Lucknow, Jan 1 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Congress leader Shahnawaz Mangal Azmi had thought about dropping out of the Bharat Jodo Yatra after suffering a muscle tear in the first week itself, but a phone call to his wife changed his course.
“I called my wife for her opinion, knowing well that she will be sympathetic to my situation. But her response was blunt, ‘Do not return home until the yatra is over.’ Though it came as a shock to me initially, her response strengthened my resolve to carry on despite difficulties,” Azmi told PTI.
And what was more intriguing, Azmi said, was that his wife had initially opposed the idea of him participating in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, citing the impact his absence will have on his business and education of their children.
“She even cried to stop me from joining the yatra. Finally, I was able to convince her though,” he said.
The Congress leader from Lucknow is one of the ‘Bharat Yatris’ who will walk the entire distance of the Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir yatra. There are 16 other ‘Bharat Yatris’ from Uttar Pradesh.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra, led by Rahul Gandhi, is currently on winter break and will resume on January 3. The foot march began in Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, has so far traversed more than 2,800 km through 10 states and will conclude in Kashmir this month.
The yatra will enter Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad on January 3 afternoon and make a night halt in Mavikala village in Baghpat. It will pass through Shamli in Uttar Pradesh on January 4 and enter Haryana though Sanauli in Panipat in the evening of January 5.
Narrating his experience, Azmi said after he suffered a muscle tear, his speed slowed.
“I would trail 3-4 km behind the main yatra, but would join other yatris by evening. Many local people would extend me help as I was walking with an injured leg with a temporary bandage,” he said.
Azmi, a secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, said he also faced problem with food in the southern states as they primarily use coconut oil. However, it improved once the yatra entered Telangana, he adds.
He described his experience as a “new discovery of India”. “Earlier, I used to think that I have travelled across India by visiting Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. But, after undertaking the yatra, I realised that our country is literally equivalent to the world,” he said. PTI NAV SMN SMN
This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.