Awareness: A four-women biking group called the Biking Queens, arrived in Thimphu yesterday.

Based in Surat in Gujarat, India, the group is on a 10-nation tour in which they will cover over 10,000km to promote awareness on education for girls in the South East Asian countries.

As a part of their campaign: “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” the four bikers set out on a bike journey of 10 countries: India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

Riding their KMT 390 bikes, the Biking Queens will visit six dzongkhags in the country. At the same time the group will also visit a few monasteries and meet up with some of the NGOs in the country to highlight the importance of education for girls and women empowerment.

The founder of the group, Dr Sarika Mehta said that the bike ride is a medium to spread the social message of the government’s campaign of saving and promoting education for girls.

“Women are already empowered but because of the societal pressures in many countries, women fail to come out of their comfort zone,” said Dr Sarika Mehta, who is also a keen mountaineer. “Biking is a men dominated area but if we have a passion for it, even we women can do it. If women come out of their comfort zones, they can work wonders.”

She added that different people will have different passions. “Our passion is to bike and this campaign gives a meaning to our passion.”

The journey started from Surat on June 4 where over 15,000 riders accompanied the group for some 50km during the flag off.

The group will ride towards Trongsa today.

Younten Tshedup