Karnataka

News headlines


The Hindu

Mangalore, Sep 10: He was mistaken for a spy and almost shot at by militants. Sneakers given to him by the Assam Rifles could have proved to be the undoing of his mission. Meet Somen Debnath (23), a resident of Basanti from Sunderbans of West Bengal, aspires to be a globetrotter, albeit with a difference and mission to boot. His mission is to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS and he is cycling around the globe for it.

 

Somen, a Science graduate set out on his mission two days after he completed his examinations on May 25, 2004. He has so far covered four countries including Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well as 15 States and two Union Territories.

Having covered nearly 44,200 km since he started out, Somen hopes to complete his world trip sometime in 2020 after covering 191 nations in the process. Despite the enormity of this challenge, Somen is unfazed.

Taking time off from his tiring journey, Somen interacting with select group of presspersons said he would proceed from Mangalore onwards to Goa and north India. "I intend to meet National Aids Control Organisation officials at Delhi sometime in December and present to them the various inputs that I have gathered about the disease during my tour. I also hope to get an audience with the Prime Minister and President."

He has so far covered 2,517 schools, 1,204 colleges, 28 universities, 46 red light areas and met more than 152 NGOs.

His tour has also seen Somen in the exalted company of 15 Governors and 13 Chief Ministers who have all given him time and helped him.


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