A Childhood incident lead him to long world tour Journey. Somen Debnath a resident of the village of Basanti, which is located in Sundarbans, West Bengal. It is well-known that Sundarbans is a great mangrove forest and the largest tiger reserve in India.
In his childhood he heard a story that One Person who Got Effected with HIV/AIDS. and People in that village made him to go away from village and that person alone died in the forest. That Incident made him Awful. With that He thought to make an Awareness in People about HIV/AIDS.
More details on the journey so far undertaken and experienced by Mr. Somen Debnath are in the attached Annexure.
Embassy of India, Argentina would appreciate any possible assistance and cooperation extended to facilitate the success of Mr. Somen’s tour of Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 18, 2016
PROFILE OF MR. SOMEN DEBNATH, INDIAN NATION ON WORLD BICYCLE TOUR
126 countries (including Argentina) and completed 137,900 kilometers on his bike trip in India and internationally.
So In the Year 2004 Mr. Somen Debnath, started a “ World Bicycle Tour for HIV/AIDS Awareness Programme & Presentation of Indian Culture”, which started on 27th of May 2004, just two days after he acquired Bachelor degree in Zoology from the University of Calcutta. he also completed ‘Visarad’ in Fine Arts from the Sarbabhartiya University. And his goal is to cover 191 countries until 2020. And till now he travelled 200.000km in whole world and reaching nearly 20 million people around 118.000km.
So far, he has traveled through 126 countries (including Argentina) and completed 137,900 kilometers on his bike trip in India and internationally.
The details are as follows: –
2004-2006: 28 States and five Union Territories of India
2006-2009: 22 countries in Asia.
2009-2012: 45 countries in Europe, including the North Pole and Greenland.
2012 and 2015: Africa and the Middle East (60 countries) 60 made Morocco to Mauritania
2016-2017: North and South America, including the South Pole
2018: Canada, Russia, Siberia, Mongolia and China.
2019: Korea, Japan, Philippines, New Zealand and Australia
2020: Sumatra, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and then return to India on May 27, 2020.
Inspiration: He was inspired to this mission at the age of 14 when he read the article entitled “AIDS is more deadly than cancer”. The person referred to in the said article was homeless and was sitting in front of the Medical College of Calcutta, abandoned by its inhabitants and left to die alone. The article had a great impact on him and then he began to ask his teachers at school about HIV / AIDS, but they could not give him any satisfactory answer. As a result, two years later, Mr. Somen decided to get specialized training in WBSACS (Society of West Bengal State AIDS Control) and started an awareness campaign on HIV / AIDS, education from his own school. The AIDS-related stigma and lack of awareness about this deadly but preventable disease motivated him more. His first mission was extended to the people of his village, then in India and is now a global campaign for him.
Strategy: To educate people from different parts of society by raising awareness among students in schools, colleges, universities, and also encourage these institutions to begin a chapter on the sensitization program on HIV / AIDS, promote to use needles and syringes among people addicted to drugs and condoms for sex workers. It also aims to create awareness among youth and encourage non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in countries around the world.
Objective: He is in the world tour of 191 countries and plans to achieve this goal to complete their journey in 2020. Through his bicycle tour around the world, he is trying to raise awareness on HIV / AIDS through conferences and seminars on Indian culture. Its focus is on poor people in urban / rural and tribal areas throughout the world as they have the lowest level of awareness of this deadly disease.
Short-term objective: Students, young people, and communities that benefit from awareness program will run in the societies of their respected countries.
Long-term goal: To raise global awareness on HIV / AIDS through education of local people worldwide.
Achievements: From his hometown in Sundarbans, India on May 27, 2004, Mr. Somen carried out awareness program to NGOs, schools, colleges, universities, red light areas-road and numerous restaurants. Mr. Somen has the honour to meet 120 Indian HC / Ambassadors, 6 Reyes, 30 Presidents, 62 Prime Ministers, 260 Ministers and government officials from different clubs in a different field so far. He desires to travel around 191 countries at the end of 2020 covering almost 200,000 km and reach almost 20 million people. His campaign is supported by personal donations and sponsorships.
Exclusive story: Mr. Somen faced many difficulties while traveling, including 24 days captivity by the Taliban in Afghanistan, he was robbed 6 times in Central Asia; faced countries in -35 Degrees Celsius temperature in former CSSR; 8 times beaten by skinheads; Living with wild animals such as rhinos, elephants, cheetahs, pythons, etc. in the wilderness; and lived with one of the most ancient Jarawa tribe in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India for 20 days. One of the happiest persons he met was a Bangladeshi with 25 rupees per day income / quarter happily living with his family. India is felt everywhere in this world culture. Mr. somen has honorary citizenship with a second home in Georgia. He traveled to the North Pole in 2011 facing -45 degrees. Met lovely people called Intuit / Eskimo. He crossed 7 Mares and Oceans with three big mountains like the Himalayas and the Alps. During night shelter, he had some fun too – courtesy police and thieves.
His campaign funds: Forty percent of the funds collected during the campaign spent on travel expenses and the remaining 60 percent is devoted to his Global Village. He would like to invite all friends and families around the world that he has been meeting during the trip and supporting his global village. They will all be lifelong members of their extended family. He would like to thank everyone for their great support and cooperation, not only for the world but also his mission for the global village and its future plans.
Mr. Somen desires to conduct workshops on HIV / AIDS and peace and humanity in colleges, schools, health centers, NGOs, social organizations and other institutions in Brazil and others countries, would appreciate any possible assistance and cooperation extended to facilitate the success of his tour.
Source: Somen Debnath