Man bikes across US to raise funds for Indian kids
Biker Lauren Brown, 67, worked as a teacher in India from 1964 to 1967 while serving in the Peace Corps.
Washington: Age did not deter this 67-year-old American, who worked as a teacher in India for a couple of years, from undertaking a 3,831- mile bicycle tour across America to raise $ 14,500 for the education of children in India's rural areas.
Lauren Brown, who was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, taught Chemistry at the Methodist Rural School in Zahirabad in Andhra Pradesh's Medak district from 1964 to 1967 while serving in the Peace Corps in India.
Brown began his bicycle journey on April 26 from California and travelled 3,831 miles to reach Washington on August 9, during which he raised USD 14,500 (around Rs 6.67 lakh).
During his journey, Brown organised church programmes and charity functions as part of his efforts to raise funds for poor village children so that they can attend Methodist Schools in India.
Congresswoman Lois Capps from California, who received Brown at the end of his tiresome journey on Tuesday, said it was a privilege to meet with Lauren and honour the end of his "momentous journey".
"I commend his devotion and perseverance to raise funds and ensure more children in India have access to the foundation of a solid education," she said.
Brown began his adventure, inspired by an old friend from India AV Samuel, who taught agriculture, in the same school in Zahirabad, where the American served for some time.
Brown said several years ago, Samuel, who was born in a small farming village in Andhra Pradesh, had challenged his peers who tasted success early in their lives by obtaining an education in the Methodist schools, to donate money that would ensure the next generation to have a better future.
Brown accepted the challenge and decided to embark on a bicycle tour across the United States.
"For me it is an adventure and an adventure that has given special meaning to undertaking fund-raising efforts to help children in poor villages in India who wouldn't have the same opportunities," he said.
A post on Brown's website said he sees this as a humanitarian effort to help disadvantaged children in remote Indian villages to have the opportunity for a quality education in a peaceful environment.