The two enthusiasts, Mr T. Srinivasa Rao and Mr R. Gnanasekaran, will undertake the world tour on a Maruti Gypsy King. The tour will conclude at the UN Headquarters in New York in December 2002.
The Minister of State for Finance, Mr Gingee N. Ramachandran, flagged them off in their Maruti Gypsy at a function here. Mr Jagdish Khattar, managing director,
Maruti Udyog Limited, was also present on the occasion.
Mr Rao and Mr Gnanasekaran have been using this route to spread the message of world peace and environment protection for the past 16 years. They have worked for these objectives as part of their campaign, ‘Mission Save Earth’.
The duo began their campaign in 1986 by travelling nearly 65,000 km across 38 countries on a bicycle. The second such endeavour was during 1990-93 when they covered 1.6 lakh km across 70 countries in a Maruti Gypsy.
This was followed by a tour covering 55,000 km during 1996-98 in a Maruti Zen. Finally, their fourth tour on a Maruti Gypsy concluded recently, during which they travelled 50,000 km.
Mr Rao and Mr Gnanasekaran are furthering their mission by interacting with a whole range of people, from world leaders and policy makers to students and youth organisations. During their earlier trips, they have met UN Secretaries General Javier Perez De Cueller, Dr Boutros Boutros Ghali and Mr Kofi Annan. They have also addressed thousands of students world-wide and motivated them to set up forums for environment protection.
“Environmental destruction in the past was small in scale with only a limited area of impact. With globalisation and spread of the consumer culture, the threat to the environment has increased manifold, thus increasing the role and importance of people-based initiatives like ours,” the duo said.