Never before has such an prospect been thought of nor has such an attempt been made. Yet after 18 months of intense planning Mrs Bharulata Kamble, from Luton, will attempt to create a world record by becoming a first woman to drive solo from UK to India and will be the first woman in the world to drive solo through the Arctic Circle and Trans-continental journey combined.
Starting her journey on 30th July 2016 she will drive over 2,200 kilometres in the Arctic Circle (longest ever distance driven solo in the Arctic Circle), driving through 2 continents, 32 countries, covering a total distance of over 32,000 kilometres which will take approximately 75 days to complete, ending in October 2016.
The journey will entail driving through 9 time zones, 3 deserts and 9 mountain ranges. This would be the longest car journey done by a woman solo in shortest time involving the greatest number of countries and encountering most diverse driving conditions, time zones, language, and cultures. She plans to cover an average of 700 km every day, and 400 km per day in mountainous areas which includes a guideline of not driving at night.
She will head towards the Arctic Circle though many European countries and cities. From Rovaniemi in the Arctic Circle she will head to Nordkapp, the northernmost point of Europe. From Nordkapp she will drive to various prominent monuments in the Arctic Circle before heading East via Eastern Europe, Central Asia, East Asia and South East Asia towards India. Her journey relies on not using any other mode of transport for myself and for my vehicle at any point of journey, except the Channel Tunnel between UK and France. The record will be observed and recorded by the authorities of Guinness World Records in the United Kingdom using sophisticated GPS and other trackers.
As a British Asian of Indian heritage, she is passionate about promoting both the UK and India, particularly keen to celebrate the unique and special relationship that has been fostered between the UK and India over the generations. This she hopes will generate great interest from many sections of society and achieve the objective of celebrating the UK and India; the special ties between these nations and promoting the two countries worldwide through every country reached during the record attempt.
Through this challenge she will spreading the message of “Save Girls, Educate Girls” and promoting woman empowerment, which greatly affects the society, particularly in India. Any funds raised through the ‘world record attempt’ will be used to support two of her chosen cancer charities in UK, bring beneficial changes to ‘save the girl, educate the girl’ campaign, tribal girl’s education and to the provision of medical care to the poor and underprivileged in rural India.
For the trip Mrs Kamble has received messages of support including the Mayor of Luton who was present, Lords and MPs and charities across the UK. ‘I am inspired by your strength and courage to shoulder such a long journey.’ Lord Rana. Lord Bilimoria, ‘The UK’s relationship with India is exceptional and spans over 400 years. There is a huge amount of mutual respect between the two countries and the UK’s Indian diaspora helps cement the relationship of equals.’ The MP for Ealing Southall Mr Virendra Sharma said ‘Barulata states that this drive will be a small contribution from her as British of Indian origin in strengthening the goodwill, friendship and trade between UK and India. I agree that this initiative would become part of a wider generation UK-India initiative, and a prefect fit within UK’s wider collaboration with India’. The mayor of Luton, Cllr Tahir Khan said ‘As Mayor of Luton I am honoured that one of our Luton residents of British Indian Origin has taken on such a challenging task to contribute to humanity.’
We asked Mrs Kamble with safety in mind if she had any apprehensions about being alone, she insisted that nothing is a man’s domain and she believes is equal partnership for women. When asked what would be her motivation to help her get through, day by day, she said her mission as she has wanted to do it for such a long time, to empower girls from her village to succeed and raise awareness, who have had not status or identity with education being a big question mark.
Her advise for people planning a similar solo trip is simple, be bold, set a goal, work hard and get there. Nothing is impossible. Finally what happens to your car once its in India, how do you plan on getting it back? “I most probably has to come by ship after around 2-3 months after the trip, I won’t be seeing it for a couple of months at least. But there is to provision where you can keep your car in India for up to a year, ideally I would like to a round trip of India while meeting woman organisations and girls schools.”
Born in Navsari district of Gujarat, India, she is a mother of two. Her husband Dr Subodh Kamble, and their two sons also spoke about their total support behind Bharulata's mission.