For Mumbaikar Bhagyashree Sawant, the passion for running was deep rooted in her as a marathon runner. But fate had something else planned for her, which led to a tragic state of affair. One fine day after a knee injury and subsequent surgery, the doctors declare Sawant might not be able to run ever again!
This is exactly how Sawant’s life panned out at some point. She was strictly prohibited from running. She was down and out. In a situation where many would have lost hope and quit, Bhagyashree refused to give up, and what followed next is something commoners like you and I can only dream of.
No, she did not continue running and become a world champion like they would showcase in movies. But instead, she started cycling.
“I just couldn’t give up and made up my mind to step out of the box and do what I wanted to do. I realised that the doctor had said I wasn’t fit to run but he had never said I couldn’t cycle,” Bhagyashree had said in a chat ina an earlier report.
And once she made up her mind to start cycling, there was no stopping her.
Bhagyashree Sawant with Guiness World Record certificate (Source: Facebook)
The historical journey
Back in 2017, a 26 year old Bhagyashree along with her colleague MJ Pawan decided to cycle across the country while spreading awareness regarding polio eradication, literacy and Swachch Bharat. Starting their journey in October 2017, the duo cycled a total of 19.400.83kms across India and set a new Guinness World Record.
Also read: The Indian Cycling Star: C. Rameshwori Devi
The duo started their journey from the northern state of Himachal Pradesh on 2nd October 2017 and ended it at Bengaluru in April 2018. During their six month journey they covered the states of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa and Karnataka. Besides, they also covered the union territories of Chandigarh, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
The journey wasn’t easy by any means as they would later reveal. The duo had to cycle for almost two weeks without a support vehicle after their vehicle broke down. Besides, they had to deal with a minimum of three to four punctures per day. But they didn’t give up and finished what they had set out for.
One would think completing the journey would have been the hardest part for the duo, but just that it wasn’t! The most arduous task was yet to come.
After completing their journey in April 2018, Bhagyashree and Pawan had to wait until February 2019 to be officially recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The verification process took very long as they had to provide the authorities with a lot of relevant documents to be recognised. By the time, Guinness acknowledged as the World Record holders, almost 10 months after they completed their journey, they had submitted almost 2000 pages of documents as evidence.
Bhagyashree Sawant (Source: Facebook)
Immense will power
The journey to the top wasn’t easy for the duo, especially for Bhagyashree. For someone who was once told by the doctors she could never run again, she is now a Guinness World Record holder for cycling and is now training to compete in the Ironman Triathlon.
The 29-year-old Bhagyashree Sawant continues to be a testament to the fact that no matter how bad the circumstances in your lives are, a strong determination and will-power is all you need to overcome them.