling it the most memorable moment of his life, Sahil recalls how, at the Isha Yoga Center in Coimbatore, he met Sadhguru, the author of “Death”.

“Wanting to spread awareness of Sadhguru’s ‘Save Soil’ movement, I started cycling on the 1st of May this year, shortly after my SSC board exams. I was only sixteen at the time. My parents didn’t learned of my mission only after I left home on my bike that day and did not return in the evening. First they were anxious and did not approve of my idea of ​​cycling alone through different states, but I managed to convince them of my desire and the real need for such a campaign. And let me tell you, now they are more than happy to support my goal. I keep them informed of my journey and my daily safety,” said Sahil, who receives support from Isha volunteers for food and accommodation.

“Sometimes, through social media, locals contact me and help me make this long trip possible,” says a grateful Sahil who plans to attend an event in Vasco municipality and meet the chief minister Pramod Sawant on his journey through Goa.

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