Kolkata rickshaw-puller pedals his way to Ladakh

A rickshaw-puller from the city pedalled for two months and covered a 3,000-km arduous journey to reach distant Ladakh valley to become the first man to achieve the feat.

After riding his rickshaw for 68 days through Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Srinagar and Kargil, 44-year-old Satyen Das said he had crossed the famous Khardung La pass in Ladakh on August 17.

He returned home a few days ago and is now eyeing an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for plying rickshaw at an altitude above of 5000 metres. His trip was financed by the Naktala Agrani Club in south Kolkata.

The secretary of the club, Patho Dey, said, “We estimated that the trip would cost around Rs 80,000 which we raised from among club members. We were impressed by his passion and determination to undertake the adventure.”

“After I crossed Pathankot in Jammu and Kashmir, locals told me that they had never seen a rickshaw in their village,” Das said.

He said his journey was meant to promote rickshaw as a means of eco-friendly transport as well as to spread the message of world peace.

To record the feat, a documentary filmmaker from Kolkata accompanied him. He was also armed with maps to help him pick his way through.

This is not the first time Das undertook such a journey. Way back in 2008 he had gone all the way to Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh in a rickshaw with his wife and daughter.