Suffolk couple to drive across India in three-wheeler to raise money for aid organisation
PUBLISHED: 11:30 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:30 19 June 2019
A Suffolk couple are getting ready for the "adventure of a lifetime" which will see them drive 3,500 miles in 21 days across India - in a Morgan three-wheeler.
Alan Braithwaite and wife Pat, from Monks Eleigh, near Sudbury, will take part in the 'Trans-India Challenge' in November, with the aim of raising £200,000 for Indian aid organisation Goonj.
Starting from Mumbai, Alan and Pat will head across central India via Hyderabad and travel up the east coast to Kolkata, before heading north to New Delhi and returning to Mumbai via Jaipur and Ahmedabad. The couple's target is 160 miles per day on challenging Indian roads.
The custom-built Morgan will be shipped to India in August ahead of the early November start date, and a documentary about the trip is also planned for release in 2020.
Alan, 73, a retired businessman, said: "For us, this is the adventure of a lifetime. We love India and have historical family connections with the country.
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"The car is very special - we've painted it black and yellow in honour of my father who always said he wanted a black and yellow Bristol motor car. "His dream never came true, so I've painted the Morgan in this striking colour scheme in his memory."
The couple's fundraising will support Goonj - a Delhi-based non-governmental organisation with a 'circular economy' model which uses recycled urban discard to boost rural communities.
A portion of the money will also be used to fund peer-reviewed academic research to examine the benefits of the circular economy and social regeneration models established by Goonj.
"As a logistics and supply chain specialist myself, I am particularly impressed by Goonj and its unique business model of shipping discard from urban centres out to rural communities where it's recycled and put to good use," Alan added.
"I'm impressed that they eschew charity in favour of empowering communities to help themselves with dignity and respect. It's a revolution in aid and social regeneration and I want to tell the world about it."
Along the way, the couple will visit Goonj projects where communities have worked to improve the local environment, sanitation, schools or economies, often using re-cycled textiles or other items discarded by their urban neighbours.
Daily reports and videos on the couple's progress will be posted each day on their social media channels.