Go! Make a difference by cycling!

Go! Make a Difference (GO!MAD) is a four day fun and fundraising cycle trip from Bengaluru to Gudalur in the Nilgiris, kick starting on February 19th 2015. All one needs is a cycle, the ability to pedal 80 km every day and a big heart! The idea is not to win any race, but to enjoy the experience, soak up the local culture and raise much needed funds. All facilities from accommodation, food, support vehicles and medical help will be taken care of by the Gudalur family.

While the tour promises to be physically challenging, it will also offer participants a unique chance of experiencing and exploring rural India. The roads between Bangalore and Gudalur are blessed with stunning scenery and diverse cultures, but most seasoned travellers just whizz by at amazing speeds–too fast to see anything, let alone learn.

Pic credit: Varsha Yeshwant Kumar

This cycling trip is different. The route meanders through small villages off the beaten track. Participants will halt at villages, take in the views, chat with the locals, eat what they eat, sleep where they sleep and simply absorb the culture that surrounds them. The idea is not to win or lose a race, but to enjoy the experience.

Amatuer cyclists will have to do some training of course, and prepare to cycle about 80 km a day. Even for those who are not super fit or cycling buffs, the team has ways of making it easier for the less experienced.

Wonder what the trail holds? Watch this video that has glimpses from the previous editions of GO!MAD.

Cycle to make a difference

A maximum of 30 participants will be shortlisted for the Go!Mad Cycling tour. Each participant will need to commit to raise an amount of at least Rs.25,000 each.

Over the last three years GO!MAD has raised more than 2 million rupees through cyclists and sponsors. It starts on February 19th and will go on till the 22nd. The money raised will go towards support the ongoing livelihood interventions of Action for Community Organisation, Rehabilitation and Development (ACCORD) – www.adivasi.net, an NGO working with adivasis of the Nilgiris for the past 30 years.

Battling for advasi livelihoods

Go!Mad cycling tours is an initiative by ACCORD, an organisation born in 1985 out of the realisation that adivasis were being cheated and exploited, and might soon disappear off the face of the earth. Their vision is to help the adivasi community of the Gudalur Valley in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu to take control of their own lives.

However, a changing economy, puts at risk the gains achieved by the organisation in the field of healthcare and education over the years. With only meagre wage labour open to them, young adivasis are forced to migrate to towns and cities. This has led to a disintegration of their identity and culture. To counter this trend, ACCORD seeks to find new and innovative ways of combining traditional livelihoods, with modern technology and access to markets.

Inspired by their dedication to make a difference over the last 25 years, ACCORD strives to create opportunities for today’s youth to spearhead causes and be able to help make a difference to society. Realising that more and more young (and not so young!) people want to build a better society, ACCORD through GO!Mad creates an opportunity for them to be the change they want to see.

For more information on GO!MAD:

– Website: www.madcycletours.in

– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/go.madcycletours

– Contact Nishita Vasant on nishita@thesholatrust.org or +91 94803 22881.

About Nishita Vasant 1 Article

Nishita is a freelance consultant working with organisations that seek to make a difference in the world. She is based out of Kodaikanal.