Coimbatore, March 27: With an aim to stress on women empowerment and literacy, three women embarked on a 70-day drive from Coimbatore to London on Sunday. During their 70-day journey, the three women will traverse through 24 countries and will cover a distance of 24,000 km. State municipal administration minister S P Velumani flagged off the mission while family members of the brave women, friends and well-wishers cheered and wished them luck to accomplish this task successfully.  The inter-continental road trip by car from Coimbatore city to London is aimed to promote literacy and woman empowerment.Also Read - Scotland Detects 6 Omicron COVID Variant Cases, UK Total at 9

The three women, 45-year old Meenakshi Arvind from Coimbatore, 55-year old Priya Rajpal from Mumbai and 38-year old Mookambika Rathinamfrom Pollachi started their journey at 11 AM from Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya in Coimbatore. The women are using a modified Tata Hexa, with security features and a facility to store additional fuel. The tour kick-started from Coimbatore on Sunday and the three women are scheduled to cover Myanmar, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Netherlands and United Kingdom during their 70-day mission. Also Read - Karnataka Seeks Travel Ban on Passengers Coming From Nations Hit By Omicron Covid Variant

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45-year old Meenakshi said though package tours are well-planned, there is something special about planning a trip on your own and doing things according to your convenience and pace.  “The 70 day-trip is in commemoration with 70 years of Independent India. We also want to send the message that India is much more than what it is perceived to be,” Meenakshi was quoted by TOI. (ALSO READ: NRI woman Bharulata Kamble completes record-breaking solo road-trip from UK to India).

 Meenakshi further said that they are a little nervous about Central Asia as support is mandatory in some countries. “We have taken a guide in China, military support in Myanmar and a guide in Kyrgyzstan. But there are a lot of challenges such as non-availability of diesel in Uzbekistan. But we have enough stocks and also spares to handle any situation”, Meenakshi said. Meenakshi’s 20-year-old daughter Vrinda was a last minute replacement for the ‘XPD 24-70’ mission as one woman Rukmani Sekhar backed out due to illness, PTI reported.

Mookambika, another woman accomplishing this task has left behind her eight-year-old daughter with her relatives. She said she would miss her daughter the most during the journey. She had begun working on her physical and mental stamina to brace herself for the trip months before the date of the tour. “We really cannot afford to fall sick as we have to cover a considerable amount of distance every day”, she said. Meanwhile, 55-year old Priya Rajpal from Mumbai said, “We are aware that this inter-country and inter-continental trip is ambitious but we are strong willed women. We have done extensive planning”.

The three strong-willed women thanked their families and friends for supporting them for this mission. They have planned to cover at least 500km every day and take rest at night during their 70-day journey. They also underwent training in basic car repairs like fixing the tyre so that they can fix any issue during their tour. It was reported that several city biking groups accompanied the women up to Erode and Puducherry.