From Delhi-Drass: Cycle Expedition as a tribute to brave hearts of Kargil War

To commemorate the brave martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice during Kargil War, the cyclists covered 1600 km in 24 days, and the expedition culminated at Kargil War Memorial in Drass on July 26. 

From Delhi-Drass: Cycle Expedition as a tribute to brave hearts of Kargil War
During the expedition, the cyclists interacted with school students’ enroute and helped them to act as a beacon to channelize the immeasurable enthusiasm and zeal of the future leaders of the country.  

The team of 20 soldiers and air warriors led by two lady officers of Army and Air Force completed their cycling expedition from Delhi to Drass. 

To commemorate the brave martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice during Kargil War, the cyclists covered 1600 km in 24 days, and the expedition culminated at Kargil War Memorial in Drass on July 26. 

The expedition was flagged off jointly by LT Gen MU Nair, Signal Officer-in-Chief & Senior Colonel Commandant, Corps of Signals and Air Marshal R Radhish, Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command from National War Memorial, New Delhi. The rally entered Ladakh via Rohtang Pass on July 12.

More about the two lady officers who led the expedition

According to Major Srishti Sharma, “This expedition has been a lifetime experience. From understanding the changes and challenges of the terrain and weather, to interacting with children and ex-servicemen and sharing views on the Armed Forces, I have made the best of the memories to cherish. Who would have thought that cycling can actually be so much fun!”

She is of the Corps of Signals and a second-generation officer. For her contribution in various technical based intelligence operations, she has been awarded the Chief of Integrated Staff Commendation Cardin 2019. Maj Sharma posted in Delhi, was awarded the Vice Chief of Air Staff Commendation Cardin 2021 for her contribution in air defence communication aspects during National events like Republic Day and Independence Day. 

From the Indian Air Force (IAF) in her 10 years of service, Squadron Leader Maneka has served as the Logistics Officer in Bidar, Gwalior and Devlali.

“It is rightly said that the best view comes after the hardest climb… We as a team have felt it strongly during our challenging cycle journey to Drass. And I strongly believe that travelling by cycle gives one a great sense of place and a realistic perspective of how this world fits together,” says Sqn Ldr Maneka.

She is serving in Air Force Station Kalaikunda, and for exceptional handling of various issues related to logistics at Gwalior Air Force Station, she was awarded the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Central Air Command Commendation Cardin 2016.

What was the aim of the expedition?

During the expedition, the cyclists interacted with school students’ enroute and helped them to act as a beacon to channelize the immeasurable enthusiasm and zeal of the future leaders of the country.  

They went through Punjab before entering Himachal Pradesh and faced many challenges against different terrain and scarcity of oxygen as they moved towards Ladakh. They were flagged in at Drass by Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi AVSM, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command.

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