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Handicapped Indian goes globetrotting to spread message of safe driving

B V Narayan, who arrived in Kuwait on March 6 as part of his expedition to cover 25 countries, sits in the library of the Indian Embassy in Kuwait.
B V Narayan, who arrived in Kuwait on March 6 as part of his expedition to cover 25 countries, sits in the library of the Indian Embassy in Kuwait.

KUWAIT: In his handicap motorbike, Indian national B V Narayan set off from the city of Bangalore in February 2015 on a single-minded, globetrotting mission to create awareness about safe driving. An ex-cyclist and handicapped, he arrived in Kuwait from Bahrain on March 6 as part of his expedition to cover 25 countries.

“I want to tell all parents not to give two-wheelers to young children. Never use cell phones while driving and walking on roads. Never drink and drive ,” Narayan said, cautioning people about the common, but often ignored rules about road safety.
Sitting in the library of the Indian Embassy in Kuwait, he spoke to Kuwait Times briefly as to why he has undertaken the mission to go around the world on his motorbike. He also seeks to encourage the handicapped people not to get disheartened or feel helpless because they are physically challenged.

90,000 kilometers
As a young cyclist, Narayan set out on a cycle expedition across the world in 1980s in order to spread the message of road safety. Then he completed 59 countries covering around 90,000 kilometers in a bicycle that was designed by himself. “I undertook the journey in order to create awareness among youngsters about the importance of road safety so that we can help reduce the number of handicapped people in the world,” he said.

“During my first journey when I travelled across the world, things were much easier. There were not many problems in the world as we see today. I used to get visa within 15 minutes or maximum by a day. I could cover all the Gulf countries by road. Now, on a motorbike, I take more time because of visa restrictions,” he recalled. Then, Narayan visited most of the African and European countries, South American states, the United States and Canada.

Recalling his experience, Narayan said he himself became a minor handicapped after he was hit by a college student while he was walking on the road in Bangalore. He came to know that he became a victim of a reckless bike race organized by college students.

During the second expedition, Narayan covered almost all states of India by September 2015 and continued his next leg of the journey through the GCC states. “I have so far covered Dubai, Qatar, Saudi and Bahrain. Then I had to go back to India on some emergency,” he said. From India, Narayan went back to Bahrain and reached Kuwait. From Kuwait, Narayan plans to take a ferry to Iran as he is not permitted to travel through Iraq by road. From Iraq, he will visit Turkey and then to Europe on way to the US and Canada. On his return, he plans to cover African countries.

Narayan, a 10th grade dropout, got inspiration from his father, who was a mechanical engineer. He started designing special vehicle for the handicapped during his young age and used to support the handicapped people to become self-sufficient in travel.

Narayan also designed a unique wheelchair for the disabled which is fully equipped with a protection guard and alarm safety measures. It is self-propelled unlike usual wheelchairs. “In this wheelchair, the user can sleep, eat, read and even use a laptop,” he said.

Narayan is expected to get his visa to Iran in another one week’s time. In the meantime, he will be available for people or associations for consultations or holding sessions on road safety.

By Sajeev K Peter

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