Shillong: In a unique way to promote sustainable development and bring social entrepreneurs and organic farmers in Northeast India to work together, Worldview Impact Foundation has started a unique initiative called ‘Ride East’.
Ride East is a cross-country motorcycle ride that will promote the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Northeast India and northwest Myanmar while commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the start of World War II in 1939.
The initiative is bringing bikers from across the world and also from within the country to ride across Northeast Indian to create a change. The 10-day ride kicked off on October 15 and will end on October 24.
Ride East has 10 riders riding for 1,000 miles to raise funds and awareness to build an Eco Village Hub in Spring Valley Farm and to train organic farmers in Ri Bhoi, Meghalaya.
The project was flagged off by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma, who also handed out the ‘Sustainable Development Goals band’ to the riders during the flag-off in Shillong on Tuesday.
While speaking with EastMojo, Sangma said: “The idea is to create awareness and we have riders participating in this from different walks of life. I thank Bremley [Lyngdoh] and his team, and all the people participating in it and who have taken their time out to show their concern for the Sustainable Development Goals and more importantly for the Meghalaya and Northeast region.”
When asked if such projects would have an impact, the CM said, “Everything is a contribution to a goal that is being done. People have different ways of contributing; some are working with the farmers while some are creating awareness, whereas some are working with food processing and many ways. And this project carried out by Worldview Impact Foundation, will connect with farmers and also raise awareness. When stakeholders like the government ahead of the state is involved, people like them who have seen the world and seen programmes going on in the world are involved, and I’m sure that people with light minded coming together there will be a positive outcome, I am not saying that it will change everything. I am here to encourage them and let them know that we appreciate their concern and efforts.”
The 10 bikers will follow a 1,000-mile route riding on Royal Enfield bikes for 10 days. During each stop of the ride, they will map and relive WWII history connecting Northeast India to northwest Myanmar along the Stilwell Road all the way to the Lake of No Return on the India-Myanmar border south of Pangsau.
Ride East bikers will identify and map social entrepreneurs and organic farmers along the route who have made a difference in their communities. Besides fund raising, the mission of Ride East is to promote the 17 Global Goals in Northeast India. Green Route and Spring Valley Farm in Shillong are the two local partners of Ride East project.
Meanwhile, speaking with the main person behind Ride East, Bremley Lyngdoh, CEO and Founder of Worldview Impact Foundation, said that this project was conceptualised with friends and partners in the state.
“As entrepreneurs wanted to do something creative, so we came up with Ride East. Replicating Che Guevera motorcycle dairies, we decided to follow suit but with an impact through Northeast India. Ride East is about building a community on wheels of social environmental entrepreneurs from around the world to explore Northeast India on a bike and raise money to help fellow entrepreneurs from the Northeast. So each rider can be a mentor for a farmer or a young woman in a small village in Meghalaya, Assam or any Northeast states. We have eight riders from overseas like Estonia, Slovakia, Brazil, UK and Spain and three local riders from India participating in this project,” said Lyngdoh.
“I want to set a beacon of hope from our state and bring people from Northeast together because we have to look at the regional level and work for entire Northeast, not just for the Khasis or other Northeast tribes,” added Lyngdoh.