An NRI living in Abu Dhabi for the past 24 years, 51-year-old Sangeetha Sridhar, an eGovernment Consultant by profession has taken it upon herself to make India clean in her own unique way. Nestled in a not-so-comfy car that doubles up as her home at night, complete with a small wardrobe and food, Sangeetha embarked on a challenging journey last year.
Stopping over for just a day in Hyderabad before heading to Vijayawada, Sangeetha opens up about her mission. “I have been associated with technology for long enough to see how it can be beneficial. And while I have been strategising for the development of Abu Dhabi for long now, it was my father who encouraged me to take up this mission to help my own country,” says Sangeetha, adding, “Since flagging off on August 12 from the Gateway of India in Mumbai, I have traversed 39,500 km and after visiting 270 cities and thousands of villages across India, I am finally in Hyderabad. The city was always on my must-visit list as it is a technology capital but I am really impressed with the way the city’s police team has been using technology for women and child protection.”
The Coimbatore-born Sangeetha explains that she is auditing the status of public toilets and uploading the data on a mobile app to keep track of it. Elaborating on her grueling journey, Sangeetha says, “I drive for about 8-12 hours a day and at night I rest in the car itself. Sometimes, finding a proper parking place becomes difficult. Also I am travelling on a tight budget, so it does get a little difficult at times. As of now, I have not faced any difficulty in travelling alone as a woman.”
Interestingly, Sangeetha’s road trip has thrown up some intriguing figures. She has done 200 plus public toilet audits, visited 58 Make In India industries, crossed 10 high mountain passes, crossed the top 8 bridges of India and visited 24 Indian border posts as well! “I am very fond of Gandhian principles, and as 2018 marked the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, I took it upon myself to spread his message of clean and safe India,” shares Sangeetha, who adds that she has visited as many places as possible related to Gandhiji.
“I also took out time to visit heritage sites across India. In Hyderabad, I am visiting Charminar and Golconda Fort before going to Ramoji Film City. Over the next couple of months, I will visit the other parts of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra,” she concludes, before heading off to find a place to bathe and hit the road again....