They already crossed 25 states over 125 days. They wanted to cover all the 28 states spanning a distance over 25,000+ km. Recently, Soreng and Nair visited Vijayawada and held talks with panchayatraj and rural development commissioner Kona Sasidhar.
Speaking to TOI, Soreng said Covid-19 has adversely affected the travel and tourism industry. “This industry contributes nearly 13% of the total workforce and an equivalent contribution to GDP was brought to its knees,” said Soreng. He said the worst-affected were drivers, guides, porters and from related craft sectors, artisans, weavers and others. Many of them are now in deep debt, he said. He said that they initially tried to help the victims in their personal way. But soon found that it was not enough.
“So, we decided on an All-India road trip. This is our way to celebrate the 75th year of Indian independence, and in the process bring focus back on tourism in India with ‘Dekho Apna Desh’, and most importantly, create awareness and raise funds for those in tourism and craft sectors,” said Soreng. This trip is an initiative by Rustik Travel in association with India Tourism Bengaluru, the Union Ministry of Tourism.
Starting on October, 2, 2021, the duo travelled many states and recorded the stories of many people including victims of Covid and enthusiastic travelers. “We have been touching different places, exploring and discovering lesser-known places, craft clusters, lesser-known national heroes and recording the stories, destinations and experiences of India,” said Nair.