At a time when many university students are recovering from a well-earned break and preparing to return to their studies, two Regent’s University London compatriots have been experiencing a very different level of activity this summer.
MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics student, Antoine Soulard, and Jamie Chu, BA (Hons) Film Media & Performance undergraduate, have been driving from Cochin in southern India, to Jaisalmer in the north of the country, using only a rickshaw.
The unusual mode of transport, which is uniquely unsuited to the perilous 14-day, 2500km journey, is all part of a charity challenge titled ‘the Rickshaw Run,’ which Antoine and Jamie are embracing to raise funds for ‘Cool Earth,’ which helps indigenous people support their local rainforests.
Antoine explains: “The great thing about this journey is that we have been truly immersed in the local culture. When the rickshaw breaks down, which happens a lot, people come and help us and we get to talk with them and gain a better understanding of how India really works.
“We’re very pleased to be raising money for Cool Earth, and this is also a great personal challenge to see if we can actually make it.”
Jamie adds: “Cows have the right of way and they are everywhere - in the streets, fields, on sidewalks, and even sometimes lying down in front of cars. Our windshield wipers don’t do a very efficient job of getting rain off our window. In fact, they make the visibility even worse!
“The best part of this trip has been the very real cultural experience, away from what you might experience in the main tourist areas. The most challenging is how unpredictable it has all been. There seem to be no rules for driving in India and we have spent a lot of time fixing our rickshaw.”
You can read all about Antoine and Jamie’s adventures via the blog here.
To donate to their fundraising for Cool Earth, click here.
Picture caption:(Left to right):Regent’s University London students, Jamie Chu and Antoine Soulard with their rickshaw.