The 2nd edition of the most successful endurance event of the country, Gumball India, organised by InCarNation Sports, culminated its journey on Wednesday at Kaho in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Gumball India 2021 started its journey this year from Koteshwar in the Kutch district of Gujarat on December 24.
The 16 participating teams faced a tough 4,000 km non-stop drive to be a finisher in this year’s event.
Drivers from various cities including Guwahati, Kolkata, Delhi, Jammu, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kochi participated in this year’s event.
The event was part of ‘Aazadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ – the celebration of India’s 75 years of Independence under an initiative by Arunachal Pradesh Tourism to promote domestic tourism in the state.
To encourage more inclusiveness, the organisers, InCarNation Sports, also tied up with Padma Shri Deepa Malik’s NGO Wheeling Happiness, which provided free entry to two teams of specially-abled drivers.
Padma Shri Deepa Malik is the first Indian woman to win a medal in Paralympics Games and through her NGO Wheeling Happiness is working with people with disabilities for universal inclusion, awareness & disability rights.
Speaking on the event, Deepa Malik, founder of Wheeling Happiness and the president of Indian Paralympic Committee said: “When I started participating in car rallies, I was the first & only paraplegic woman to do so.
“I’m so happy to promote the same passion for adventure & motorsports among people with disabilities through my foundation Wheeling Happiness to break stereotypes,” said Malik.
“I feel so elated that so many people with disabilities have come forward to explore driving and adventure.
I want everyone to live their passion and believe in their abilities beyond disability,” Malik said.
“We are very proud of our continued association with Gumball India. This is the second year in a row that Wheeling Happiness Foundation has fielded the entries of drivers with disabilities for this adventurous endurance drive competition across India.”
This time, a differently-abled woman participant, Saumya Davar undertook this challenging endurance drive; and the second team was led by Joginder, who was a passionate driver before his injury and with our support returned to the roads for the first time since becoming a paraplegic.
“It was also very exciting that our team of Digvijay & Prashant from the first edition returned once again for Gumball 2021,” malik added.
In the 2nd edition of Gumball India, this year, the participants drove through more than 4000 km, virtually non-stop and reached the finishing point.
The teams navigated through fifteen secret checkpoints along the way that was revealed to them at the start of the event.
Participants were free to take any route they wanted but they had to check-in at all the intermediate checkpoints.
Speaking of the event, Sudev Barar, core organiser of the event said: “We are glad to end Gumball India on a high note this year. This is the 2nd edition of Gumball India and it was a huge success this year.”
“Every team gave their best and drove across cities and places of historical significance in the most challenging, adrenaline pumping and intense endurance sport of our nation,” he added.
Speaking of the event, one of the participants said: “Deciding to join the Gumball India challenge this year is one of the best things I did in my life. It was a great experience to drive through secret check points and places of historic significance.”
Places of historic significance that were covered during the drive include 1. Lakhpat; 2. Dholavira; 3. Chittorgarh;
4. Udaipur; 5. Jhansi; 6. Chunar; 7. Varanasi; 8. Chapra; 9. Guwahati and 10. Tezu.
It was a real endurance test with 82 hours of non-stop driving through Rann of Kutch, Aravalli Hills, historical monuments of Madhya Pradesh, plains of Bihar and Assam.
The event culminated with the Indian flag hoisting ceremony at Kaho village in Arunachal Pradesh and with the singing of the national anthem by the Indian Army.
The winners of this year’s event in the general category are:
1st – Team KARM 2.0: Kushagrr Agarwal and Rajatesh Maji from Noida
2nd – Team Defenders: Ashish Budhiya and Rohit Kashyap from Ranchi
3rd – Team Urban Nomads: Aditya Sharma and Alok Mishra from Delhi
The specially-abled winners of this year’s event are:
1st – Team Able Warriors: Prashant Gaukar and Digvijay Singh from Nagpur and Haridwar
2nd – Team Ace: Joginder Singh and Yashwardhan from Hyderabad and Jamshedpur
3rd – Team Living Life on Wheels: Somya Davar and Shivam Saluja – Delhi and Jaipur
The prize distribution was held at Golden Pagoda in Namsai with district commissioner RK Sharma and superintendent of police Dr. D. W Thungon handing out the trophies to the winners.
Last year the event started from Kanyakumari. The next edition of Gumball India will be back in 2022 with a more difficult endurance challenge. adventures and adrenaline rush.