Two people are on a mission to raise awareness for girls’ education in the rural areas of India. Sumeet Paringe, 26, and Prisiliya Madan, 22, from Panvel, Mumbai, are riding bamboo bicycles 4,400 km (about  2,700 miles) across 11 states in an effort to do this.

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The dynamic duo is hoping to raise Rs 50 lakh (around $74,000 USD) for the cause. The two cyclists have been on the road since July 14, and they’ve faced heavy rain in the coastal regions and intense heat. These conditions haven't deterred them from their goal, though. So far, they’ve managed to raise Rs 8 lakh (almost $12,000 USD).

"Education is a fundamental right according to our constitution, yet so many are deprived of it,” said Paringe. “In India, educational opportunities for girls from socially and economically disadvantaged communities are less. We are trying to support first-generation girls from underprivileged backgrounds with our campaign.”

The Education Policy and Data Center reports that 21.8 million girls are out of school in India, and these two riders want to decrease this number.

They both have solo long-distance riding experience, but this is the first time that the two have partnered for their journey on bamboo cycles. Paringe and Madan are hoping to complete the trip in 70 days.

"While passing through various cities, people get curious about our ride,” said Madan. “They ask us about our purpose and we share our vision with them.”

The two have also partnered with a Mumbai-based NGO, IIMPACT, an organization committed to educating and empowering young girls in rural communities, to help raise awareness for their cause.

"Our aim to create awareness among rural Indians on the benefits of educating a girl child and we hope to achieve our dream through this journey,” said CEO of IIMPACT Nirmala Tandon.

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Defeat Poverty

This Dynamic Duo Is Riding Bamboo Bikes for Girls’ Education

By Krista Watson