Our supporters continue to go to amazing lengths to help us fight for children on the streets. For the first time this year a group of intrepid adventurers cycled across India to raise money for us – and the Ride India 2018 challenge was a huge success. Not only did everyone who took part conquer the heat, chaos and physical demands of the 450km bike ride, they got to visit one of our projects in Delhi and meet the children they were supporting first hand.
Mum of four Christina Frost was one of the 20 participants, who says she was inspired to take part after watching the movie Lion last year. She said: “I watched the story of what happened to little Saroo and saw the name of the charity as the credits rolled at the end. I just felt like I had to do something, I couldn’t bear it. I sat up at 3am in the morning googling how I could help and that’s when I saw the Ride India trip advertised.
‘What better way to celebrate my birthday’
“My dad, who died when I was eight, was from India and he would have been 80 this year while I’m about to turn 40 so it seemed like fate. What better way to remember him and celebrate my birthday at the same time as doing something to help.”
Christina, a full time policewoman working with domestic abuse cases, set about raising an impressive £4,500 in sponsorship as well as training for her epic adventure. She clocked up the miles on an exercise bike as well as around the streets of her Hemel Hempstead home – often with her husband and the kids alongside in the car.
She said: “I got myself to what I thought was a reasonable level of fitness but once we arrived in India I realised there were some seriously experienced cyclists and I probably wasn’t all that well prepared. Physically it was so hard but it was the heat I really struggled with.
Seeing the challenges children face first hand
“It was a massive challenge. But we went to one of the Railway Children projects first and the children there face immense challenges every day just to stay alive. Seeing first-hand what the children on the streets of Delhi go through made me realise that I just had to do whatever it took to get through it.”
The team visited a shelter where Railway Children cares for children who are found in and around the country’s stations. We give them food, clothing and a safe place to sleep away from the violence, abuse and exploitation they face on the streets. The cyclists had the chance to talk and play with the children, hear their stories and see how the charity is making a difference to their lives.
Christina said: “I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t a film set, that is was real. It was extremely moving. When we left, their lives carried on, with all the problems and issues they were facing. Some of the background stories of the children and how they got there were horrific - it really is a whole other world.
Impressed and inspired by the impact of project
“It was amazing to see the work in action and understand the impact it is having. At that station there was help there for the children through the Railway Children project but it’s frightening to think of all the other children at all the other stations where there isn’t a project like that.”
Now open for registration...
Ride India 2019 will take place in February 2019!Find out more