Clad in a blue T-shirt and denims, Harteij Bhartesh is on a mission to spread hope. Riding his Kawasaki Ninja 300, Bhartesh is on a mission to spread the word about how to overcome cancer. The message he has for everyone is - if he has managed to survive cancer, everyone can. The 26-year-old is riding solo across India and has covered 10 states, canvassing 13,000 kms.
Battling inclement weather and high temperatures, Bhartesh started his "Ride of Hope" on May 1 from Raipur. His primary aim is to create awareness among people, motivate them, and show them ways to emerge victorious in the fight against the disease. He draws inspiration from Terry Fox, a Canadian athelete whose leg had to be amputated following a bout with cancer. Fox started a campaign called "Marathon of Hope" to raise funds for cancer patients.
It was in 2013 that Bhartesh was diagnosed with last stage of Hodgkin's Lymphoma -- a type of blood cancer. A law student at Amity University in Noida, Bhartesh delayed his chemotherapy sessions for eight months, so as to complete his graduation. The treatment started in May 2014 and, Bhartesh recovered by December that year.
A resident of Rewa district in Madhya Pradesh, Bhartesh met hundreds of people during his journey of 117 days and received numerous compliments.
"I got a call from someone saying that I'm an asset to the country, so I must drive carefully. I need to cover a lot of distance further. Another message from a cancer survivor from Lahore which asked him to travel to Lahore and campaign there as well," he said smilingly.
Starting from Raipur, Bhartesh has travelled through Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh. He will end his journey in Raipur -- the place from where his journey began.
His constant companion on this long trail, the green coloured Ninja 300 has messages of hope plastered all over it, along with an emergency contact number of his brother-in-law and his blood group B+ve.
With an aim to cover all the 29 states, Bhartesh plans to ride across the country for another three months. "After the ride, I will be looking for a job. I will complete this solo trip but my aim to spread awareness will continue," he added.
He also plans to undertake a similar trip next year. "I won't reveal much now. I have to plan a lot, raise funds and start from a scratch."